Letter to the Future from Shauna Curry, CEO of CAWST

Tell us about your role and how you are contributing to the society:

As CEO of CAWST, a Canadian-based charity and licensed engineering consultancy, I lead a team of 50 professionals (a unique blend of engineers, educators and researchers) to address the fundamental and global need for safe water. Our contribution to society is to focus on safe water, as an essential underpinning for health and livelihood. We provide practical training, consulting and expertise in water, sanitation and hygiene so that people can take action to solve their own water needs. Our model’s multiplier effect has a global reach of over 1000 clients in 84 countries resulting in 15.3 million people with better drinking water or sanitation.

Presently, what do you like about Canada?:

What I like about Canada:
– our stunning natural world – I am continually in awe
– our people – I am humbled and inspired by the ability to listen to diverse views and to search to do what is “right”
– our safety and security – I feel safe, and hope we continue to build trust vs generate fear.
– our role in the world – seeking to be a model of peace, order and good government – creating bridges and collaborations, here at home and internationally.

Your Letter to the Future:

Dear Canada,

Thank you for your water.

I grew up swimming in your creeks, rivers, lakes, and streams. We canoed each summer in your great north and would drink water straight from your rivers. Yesterday, I paddled on the Kananaskis River, still amazingly pristine even with the many users.

Your water has taught us many lessons:
• Celebrate the natural beauty of our world.
• Honour our inter-relationship – we cannot live without your water and the food that it produces.
• Our water is an underpinning for our health, ability to learn, go to school, earn a living and be contributing members of society.
• Accept our responsibility to protect and conserve your water, as our most precious resource.
• Recognize the privilege we have in Canada, and the opportunity this provides us to serve others.
• And, the sheer joy of splashing and playing!

Your water has sustained our land and people long before Canada was born. Clean water is an essential ingredient for life. We recognize how fortunate we are in a world where 1.8 billion people live without safe drinking water.

You can be proud that CAWST, a Canadian charity, has helped more than 15.3 million people get better water or sanitation since our founding in 2001.

Thank you, Canada!

Shauna Curry
CAWST, Centre for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology