We will educate the leaders of today and tomorrow about drinking water quality issues to realize our goal of safe drinking water being available to every Canadian.
To reaffirm and promote all people's right to safe drinking water. With a focus on developing partnerships with rural communities throughout Canada and around the world, we intend to effect change at the municipal, provincial, and federal levels as well as within civil society and industries involved in the protection and production of public water supplies.
Our vision will be reached in Canada when the following goals have been achieved:
• National drinking water regulations are implemented and enforced, resulting in all communities in Canada having access to truly safe drinking water.
• The federal government of Canada recognizes at the United Nations that water is a basic human right.
SDWF is a registered Canadian charity. Its primary purpose is to educate community leaders, politicians, engineers, health officials, students and the general public about drinking water quality issues and solutions. The SDWF accomplishes this by developing and distributing high quality, hands-on educational programs to thousands of schools, delivering webinars, and maintaining a massive website with lots of information available free of charge.
SDWF is independent from municipal, provincial and federal governments and led by a Board of Directors.
SDWF emphasizes sound solutions to poor quality water.
Organizations and individuals can donate in-kind support, monetary support or facility support to SDWF.
The Need for the Safe Drinking Water Foundation
Most source waters used for drinking water purposes in the world are not safe to drink without treatment. All too frequently, this water is consumed without treatment or with inadequate treatment. This results in human illness, which is a major concern in most rural areas in both developed and developing countries. The World Health Organization estimates that 5 million people die annually from water-borne diseases. The people that are most vulnerable to water-borne disease are the very young, pregnant women, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems.
People may think that unsafe drinking water is a problem only in developing countries and not in developed countries such as Canada. However, one need only venture outside the limits of major urban centres to find water treatment practices and source waters that have more in common with developing countries than with developed countries. Most people also believe that municipal, provincial and federal government agencies will provide safe drinking water. Unfortunately, the problems encountered by individual users and small rural communities in trying to make poor source waters safe for consumption are often too large, resulting in water that is not safe to drink.
Unsafe drinking water is a much greater problem than we think. Some diseases that are attributed to other causes are actually due to the drinking water. The presence of pathogenic microbes in drinking water supplies has prompted the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to consider regulation of viruses, bacteria and protozoa in addition to several already covered by the Safe Drinking Water Treatment Rule. New microorganisms for regulatory consideration include, for example, the hepatitis A virus. SDWF has targeted the "uniquely poor" source waters of the Canadian Prairies as the major recipient of SDWF activities.