GREENING THE NORTH: Watercycle curbs thirst around town

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If you think back to Grade 10 biology the water cycle described the movement of water from the atmosphere, to the ground, followed its travels across continents and down rivers to the ocean where it evaporates back to the clouds in a complete cycle.

An important lesson in recycling, from Mother Nature. The Watercycle is also the name of Ecology North’s new electric trike, decked out with a stainless steel box and two water tanks to provide water for thirsty revellers at summer barbecues, concerts and festivals.

Ecology North’s #loveNWTwater campaign has been encouraging NWT residents, businesses and public institutions to sign a pledge to give up bottled water for three years now with great success.

The campaign taps into people’s desire for alternatives to the imported water bottles that feed carbon emissions, and litter the territories’ beaches and waterways. Some 1.3 million plastic water bottles are imported into the NWT from around the world annually, into a territory that arguably holds the largest reserves of pristine clean water left on the planet.

Plastic bottles are made using fossil fuels, they travel thousands of kilometres to get to us, and are often filled with tap water run through a simple filtration unit. Meanwhile, a litre of bottled water costs more than a litre of gasoline, sending NWT dollars straight into the profit margins of the planet’s largest multinational beverage companies. For those worried about the cost of living, not drinking a bottle of water a day for a year will save hundreds of dollars.

For those concerned about taste, or safety of tap water, they should know that NWT tap water is sourced upstream of any potential arsenic concerns, and is tested more frequently than bottled water. If chlorine is your worry keep a jug of pristine tap water in your fridge. The chlorine will dissipate in a couple of hours.

The Watercycle was born out of a perceived need to provide alternatives to bottled water in locations and events around the city where there is a lack of water fountains. Funded by the Yellowknife Community Foundation, the electric purple trike will be cruising the city’s streets, festivals and barbecue circuits this summer dispensing refreshing NWT water to thirsty revellers. If you’re going out on the town, make sure you bring your reusable water bottle for a handy top-up, and better yet take the water pledge or ask your office or business to sign up on the handy #loveNWTwater website.