Ground Water Canada

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Editorial: Spring 2011

Nice to meet you

April 5, 2011  By Laura Aiken

I grew up on a country road in a house built in 1856. The original hand pump over the dug well was still in our backyard.

I grew up on a country road in a house built in 1856. The original hand pump over the dug well was still in our backyard. On a sunny day, sprawled under the adjacent crab apple tree, I sometimes pictured being back in time, wearing a bonnet and bobbing that lever up and down to make the water flow. Being on a dug well, the supply wasn’t infinite, and more than once we did too many loads of laundry and found ourselves at the neighbours to brush our teeth while we waited for the water supply to magically replenish itself. This childhood awareness of water supply, and in turn, the mystique of water itself, gave me an ongoing obsession with swimming in anything, be it pool, pond or puddle. I developed a fascination and deep respect for water and the vital role it plays in human life. So, when I was asked to take the reins at Ground Water Canada, it was not without a feeling of irony in accepting – I’ve been called a mermaid more than once.

Becoming the editor of Ground Water Canada is my third post in trade publishing for Annex Publishing & Printing, the parent company of the magazine. I am also the editor of its Canadian Pizza and Bakers Journal publications. While ground water is a departure from food, I found a common thread in the very first article I read in this edition on Lousana Water Wells (1987) Ltd. (see page 12). Family is the backbone of many businesses across all sorts of industries. Lousana is creeping up on its 50th year, and like individuals approaching the crest of the hill, its ownership finds itself in a state of reflection and satisfaction, almost like grandparents watching over all they have created in a lifetime.


Technology is another link. Human ingenuity drives technological innovation, but one can still marvel at the Woodingdean Well – at 1,285 feet deep, it is the world’s deepest hand-dug well in the world. The digging began in 1858 as a cost-cutting measure. Roy Grant, local historian of the U.K. well, wrote on the Brighton and Hove website that “the Woodingdean Well’s depth into the earth was greater than the height of the Empire State Building. Imagine climbing that building in darkness on a twice daily basis, using just a series of rickety ladders, let alone in a panic situation with water flooding up beneath you and your colleagues!”

And, like food, water is indispensable. Wells are referred to literally and figuratively in a range of places, from the Bible to nursery rhymes and superstitions. Its necessity begets the great fear of contamination; a safe food and water supply is part of the foundation of every society’s goals, no matter their stage of development. 

Our supply of water is an ongoing and pressing discussion, to make an understatement. The Royal Ontario Museum’s latest exhibit is dedicated to water and I’ve been finding supplementary county-produced publications on the water supply and technology in recent Saturday editions of The Globe and Mail. These are obviously just a few of the conversations going on within my home base of Toronto. It’s with great pleasure that I find myself able to serve the ground water industry through my role as editor of Ground Water Canada. I look forward to meeting our valued readers and advertisers and listening to the challenges you face, in hope that Ground Water Canada can help you find a solution. Please feel free to reach out with an e-mail
( or call (416-522-1595) if there is particular problem or issue you’d like to read about in these pages.

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