Caroline Hill Smith, a graduate student currently enrolled in the Water Institute’s Collaborative Water Program (CWP) and supervised by Water Institute member Christopher Fletcher, professor from the Department of Geography and Environmental Management, contributed an op-ed to the Hamilton Spectator recently entitled “The hidden cost of road salt.” The article brings awareness to the issue of the excessive use of road salt contaminating groundwater that is our drinking water supply. Caroline also spoke about the pervasive and growing problem with CityNews Kitchener on the Mike Farwell Show available here at 1:24:30.
The op-ed and interview were the result of a CWP group project that challenged interdisciplinary student groups to research local water challenges and to communicate the challenge through the popular media. Co-instructors Simone Philpot and Simon Courtenay designed this year’s Water 602 course to address the need for our water researchers and managers of tomorrow to be able to communicate beyond technical audiences and share important information with everyone with an interest.
In the op-ed, Caroline writes that – “if the pandemic has shown us anything, it is that we are intrinsically connected. We are all connected to the natural spaces that we look to for solace in tough times; and to the animals, plants and fish that surround us. Yet, sadly, those natural spaces are disappearing, and what remains are increasingly affected by the seasonal application of road salt.”
Read the full article in the Hamilton Spectator here.
Contributors to the commentary included graduate students:
Caroline Hill Smith, MES, Geography and Environmental Management (GEM)
Lauren Banks, Ph.D., Biology
Neha Kanda, Ph.D., Geography and Environmental Management (GEM)
Trang Le, Masters, School of Environment, Resources and Sustainability (SERS)