All this week, students in a few northern Saskatchewan schools are getting to learn about some of the environmental impacts on their local watersheds.
From Monday to Friday, members of the Saskatchewan Environmental Society are visiting high schools in La Ronge, Beauval, Buffalo Narrows, La Loche and Ile-a-la Crosse.
Megan Buskirk, who is with SES, says the organization is showing the students the effects various mineral sources may have on local water bodies.
“So, the main things that we’ll test for with the kids, just because they’re kind of simpler tests, are things like phosphates and nitrates and those are nutrients that you would find in the water,” she says. “So they are good at common levels because we need that sort of thing in the water for the fish and the other organisms that are in there for them to be healthy.”
Buskirk says phosphate and nitrate levels can become higher than normal due to the effects of fertilizers and run off from mining activities and this can pose dangers to local water life.
However, they have not noticed any higher than normal levels of these nutrients in the water bodies of any of the communities they have visited so far, she says.
Buskirk adds one of the goals of the exercise is to give the students some hands on experience in water analysis and perhaps encourage them to pursue studies in environmental sciences.
The Saskatchewan Environmental Society is based out of Saskatoon.