If Guelph Cares About the World - It Must Grow Up!

A recent column in the Economist Magazine indicates that one of the major implications of global warming will be the migration of millions of people from soon to be unlivable areas to regions that are able to cope with rising global temperatures.

No resource of course has the impact of damming a place than a lack of fresh water.

Under this scenario Guelph's water conservation initiatives don't seem just, but rather greedy and small minded.

In Southern Ontario we have access to vast amounts of freshwater in the Great Lakes. Communities surrounding them have tapped into these great treasures to grow their communities and provide clean, reliable drinking water for generations.

Communities near Guelph have recognised that you can't stop growth and progress and have made plans to utilise Lake Erie in order to provide for their growing, vibrant communities.

Guelph has decided to in effect cap it's growth by not investing in developing its water infrastructure. This strategy seems to be endorsed by Guelphites, who want to limit any population expansion. Under this approach the City can tell the province it can't grow any further because it doesn't have enough ground water to support increased provincial population targets.

Many support this plan by killing any talk of water pipe expansion and pushing water conservation. The fact that this will come at huge cost to Guelph's economic growth seems to be of little consequence to a workforce made up of a large percentage of public-sector workers. New enterprises and jobs that come with them will be told to go elsewhere with Guelph's not open for business sign on the lawn.

The other consequence of water conservation is the negative impact it will have on those who cannot migrate to Guelph and enjoy its bounty.
The number of displaced people is only going to grow dramatically with climate change. While other communities around Guelph are getting ready for this increased demand - Guelph ignores the incoming waves.

Conserving a precious resource like fresh water is the right call when it is in scarce supply. But conservation becomes selfish when you choose not to develop infrastructure to access to abundant water supplies the world needs.

When the world arrives on Guelph's doorstep with their cup empty - I want to be able to invite them in. I don't want to tell them that they may have better luck next door because we didn't want to grow up.