Documentary La gout de trop | Dive into the challenges of drinking water

With 4,500 rivers and half a million lakes, Quebec is rich in fresh water. This “blue gold” that we take for granted is under threat. By our negligence, but above all by our ignorance. The documentary The drop of too much does useful work by exposing in an informative and not at all guilty way the challenge of preserving our fresh water, at the source of a precious commodity among all: drinking water.

On her website, diver and underwater explorer Nathalie Lasselin describes her approach in three words: passion, inspiration and action. She adds a fourth, when asked about The drop of too much, documentary directed by Jérémie Battaglia of which she is the narrator and the main character: awareness.

Nathalie Lasselin has dived all over the world, from the icy seas of Alaska to the underground canals of Mexico. She also knows large swathes of the St. Lawrence River, but realized that very little is known in Montreal. “It’s still the river, our source of drinking water,” she recalls.

This ignorance is not unique to Quebecers, as she has seen during her expeditions all over the planet.

It’s always the same thing, notes the explorer: local populations are not very aware of the importance of fresh water as a source of drinking water and of the effect of wastewater.

Nathalie Lasselin, diver and underwater explorer

Explore the Montreal drinking water network

The drop of too much recounts his underwater crossing of the island of Montreal, from west to east, where the treated water, but still “waste”, is discharged into the river. A dive that becomes the pretext for another exploration: that of the Montreal drinking water network and our impact on the river water.

“Very often, we have the impression that there is water, it is not a problem. We are not aware that the water that arrives in our tap, it is manufactured, ”explains Nathalie Lasselin. Out of ignorance, we make the amalgamation between fresh water and drinking water. However, as the documentary reminds us: drinking water in its natural state hardly exists in Quebec anymore.

Passing from the depths of the river to the bowels of Montreal, the documentary shows the enormous and expensive system put in place to water us and treat our waste. The visit takes place in the company of water specialists, including chemist Sébastien Sauvé, and tackles the issues clearly: what is found in the water at the source, the enormous losses in dilapidated pipes and waste. found at the east Montreal wastewater treatment plant.

Throughout her underwater journey, Nathalie Lasselin also collected water samples from the river, which she had analyzed by Sébastien Sauvé’s team. Without notifying him, she slipped a vial filled with water from her tap… which contained as much residue of pesticides, drugs and hormones as untreated river water.

Even if it is only a few drops per thousand cubic meters, it is the bioaccumulation of these contaminants. [qui soulève des questions]. What is going [nous] to arrive in 5, 10 or 15 years by dint of drinking it?

Nathalie Lasselin, diver and underwater explorer

Inform without feeling guilty

The drop of too much is not a fear film: its purpose is measured, and the objective is obviously to inform without making people feel guilty. To inspire change, we dare say. The documentary also shows, by following four families, that simple actions can save large amounts of water at home. This is not a detail: Montrealers are among the champions of the overconsumption of drinking water on a global scale.

“Out of 100 L of water we use, only 10% is used for drinking and cooking. What is vital as drinking water in our consumption, it is this 10% ”, insists Nathalie Lasselin. The rest is divided into roughly equal parts between housekeeping, showers and baths, and toilets.

Water is essential to our survival, recalls the diver. “And if I, as an individual, decide to do my part to protect this water, I will realize that I am not losing quality of life. It’s not because I turn off my faucet [plus vite] that I will be less happy. But maybe I’ll save 10 or 13 L of water. And if I do that at home, then I can bring the idea into my business, etc. This is how, by accumulating small gestures, we can make a difference. ”

The drop of too much, by Jérémie Battaglia, with Nathalie Lasselin, will be presented Wednesday, at 8 p.m., on Télé-Québec.

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