170828 The Power of Water - matthew piers robertson • photography writing creative toronto

There's no better place in the world to see the awesome power of water than Niagara Falls.

But Niagara Parks hates running water. 

If you want drinkable water at the Falls you have to buy it, and it only comes wrapped in plastic.


The Niagara Parks website includes a section on environmental protection. Highlights include:

Use the best available Technology and practices to benefit the environment wherever practically and economically viable. 

Actively participate in an integrated waste management system to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Compost.

The recycling and composting programs in the Park have long been recognized as a model for parks and other operations across the country.

The Niagara Parks website also prominently notes that they're "self-financed".

Best Practices? Actively reduce waste?

Empty water bottles and other drink containers are everywhere, but if there's a public drinking fountain anywhere in the popular tourist areas I've yet to find it. And perhaps the @NiagaraParks "tweet us your questions" Twitter account is still looking for them as well. My three tweets to them over the course of a week, asking if there are any water fountains near the Falls, have gone unanswered. 

Given that bottled water is a fundamental evil that's increasingly being rejected by more enlightened organizations and consumers, it's hard to see how Niagara Parks can claim innocence on the subject. For an agency inextricably tied to water and the environment to take this retrograde stand is inexcusable. At least they leave little question of why they do it.


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