That's what you call water

In northern Manitoba this weekend, I was struck by the ubiquity of water in this province compared to the paucity in Israel. As we drove from our campsite to Thompson to get a backcountry camping permit for our planned two-day hike, my friend, looking at a GPS, nonchalantly noted that a lake lay concealed by trees on either side of the highway as we drove. It brought to mind Israelis' and Palestinians' pride at their small but woefully over-fished Sea of Galilee and unique but rapidly disappearing Dead Sea.

We take our water for granted in Manitoba. In our province with an area of 649,950 km, 101,593 km is water surface, according to Travel Manitoba. That means (if my math is right) about 17% of the surface is covered by water. Whereas according to Wikipedia, the area of Israel (not including the Occupied Territories) is 20,770 square kilometres, with 445 square kilometers of water surface -- about 2%. And since the Sea of Galilee is a mere 166 square kilometres, a good portion of that 2% is salt water.

Later, hiking along the wide Grass River, I recalled the sewage-filled creek called the Jordan River. Accustomed to Manitoba-sized rivers like the Red and Assiniboine, I could hardly make out the narrow trickle in the distance as we stood at Bel Voir, overlooking the Jordan Valley.

Water truly was everywhere on this trip to northern Manitoba. While forest fires rage to the northwest near Cranberry Portage, the southern part of the province is flooded -- evidenced even in the Interlake, where ditches were full to overflowing.

I'd never before considered just how much water we have in Manitoba, though this is not the first time I've wished we could pack up excess and send it to a place that needs it. Just think what a boon it would be to the sinking, shrinking Dead Sea were the Jordan to receive the surplus from our waterlogged fields, and how the Manitoba farmers would rejoice to drive on dry land. But God in his wisdom has not chosen that, so it is left to us to be faithful to the gifts he's given in however puzzling a manner. May we treat it as such.


DoraDueck said…
Water, water... thanks for the observations, and comparisons!

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