Struzik's presentation took place at a day-long session hosted by the University of Toronto's Munk School of Global Affairs Program on Water Issues. His presentation was webcast and the session included panel discussions and questions by participating experts and the live and Internet audience.
The event included a presentation of striking NASA photos showing changes in groundwater levels across North America. In both his paper and presentation, Struzik noted that better mapping and monitoring — which can assist in better management — are possible thanks to these kinds of advances in research and technology.
"Groundwater mapping and modeling can help farmers, industry, municipalities, and even managers of natural areas plan on how much groundwater can be pumped from an aquifer without running it dry. Mapping and modeling can help scientists predict how groundwater will respond to stresses such as over-pumping, seawater intrusion, urbanization, drought and climate change," said Struzik.
The solutions are costly and will require more inter-governmental cooperation and new financing — including taxes in some cases, Struzik added. At the same time, better mapping, monitoring and management are possible, and critically important, because up to one-third of Canadians depend on groundwater.Struzik made 10 recommendations including putting a more realistic price on water use for Canadians. "Water is one of Canada's most important natural assets, one that contributes between $7.8 and $22.9 billion to the economy each year. It's time for more jurisdictions to start putting a price on groundwater and on surface water," he said. Underground Intelligence and the proceedings of today's panel can be found at http://powi.ca/ SOURCE Program on Water Issues, Munk School, University of Toronto