In 2015, the United Nations adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This global agenda aims to catalyze actions necessary for humans to live sustainably with each other and the planet by focusing on a variety of thematic areas including people, planet, prosperity, peace and partnership. To inspire action, 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been developed and specific targets and indicators have been created under each goal to measure progress.
While reaching the SDGs is going to take many organizations all across the world, for each individual organization, it means understanding the important part we play in the larger picture.
The work of the Our Living Waters Network - and the OLW shared measurement system, which drives many of the collaborative actions we take - is well aligned with many of the SDGs. In particular SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation, but also with specific targets and indicators within SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities, SDG 14: Life Below Water, SDG 15: Life on Land, and SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals.
We know many organizations, from governments to non-profit organizations, funders to businesses, are actively determining how to achieve the SDGs, and as a member of the OLW Network, we invite you to explore our handy guide: Our Living Waters and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which demonstrates how the OLW shared measurement system, and much of the work that you do, helps achieve these SDGs. We hope you will find this guide useful if you are looking to demonstrate how your activities contribute to the SDGs.
Taking a step back, the guide also shows how the OLW shared measurement system provides an excellent roadmap on how to achieve many parts of the SDGs, especially SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation, within the Canadian context, allowing us all to play our important part in the larger picture.
We seem to collectively know that ‘water is life.’ But most of us do not take action to protect or defend it. That is likely because we do not feel as though our waters are at risk and where they are at risk, we generally have a poor understanding of the threats to health.
Lake Erie has been facing a toxic algae problem for decades. It was solved, temporarily, in the 70s largely through improvements to wastewater treatment. The algae problem has been intensifying for much of the last decade with record setting outbreaks in 2014 that shut down the drinking water supply in Toledo, Ohio and, in Pelee Island, ON it led to beach closures and a public health advisory to not use the lake water. Despite this high profile threat to Lake Erie's health, people still by and large think it is sewage that is the primary problem causing the algae bursts. Though sewage still contributes to the phosphorous levels of Lake Erie, the primary cause is run-off from the region’s agricultural fields, which do not undergo any treatment and run directly into our rivers and lakes.Read more