Besides food, air, water and energy/power are important components of a population's survival.
"Water, water, every where,
Nor any drop to drink."
Extracted from "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner"
Thankfully British Columbia, Canada, is blessed with lots of snow-melt fresh-water. The same is true of Alberta, B.C.'s neighbouring province, for we share the Rocky Mountains. [We may be biased, but JX and I agreed that B.C.'s water tastes better than Alberta's.]
Johnston Canyon, Banff, Alberta
Can you see the tiny people at the bottom of the photo?
A creek in Shannon Falls, B.C.
[Photo courtesy of my friend AA]
Hollyburn Trail, Cypress Mountain, B.C.
[Photo courtesy of my friend EM]
A thick blanket of snow that elevated us to tree-tops.
All this snow would melt into B.C.'s fresh-water supply.
IMHO, most British Columbians understand their reliance on the fabulous gifts from Mother Nature. Which is why the any economic activity that may threaten the pristine wilderness is watched over with hawk's eyes, including the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project (tar-sand oil pipeline from Alberta to B.C.). [Click here and here for news and views about the project.]
According to The BC Energy Plan, in 2004 B.C.'s total electricity production by source (% of total) is as follow.
- Hydroelectric: 92.8%
- Natural Gas: 6.0%
- Waste and Biomass: 1.0%
- Diesel Oil: 0.2%
- Others [Coal, Nuclear, Other Renewables]: 0.0%
That was in 2004. B.C. has since added wind and more hydro (renewable) electricity generation. In fact, there are plans and projects in place to meet future energy demand (projection for the next 20 years) and the province's self-sufficiency targets under B.C.'s Clean Energy Act, with a focus on increasing sources of renewable energy. To quote from The BC Energy Plan, here are some of the province's key policy actions for energy security.
- Maintain public ownership of BC Hydro and the BC Transmission Corporation.
- Achieve electricity self-sufficiency by 2016.
- Make small power part of the solution through a set purchase price for electricity generated from projects up to 10 megawatts.
B.C. is blessed with environmental advantages for its survival. Nevertheless, it takes a lot of political will and advocacy to:
- move towards renewable resources for sustainability, and
- ensure that policies implemented do not destroy its environmental advantages.
For that, we have B.C.'s liberal socio-political climate to thank.