Tag Archives: Canada

Snow – an untapped commodity in Canada

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MONTREAL SNOWSTORM

Waste Not, Want Not,
“Are Canadians turning a blind eye to the untapped potential of snow?” by Clark Kingsbury, assistant editor of WaterCanada.
IT IS NO SURPRISE that snow is cumbersome for cities. It must be removed from streets and disposed of as swiftly as possible, creating an organizational headache and a monetary burden. For example, the City of Montreal spent $120 million to remove 13 million cubic metres of snow in 2006.

WASTE NOT WANT NOT
Generally speaking, snow in Canadian cities is collected and dumped in a snow disposal facility (SDF), where it is left to melt over the course of the year. But alternatives where snow is treated as an untapped commodity rather than as an expensive nuisance are slowly being suggested both in Canada and abroad.
MONTREAL UNIVERSITYPatrick Evans is an architect and professor of environmental design at the Université de Québec à Montréal, as well as the author of the children’s book ‘Where the Snow Goes’. He believes that the snow Montreal receives can be used either as a source of energy, or as a “visible, celebratory, urban event.”  Evans traces his interest in snow removal and its possible re-use back to his first winter in Montreal in the 1990s.
“I think it was the sheer unadulterated awe of witnessing the late night winter choreography of snow removal in Montreal’s narrow urban streets,” he wrote in an email. “Even then, I was immediately struck by the question: where does the snow go?”
… Evans suggests that we take a more creative and useful approach to snow removal—an idea that has been gaining traction at different locations around the world.
SWEDISH HOSPITALIn their study, Potential Utilization of City Owned Snow Disposal STRANDARD SNOW DISPOSAL SITEFacilities for Seasonal Cooling in Ottawa, Canada, Paul Cipcigan and Frederick Michel state that more than 100 seasonal storage systems exist in Japan and China, as well as a seasonal cooling project at the county hospital in Sundsvall, Sweden, part of Västernorrland County.
SUNDSVALL HOSPITALPrior to the year 2000, the 190,000 metre-squared hospital used a conventional cooling system to control the indoor climate and to ensure technical equipment didn’t overheat. However, a new cooling facility was eventually constructed at a nearby repository for snow cleared from area streets. Snow is stored in a sever-metre-deep bowl-shaped asphalt basin and is insulated with wood chips during the spring and summer to slow the melting process.
VASTERNORRLANDSAccording to the Vasternorrland County Council’s website, meltwater is “pumped through the heat exchanger where the water cools the technical equipment as well as the ventilation air, which passes through the hospital.” The water warms through this process and is used to melt more snow on its way back through the system.
Efforts have been made to incorporate similar technologies in Canada. Cipcigan and Michel’s paper describes…
“The principle behind the seasonal storage of ice/snow technologies consists of utilizing the energy stored as latent heat in the phase change of water into ice during winter. The natural snow/ice collected during winter is then stored until summer when it is used as a sink for the heat removed during cooling of buildings or other industrial processes.”
“The heat transfer is done through a heat exchanger and the cooling agent can be either re-circulated or discharged after use. The most common cooling agents used are water, ice/snow meltwater, and air, which are more environmentally friendly than the ones used by the conventional chiller systems.”
Cipcigan and Michel’s study, conducted in the winter of 2008/2009, investigates the amount of potential cold energy available from the Conroy SDF in Ottawa. “The cold energy,” the report reads, “is the amount of heat that can be consumed or dissipated during cooling.”
CONROY SDFThe report determined that in the winter of 2008/2009, the Conroy SDF held around 500,000 cubic metres of snow, from which an estimated 30,430 MWh was available. The study goes on to assume a 30-per-cent loss of snow before temperatures would necessitate cooling, based on the experience at the Sundsvall hospital. Even after the snow loss, the facility would possess an estimated 21,300 MWh of available energy.
The report also presented energy use data from a city-owned office building with 39,000 square metres of floor space, which was cooled during the warmer months by a pair of rooftop chillers. The
average annual energy consumption of the two chillers from 2005 to 2009 was 512 MWh, costing $51,200 based on the cost of energy in 2009.
Comparing energy consumption figures at the office building and stored energy at the Conroy SDF, the report states that the volume of snow stored at the Conroy SDF “represents the equivalent cooling energy for over 40 buildings similar to the one analyzed, with a total floor space of approximately 1.6 million square metres and an estimated annual energy value of over $2 million.” The value was again based on energy prices in 2009.
“If all city SDFs were filled to capacity—approximately three million M3 – the energy potential after a 30 percent per season loss allowance represents roughly 130,000 MWh of cooling energy, currently worth an estimated $12.5 million annually,” the report continues.
Although the City of Ottawa, citing issues of cost and space for snow storage, decided not to pursue the exploitation of snow and ice for its cold energy potential, Cipcigan and Michel’s report, along with successful examples in Sweden and elsewhere, highlights the possibilities available to those cities lucky enough to exist in a northern climate.

Canada’s Water Utilities in Trouble

WATER UTILITIES CANADA

ELIZ BRUBAKERThe following article, Making Bail – Helping Canada’s water utilities out of a bad spot, by Elizabeth Brubaker is from the Jan/Feb 2010 issue of Water Canada magazine.

Canada’s municipal utilities are in trouble, and it seems increasingly unlikely that the provinces will bail them out. Federal aid seems equally unlikely, given the finance minister’s warnings that there will be no major new spending initiatives in the 2010 budget. But our utilities need not despair. Although public money may be scarce, private investment and pricing reforms can provide sustainable solutions to the problems they face. (Important Update Note – 11/19/2013:  “…Where there’s a well, there’s a way  These are just a few illustrations of innovative financial solutions to meeting the need for safe water and sanitation. In 2014 businesses will partner with global non-governmental organizations, assessing water risk, scarcity and opportunity…” – taken from ” The Future of Water Sustainability ” – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/matt-damon/water-sustainability_b_4303872.html )

 Municipal residential drinking water JOHN STAGERsystems face a number of challenges. Ontario’s Chief Drinking Water Inspector John Stager reports that 199 systems exceeded provincial limits for total coliforms or E.coli at least once during the 2007-08 year, and 94 did so on multiple occasions. As well, 83 E COLIsystems exceeded provincial limits for lead, trihalomethanes, nitrates, or other chemicals at least once, and 67 did so on multiple occasions.
ONT MINISTRY LOGOStager also reports that Ontario Ministry of Environment inspectors found areas of non-compliance at 348 systems during the reporting year. They observed problems with the sizing, installation, and operation WASTE WATER FLOWof equipment; they detected inadequate sampling and reporting; they identified problems with operations and maintenance manuals; and they found unacceptable flow rates.
For these or other reasons, consumers do not trust the water coming out of their taps. In March 2009, Ipsos Reid probed consumer confidence in the safety and quality of Canada’s drinking WHAT WATER SHOULD I DRINKwater. Just 20 per cent of the Ontarians polled were very confident, while another 57 per cent were somewhat confident. The pollster also asked consumers about the source of the water they typically drink at home, and only 34 per cent of Ontarians replied that they drink water directly from the tap. The majority (63 per cent) filter their water or drink bottled water.
Meeting provincial and consumer water quality expectations is by RCCAO LOGOno means the only challenge for water providers. The Residential and Civil Construction Alliance of Ontario estimates that the province is losing at least 327 million cubic metres of treated water a year. These losses cost ratepayers an estimated $700 million annually.
  WATER LEAKS AGING PIPESWastewater systems are also in disrepair. In 2008, 102 sewage facilities violated provincial standards or their certificates of approval. Some of Canada’s biggest cities—Toronto, Ottawa, Hamilton, London—failed to comply with the rules. And some communities failed again and again. Brockville
had 
19 exceedances, Sarnia had 23, and Waterloo had 17. Under the Canada-wide Strategy for the Management of Municipal Wastewater Effluent approved by the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment last February, poorly performing wastewater utilities will soon face new regulatory requirements.

FIXING PROBLEMS COST BILLIONSFixing these and other problems will cost billions, as will expanding the systems to meet new demand. Even if billions were available in the form of provincial and/or federal grants, municipalities would be wise to forgo them. Grants and other subsidies create ASSOCIATION CWWAperverse incentives. According to the Ontario Water Works Association and the OntarioASSOCIATION OMWA Municipal Water Association, subsidies are counterproductive, rewarding those who neglect their infrastructure and punishing those who operate effectively.

WASTEWATER DISREPAIR2They also cause delays—municipalities put off making essential improvements, hoping that free money might someday flow in to pay for them. When and if the free money does come, it encourages 
overbuilding. Grants have resulted in serious overcapacity. In 1996, 44 per cent of the capacity in place was excess to Ontario’s needs. That represented more than $25 billion in premature—in some cases, unnecessary—spending. It also gave many municipalities systems that were needlessly costly to run.

 WATER CONSERVATIONGrants also allow municipalities to under-price water. Cheap water deprives consumers of the incentives they need to conserve. It encourages waste and requires unnecessary capacity.

CPPPrivate capital offers municipalities an attractive alternative to grants. Increasingly, investors such as the TEACHERS' PENSIONCanada Pension Plan and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan want to put their money into water utilities, which offer steady, predictable, reliable revenue MIRA SHENKERstreams. According to Mira Shenker, editor of ReNew Canada magazine, “This is a sector that’s about to explode onto the marketplace.” Additionally, private dollars free up public funds for other purposes and transfer financial risks. And private money tends to be used efficiently—it comes with its own due diligence, enabling municipalities to get more for less.

Despite considerable theoretical support for private investment, and years of promotion by government agencies and consultants, Canada’s water and wastewater utilities have little experience with private capital. For a better idea of the possible extent of private investment, we can look to England and Wales, which privatized their water and wastewater systems in 1989. Since then, the private owners have invested about £3 billion (over C$5 billion) a year.
Private investment is not a magic wand. The investment will have to be recovered, and water rates across Canada are notoriously low—some of the lowest in the developed world. Low rates starve municipalities of capital and operating funds. Ontario alone has an unpaid bill of $11 billion in upkeep and repairs. In 2003, water revenues met just 64 per cent of the costs of providing services.
PRICING WATERFor these reasons, at least seven provincial bodies have advocated pricing reforms since the early 1990s. The Water Strategy Expert Panel concluded that “consumers should pay the full cost of the services they consume,” and the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario advocates full-cost recovery because it will enable systems to achieve financial sustainability and self-sufficiency, and it will encourage water conservation.
CD HOWEBusinesspeople are also supporting pricing reforms. Last year, the CD Howe Institute released a commentary by economist Steven Renzetti, who recommended universal metering, full cost accounting, and seasonal pricing to reflect marginal costs. Shortly afterwards, Compas polled CEOs and business leaders for their responses to Renzetti’s proposals. It reported that “immense majorities back universal use of water meters, full-cost accounting, and adequate revenue to allow full updating of equipment and processes.”
Environmentalists also support full-cost pricing. In August, a  WATER METER2coalition that included Ecojustice, Environmental Defence, Great Lakes United, and the Canadian Environmental Law Association issued a report urging the province to mandate meters and to encourage volume-based, full-cost pricing. The full-cost analysis, it added, should include source protection and water conservation.
Even consumers support higher prices. Nanos Research polled
Ontarians on the issue last spring, asking them how willing they would be to pay more for water if it improved the supply of clean water for 
Canadians and the environment. Nearly half (47 per cent) of the respondents were very or somewhat willing to pay more for water. Only 22 per cent were somewhat or very unwilling to pay more.

Despite this extraordinarily broad support, the provinces have waffled on pricing. In Ontario, the Sustainable Water and Sewage Systems Act, 2002, mandating provincially approved cost-recovery plans, has never been proclaimed. The more recent Financial Plans GORD MILLERRegulation is but a weak substitute that, according to Environmental Commissioner Gord Miller, “is unlikely to push most municipal systems towards achieving financial sustainability.”
There is reason for optimism. In their recent paper on safeguarding Ontario’s water resources, the Ministers of Environment and Natural Resources noted strong stakeholder support for metering and conservation-based pricing. In listing possible actions for their water strategy, they included requiring municipalities to have a pricing structure that charges all users the full cost of providing water and wastewater services. Full-cost pricing may at last be on its way, setting our water and wastewater utilities on the path to sustainability. 
~ Elizabeth Brubaker is the executive director of Environment Probe.

One alarming example of bacteria levels in water exceeding the recommended level – Hamilton, Ontario
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/hamilton/news/alarming-bacteria-levels-in-major-hamilton-creek-1.1141484

RAINSOFT HOUSE WATER SYSTEMS

Please feel free to call us with any concerns you may have about municipal or well water systems’ that may affect
you and your family’s health and well being:

Eternally Pure Water Systems, Inc.
5450 Canotek Road, Unit 66-67
Ottawa, Ontario
613-742-0058

Related links:

http://www.esemag.com/archive/0903/challenges.html

http://publications.gc.ca/Collection-R/LoPBdP/BP/bp333-e.htm

 

 

SUCCESS IN BATTLE WITH NESTLE OVER WATER RIGHTS!

PARLIAMENT

NESTLE RED X“Battle with Nestle over water affects Pontiac” – Published in The LowDown Online, by William Amos and Carissa Wong November 27, 2013

WATER CHART

Everyone needs water. Life exists because of it. In Canada, we expect water to be everywhere, accessible and clean. But the reality is that less than one per cent of the world’s freshwater is readily accessible for direct human use.

ONTARO MAPWe also expect our governments to protect this resource and put a community’s need for drinking water ahead of a corporation’s desire to bottle and sell water for profit. But sometimes, governmental priorities get confused, as they did recently in Ontario.

Every day, Ontario permits Nestle Canada Inc. to take 1.13 million litres of water, which it then bottles and sells, from an aquifer in Wellington County near Guelph. GUELPH AQUIFERLast year, the Ontario government — through the Ministry of the Environment (MOE) — renewed the permit on the condition that Nestle would take less water from the aquifer during serious droughts. But Nestle appealed these mandatory restrictions to the Ontario Environmental Review Tribunal, which has jurisdiction to determine disputes over groundwater permits. Then the MOE tried to cut a settlement deal with Nestle.

ENVIRO LAW CLINICThe deal would have allowed Nestle to avoid the mandatory drought restrictions. But in February, pro bono lawyers at Ecojustice challenged the deal on behalf of Wellington Water Watchers and Council of Canadians.

We filed a legal submission with the Ontario Environmental Review Tribunal, arguing that the proposed settlement was bad for the province and deserved closer scrutiny. Last month, the Tribunal agreed with our clients. It concluded that the proposed settlement deal was not in the public interest and was inconsistent with the Ontario Water Resources Act. The Tribunal ordered a full hearing so that the appropriateness of the drought-based restrictions could be thoroughly examined.  But recently, as a result of the Tribunal’s decision to order a hearing, Nestle withdrew its appeal of the mandatory drought restrictions. The deal is dead.

GUELPH GROUNDWATERSo Nestle must comply with the original permit conditions, reducing the amount of groundwater it takes from Wellington County during drought. Because these non-profit community groups took action, Nestle must leave more water for other users (in dry times) and the government must ensure they live up to that promise.       

Federal, provincial and municipal governments are each responsible, to the extent of their jurisdictions, for managing groundwater resources. But that’s not always what happens. Sometimes well-organized, dedicated members of the public must use the legal system to hold government accountable.

GUELPH WATERSHEDOur watersheds are vulnerable when governments roll out the red carpet for private companies who bristle at mandatory restrictions on their water takings.

In this case, the MOE had it right in the first place — drought-based restrictions should be applied to all future water takings for bottle water enterprises. All Ontarians, not just those who drink water from a well, need to be protected against those who would cut deals that limit the government’s ability to safeguard our shared water supplies. The same approach should apply in Quebec.

PONTIACThe example from Wellington County resonates throughout Canada. It hits home to those of us living in the Pontiac who depend on well-water for our basic needs. When making decisions about the water that sustains our communities, the government’s job is to put the greater public interest first.

Ed. note: William Amos is a Chelsea resident and is the Director of the Ecojustice Environmental Law Clinic at the University of Ottawa. Carissa Wong is an articling student at Ecojustice.

NESTLE ROAD SIGNThe following are my thoughts and not part of this article:
I would think that the province of B.C. should be taking a very close look at this  outcome for many like Sheila Muxlow, pictured outside Nestle’s bottling plant near Hope, B.C. on Aug. 12, 2013, who have concerns about Nestle withdrawing millions of litres of water without payment.  According to the provincial Ministry of Environment, “B.C. is the only jurisdiction in Canada that doesn’t regulate groundwater use.”

http://www.lowdownonline.com/battle-with-nestle-over-water-affects-pontiac/

Interesting related link ~

https://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/blog_categories/bottled-water/blogs/

CHLORINATED WATER ~ PESTICIDES ~ FOOD ALLERGIES ~ LINKED

CHLORINATED WATER FOOD ALLERGIESPHOTOPAD

Excerpts from, “Chlorinated water, pesticides linked to food allergies”, Friday, April 19, 2013 by David Gutierrez:

ACAAIA chemical used in pesticides, antibacterial soap and water chlorination increases people’s risk of developing food allergies, according to a study conducted by researchers from the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) and published in the college’s journal, Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

WATER TAP“Our research shows that high levels of dichlorophenol-containing pesticides can possibly weaken food tolerance in some people, causing food allergy,” lead researcher Elina Jerschow said. “This chemical is commonly found in pesticides used by farmers and consumer insect and weed control products, as well as tap water.”

FOOD COLLAGEApproximately 15 million people suffer from food allergies in the United States alone. The number increased 18 percent between 1997 and 2007.  “Previous studies have shown that both food allergies and environmental pollution are increasing in the United States,” Jerschow said. “The results of our study suggest these two trends might be linked, and that increased use of pesticides and other chemicals is associated with a higher prevalence of food allergies.”
FOOD ALLERGY2GIMPThe most common food allergies are to eggs, fish, milk, peanuts, shellfish, soy, tree nuts and wheat. Reactions can range between mild (such as rashes or tingling in the mouth), moderate (such as hives, asthma or gastrointestinal problems) or extreme (such as anaphylaxis, which affects the whole body and includes a potentially life-threatening swelling of the throat and tongue). EPIPENFor that reason, ACAAI advises people who suffer from food allergies to carry two doses of prescription epinephrine with them at all times.

80 percent increased risk

FOOD ALLERGYThe researchers examined data on 10,348 people who had participated in a U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Of 2,211 people who had detectable urine levels of the chemicals known as dichlorophenols, 411 suffered from at least one food allergy and 1,016 from at least one environmental allergy. The rate of food allergies among participants with high urine levels of dichlorophenols was 80 percent higher than in the general population.

PESTICIDE FREE2The findings point to the need for more research into the health and environmental effects of pesticides, said Kenneth Spaeth of North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, N.Y., who was not involved in the study.

PESTICIDE WARNING“The immune system begins developing in fetuses and continues its development through childhood,” he said. “Therefore, it is plausible that exposure to these pesticides during this development could alter the immune system in ways that could increase the risk of allergies.”

ORGANICAvoiding chlorinated water could help reduce dichlorophenol exposure, but Jerschow warns that pesticides are probably a much more significant source. Therefore, he recommends eating fruits and vegetables that have been exposed to fewer chemicals.

SOAPAntibacterial products (such as soaps, toothpastes and cosmetics) containing the chemical triclosan are another significant source of dichlorophenol exposure for many people. Triclosan often breaks down into dichlorophenol.

CHLORINEThe study is not the first to link chlorine chemicals to allergies. A 2010 study in the European Respiratory Journal found that exposure to chlorinated pools significantly increased children’s risk of respiratory allergies.

If you have concerns about your family’s exposure to chlorine,  other harmful chemicals, parmaceuticals, pesticides and herbicides that are present in your water, you would be wise to consider installing a Rainsoft Reverse Osmosis system. Not only will you enjoy the benefit of pure natural tasting water, but you will stop worrying about your family’s health.

Eternally Pure Water Systems Inc.
5450 Canotek Road, Unit 67
Ottawa, ON K1J 9G5
Phone: (613) 742-0058
Mon. – Fri. 9:00 – 5:00
http://www.naturalnews.com/039986_chlorine_food_allergies_pesticides.html

Sources:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121203081621.htm
http://www.cbsnews.com
http://www.dailymail.co.uk
http://www.naturalnews.com/028928_swimming_pools_chlorine.html

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/039986_chlorine_food_allergies_pesticides.html#ixzz2RDeqonbX

HAPPY TURKEY DAY 2013! ~ HA! HA!

We would like to share some Thanksgiving Turkey humour with you.

This Thanksgiving turkey has another idea about the dinner table. ~ Uploaded by Colt28683 on Nov 24, 2010

Gloria Gobbler is back and supremely funny! ~ Uploaded by on Oct 13, 2008

HAPPY TURKEY DAY, EVERYONE!

GOBBLE, GOBBLE!

Please return for our next blog where we will share a special message with you and wish you a
‘Happy Thanksgiving Day’

Stop Oil Tanker Traffic in B.C.

BC OIL TANKER TRAFFIC
Just ONE Exxon-Valdez-like spill on British Columbia’s coast could devastate thousands of families and a spectacular diversity of life. We shouldn’t take that risk!

Aren’t you tired of Big Oil targeting populated areas with rich flora and fauna and delicate environments as the next hot place to traffic oil? I sure am. It’s almost like they’re targeting areas of the world with the most to lose from an oil spill!

OIL COLLAGE

Send a message to Canada’s and British Columbia’s governments: Don’t traffic oil along B.C.’s coast!

Enbridge, Kinder Morgan, and CN Rail are all chomping at the bit to expand crude oil tanker traffic through B.C.’s coast en route to Asia. It would put a number of salmon rivers – as well as the thousands of people, cultures, and livelihoods that depend on B.C.’s coast – at risk for an oil spill, an event that could devastate the area.

First Nation communities are banning these projects with the Coastal First Nations and Save the Fraser declarations. Let’s unite with these strong efforts and stand up against oil tanker traffic on B.C.’s coast!

Please sign the petition by clicking the link below ~

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/333/333/751/?z00m=20630007

OKANAGAN BASIN – GAME ABOUT DROUGHT

IMAGE WITH SUN

This article, The Name of the Game is Drought, appeared in the July/Aug. issue of WaterCanada.
The Okanagan Basin Water Board engages regional stakeholders in a tournament of thirst, by Kerry Freek

FACING DROUGHT IS A GROWING NECESSITY

DROUGHT

In the United States, drought ranks second or third of natural disasters, depending on the year, in terms of economic impact. In Canada, dry periods—especially in the western provinces—are becoming more frequent and prolonged. It’s not news that severe water scarcity can devastate unprepared communities. But when people, nature, and economic activities share a watershed’s resources, how should local governments determine a pecking order in the event of an emergency? More importantly, how do they begin the tough process of creating emergency plans in advance?
The answer, some might say, is to make it fun, but keep it meaningful.

DROUGHT1

This past fall, the Okanagan Basin Water Board (OBWB) kick-started the drought conversation in its region. In partnership with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) and the B.C. Ministry of Environment, the organization brought together key players in government, as well as regional water suppliers, and reps from the agriculture, fisheries, and ranching communities to participate in a game about municipal thirst.
As part of the exercise, participants were divided into teams, given a drought scenario, and asked to identify and work through some of the issues anticipated with a drought, such as water reservoir management, the need for water for food production, and water for fish. The teams were given options for managing their water supply, and referees and other teams scored their decisions. Finally, the decisions were entered into a sophisticated computer program, known as the water evaluation and planning tool. With output from this tool, participants could understand and assess how their decisions would play out in a multi-year drought.
Teams quickly learned that any choice would impact water supply land, depending on how the scenarios were managed, they could increase or reduce conflict within the community. They also learned success comes down to collaboration, says Nelson Jatel of OBWB. “In these situations, it’s critical to communicate clearly and work together. The game allowed us to think through some of the complex partnerships that are key to surviving a drought.”
Gaming is gaining in popularity, and is beginning to be seen as a way to work through potential conflicts in the real world. “When we play a game, we tackle tough challenges with more creativity, more determination, more optimism, and we’re more likely to reach out to others for help,” says game designer Jane McGonigal in her June 2012 TED talk video – 

Osooyoos Mayor Stu Wells, who participated in the Okanagan game, believes drought in the region is a matter of when, not if. “To ensure the most positive outcomes, we need to know where the need for water is going to be, and what the consequences and trade offs of our decisions will be. “Our town has a drought management plan, but after this tournament, we need to review it and look at providing more incentives for water conservation. We want to prepare to be as resilient as possible.” The game has continued to improve. AAFC says it is working on a tool kit so people in other Canadian regions—and beyond—can run their own versions and have a bit of fun in the process.

WATER BROTHERS BACK FOR 2ND SEASON! – TVO

 WATER BROTHERS1

Beach brothers back in the water for second season on TVO

This article, by Jon Muldoon, appeared in Beach Metro Community News, September 10, 2013
 

Alex and Tyler Mifflin star in The Water Brothers, which launches its second season September 10 on TVO. Photo courtesy TVOAlex and Tyler Mifflin star in The Water Brothers, which launches its second season September 10 on TVO. Photo courtesy TVO

Beachers Alex and Tyler Mifflin care mostly about three things – one is oxygen, and the other two are hydrogen. The Water Brothers, as the siblings are more widely known, are proud to launch the second season of their eponymous television show tonight, Sept. 10, on TVO.
The brothers sat down last week to talk about all things wet and adventurous, including learning to sail large boats, travelling to the largest festival in the world, ever, in India, and of course focusing on problems in our own back yard, such as the lack of clean drinking water in northern First Nations communities, a national shame in a country blessed with as much fresh water as Canada.
“There’s a vastly disproportionate impact on First Nations,” said Tyler.
So why focus on water to begin with?
“Everything is interconnected through water,” said Alex.
Even though social, environmental, economic and political issues all tie in to clean water, “we don’t see the connections. It’s not always obvious to us,” said Tyler.
While the brothers are passionate about water issues, they realize that working in television, they need to keep their message entertaining, particularly to reach a younger audience. That’s where the travel and adventure comes into play.
INDIA FESTIVAL   In one episode, the brothers travel to India for the Kumbh Mela Festival on the Ganges River, one of the most celebrated yet polluted rivers in the world.
On the same trip they carried on to Bangladesh, which Alex says is “the canary in the coal mine in terms of climate change.”
PACIFIC GARBAGE PATCHOne adventure sees Alex and Tyler sailing to a remote area in the Pacific ocean, to visit “the great Pacific garbage patch.”
On a related recent trip in Lake Ontario, the boys travelled with a crew to measure the amount of plastic debris in their home waters.
PLASTIC BOTTLES“We don’t have the capacity to filter out small pieces of plastic in our wastewater stream,” said Tyler. “It’s being produced even faster than we can figure out where it’s going.”
Another episode involves farmed fish in British Columbia, which might also hit close to home, at least with Toronto seafood lovers.
“Salmon is such an iconic species in Canada, especially on the west coast. It’s a keystone species,” said Tyler.
AlexSALMON agrees, pointing out that what we eat in Ontario creates a measurable impact on water quality in western Canada.
“We aren’t necessarily directly connected to the ocean, but we make food choices every day which do connect us to the ocean,” he said.
Both brothers agree that presenting solutions is a key aspect to their show. From large scale changes to individual choices, Alex and Tyler always try to present viewers with tangible actions they can take to effect change.
Although the brothers are already in the early planning stages for season three, the current season is set to premiere on TVO tonight, Tuesday, Sept. 10, at 7:30 p.m. The episodes can also be streamed any time after broadcast at tvo.org and thewaterbrothers.ca.
QUENCH WATER FINDERAlex and Tyler are also working on redesigning and expanding Quench, their mobile app which offers users a map of the closest taps to fill up on clean water in the GTA, to help reduce reliance on plastic bottles. Quench can be downloaded for Android and iPhone.
Anyone interested in helping out directly alongside the Water Brothers can join Alex and Tyler, and many others, at Woodbine Beach on the morning of Saturday, Sept. 21 for the annual Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup.

http://www.beachmetro.com/2013/09/10/beachers-alex-tyler-mifflin-care-oxygen-hydrogen-water-brothers-siblings-widely-known-proud-launch-season-eponymous-television-show-tonight-sept-10-tvo-brothers-sat-week-talk-wet-adv/

WHY DEVELOP AND POPULATE FLOOD PLAINS AREAS?

The following is a an article in WaterCanada July/Aug 2013 issue ~ Life on the Flood Plains
Why does development continue in areas of risk?

Collages4

IN JUNE, roughly 100,000 people in Calgary and southern Alberta found themselves displaced during what the government called the worst flood in the province’s history. Though the extent of the damage will not be fully realized for months, reports have suggested the costs could be close to $5 billion.

At the recent Canadian Water Summit, held in Calgary just days after the flooding, experts suggested that many areas of Canada have significant, comprehensive, and historic data about climate variability and flood plains. So why does a natural event have to cause so much extensive damage?

The simple answer might be that, despite the available information, we continue to develop in flood plains. At the summit, consultant Lisa Maria Fox showed a photo of knee-deep relief workers downtown. The backdrop? A large billboard advertising condos with a dream waterfront view.

Collages3

What’s the solution? Short of ceasing development on properties we deem valuable, municipalities can require developers to have homebuyers sign a covenant stating they understand the risk. Chilliwack, British Columbia has bylaws to this effect. One Calgarian summit participant said she had no idea she lived in a flood plain until the flood happened, so another person suggested street signs in key areas indicating what to do in case of flood, since, in many cases, people are not aware of the risk.

STOP NESTLE’S FREE EXTRACTION OF BC WATER

BC GROUNDWATER

Water is our most precious resource.  It nourishes us, helps grow our food, and keeps our cities and forests clean.  British Columbia is endowed with some of the best water resources in the world.

So why, instead of protecting our water, are we letting companies have it for free?

Today, news broke that Nestle, one of the world’s largest food and water companies, has been bottling upwards of 265 million liters of British Columbia water EVERY YEAR…for nothing.  That is a small lake each year, gone, sold for corporate profit.

This water belongs to the citizens or people of British Columbia, and is NOT meant to be exploited by a Corporation for profit.  Call on the BC Environmental Ministry and Provincial Government to immediately change the law and force Nestle to pay a fair price for the water it sells every year.  This can’t stand.

As of August 22, 2013 4:55 p.m. we have 5,412 signatures, help us get to 10,000.

PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION by clicking on the link below – MANY THANKS!!!

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/328/443/296/stop-nestles-free-extraction-of-bc-water/

NESTLE SIGNHere’s an excellent article on this topic ~

WATER SHOULD BE A ‘PUBLIC TRUST’…

http://www.theprovince.com/news/Wild+West+groundwater+Billion+dollar+company+extracting+drinking+water+free/8785227/story.html