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Perhaps fresh water seems so abundant to Canadians because Canada has the third-most renewable fresh water in the world and contains seven per cent of the world’s global supply of it. This is a precious and, for some parts of the world, scarce, life-supporting resource.

  • Although 70 per cent of the Earth is covered in water, only three per cent is fresh water. It is found in lakes, rivers, wetlands, glaciers and groundwater.

  • 10 per cent of all known animals on Earth rely on freshwater ecosystems

  • Annually, Canada's rivers discharge seven per cent of the world's renewable water supply. Renewable fresh water is that which can be replenished by precipitation. Water is non-renewable when the source cannot be replenished, such as an underground reservoir.

Freshwater Fun Facts

  • Almost nine per cent, or 891,163 square kilometres, of Canada's total area is covered by fresh water.

  • The Great Lakes Basin (shared with the United States) is the world's largest freshwater lake system and also the single largest watershed in the world. 

  • Approximately 60 per cent of Canada's fresh water drains to the north, while 85 per cent of the population lives along the southern border with the United States.

  • There are an estimated two million lakes in Canada, covering approximately eight per cent of Canada's land area — more than any other country in the world.

  • There are more than 8,500 named rivers in Canada.

Despite Canada’s relative abundance of fresh water, our freshwater ecosystems are at risk from degradation, fragmentation and contamination. The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) has protected freshwater habitats across the country for the benefit of wildlife and people for close to 60 years. They are also restoring wetlands, forests and grasslands, which help filter and store water.

Won’t you join us?

Come, help us keep the Boyne flowing!

Yes, I'll help!
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