Tag Archives: drinking water

Blue City (Water Sustainable) of the future

1-BLUE CITY

The following excerpt,Blue City – What does the water sustainable city of the future look like?”, by Kirk Stinchcombe, Louise Brennan, and Jenn Willoughby is from WaterCanada Magazine, March/April 2014 issue

… Embedded in the phrase Water Sustainable City of the Near Future are four concepts:
• By city we mean a municipal environment of any size. We tend to think specifically of Canadian cities, but many of the insights would apply anywhere.
• By sustainable, we mean the capacity to endure. This includes biological systems that remain diverse and productive over time. It also implies the potential for long-term maintenance of human well-being. We think broadly and include ecological, community, and financial aspects.
• By water, we mean drinking water, storm water and waste water. We think of water quality, quantity, and availability.
• By near future, we think along variable time frames.
Some aspects of water sustainability are attainable within
as few as five years. Changes that are more difficult could
take perhaps 20 years to realize. Still others, such as
replacement of major infrastructure, may take more time…

Eight Blue City Case Studies.
Blue City is an attainable place. Many of its exemplary
characteristics are found in real cities across Canada and
around the world. The full report contains eight case
studies that describe various aspects of a water sustainable
urban environment.
ATRIUM1. Building Design (City of Victoria, British Columbia)
The Atrium Building is a seven-storey, 204,000-squarefoot retail and office building at the edge of downtown Victoria. It is a multi-award winning project with acclaimed stormwater innovations.
OKATAKS2.  Water in Decision-Making (Okotoks, Alberta)
Okotoks is a town of 24,511, located just south of
Calgary. The town has an innovative relationship
between bylaws and incentive programs to encourage continuous improvements in water conservation.
3. Blue Built Program (Guelph, Ontario)BLUE BUILT
The City of Guelph administers a certification program that provides rebates for new homes that meet an approved set of water-efficient standards, ranging from faucet aerators to rainwater harvesting systems.
4. Conservation-Oriented Pricing (Seattle)SEATTLE
Seattle Public Utilities has charged rates based on
volume for decades and has been fully metered since
1920. In 1989, it was among the first in North America to introduce seasonal surcharges.
GREEN ROOF5. Developer Incentives (Chicago)
The Green Permit Program offers progressive developers an expedited permitting process and other incentives in exchange for incorporating items from a “Green Menu” of strategies and technologies in their projects.
EPCOR6. Performance-Based Regulation (Edmonton, Alberta)
Since 2002, the City of Edmonton and EPCOR Water Services have operated according to performance based regulations, a mechanism that prevents overspending, defines expectations, and lays out
penalties in the case of under performance.
HALIFAX7. Utility Performance Measurement (Halifax, Nova Scotia)
Halifax Water is the first regulated water, wastewater, and stormwater utility in Canada. Its pressure and
leakage management program has resulted in annual
savings in operating costs of $600,000.
AUSTRALIA8. Source Substitution (Australia)
Pimpama-Coomera is a large greenfield development located on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia.
It has a dedicated Class A+ recycled water treatment plant and entirely separate pipe system to supply homes and businesses in the area with water suitable
for toilet flushing and garden irrigation…
Blue City offers a vision of a place where water is visible and valued, recognized as integral to the community’s economic, social, and environmental well-being…

Areas for Action
The water leaders interviewed in Blue City identified four priority areas for action: 
1 Financial Responsibility:
Sustainable utilities focus on levels of service, develop asset management plans, and embrace life-cycle costing.
In pricing services, utilities aim for full-cost recovery and structure their rates to influence behaviours.
2 Progressive Regulation and Governance:
Progressive regulations and incentivebased programs complement each other in driving performance and ultimately achieving water
sustainability goals. A well-designed utility governance structure facilitates information flow and achieves resource efficiencies.
3 Customer-Oriented Information:
Utilities measure their performance. This facilitates transparent reporting and informs planning processes. In a sustainable
city, information is shared, integrated, and audience-specific.
4 Cutting-Edge Technology:
Transformative utilities figure out how to incorporate technology
that makes source separation economically viable. Sustainable
cities have infrastructure that maintains the natural environment
and minimizes the impact of activities on native ecosystems…

The idea at the heart of the report is that the decisions
we make today will determine what the city looks like in
five, 10, and even 100 years. With a shared vision in place, taking small, frequent steps is possible. Together, we can navigate diversity and complexity, and ultimately move a real city toward a better future.
AUTHORS

Kirk Stinchcombe and Louise Brennan are Sustainability Specialists at Econics. Jenn Willoughby is Manager of Strategic Marketing and Outreach at Canadian Water Network.

The full version can be found online at http://www.blue-economy.ca. 

Road Deicer ~ Beet Juice! Sugarcane Molasses! Cheese Brine! ~ Say What?

ROCK SALT1

Article, “What Happens to All the Salt We Dump On the Roads?”, by Joseph Stromberg, smithsonianmag.com, Jan. 6, 2014
I’ve included 2 videos – see below.
NEW SALT TRUCK

In the U.S., road crews scatter about 137 pounds of salt per person annually to melt ice. Where does it go after that?

As much of the country endures from the heavy snowfall and bitter cold that has marked the start of 2014, municipalities in 26 states will rely on a crucial tool in clearing their roads: salt.

Because the freezing point of salty water is a lower temperature than pure water, scattering some salt atop ice or snow can help accelerate the melting process, opening up the roads to traffic that much sooner. It’s estimated that more than 22 million tons of salt are scattered on the roads of the U.S. annually—about 137 pounds of salt for every American.

But all that salt has to go somewhere. After it dissolves—and is split into sodium and chloride ions—it gets carried away via runoff and deposited into both surface water (streams, lakes and rivers) and the groundwater under our feet.

POT HOLEConsider how easily salt can corrode your car. Unsurprisingly, it’s also a problem for the surrounding environment—so much that in 2004, Canada categorized road salt as a toxin and placed new guidelines on its use. And as more and more of the U.S. becomes urbanized and suburbanized, and as a greater number of roads criss-cross the landscape, the mounting piles of salt we dump on them may be getting to be a bigger problem than ever.

MOHAWK RIVERData from long-term studies of watersheds bear this out. A group of scientists that tracked salt levels from 1952 to 1998 in the Mohawk River in Upstate New York for instance founds that concentrations of sodium and chloride increased by 130 and 243 percent, respectively, with road salting the primary reason as the surround area became more developed. More recently, a study of the Mohawk River in Upstate New York, for instance, found that concentrations of sodium and chloride increased by 130 and 243 percent, respectively, with road salting the primary reason as the surround  area became more developed. More recently, a study of a stream in southeastern New York State that was monitored from 1986 to 2005 found a similar pattern, with significant annual increases and road salting to blame for an estimated 91 percent of sodium chloride in the watershed.

ROAD SALTBecause it’s transported more easily than sodium, chloride is the greater concern, and in total, an estimated 40 percent of the country’s urban streams have chloride levels that exceed safe guidelines for aquatic life, largely because of road salt.
This chloride can occasionally impact human water use, mostly because some penetrates into the groundwater we tap for drinking purposes. Water utilities most frequently report complaints of salty drinking water during the winter, when chloride concentrations are likely to exceed 250 parts per million (ppm), our taste buds’ threshold for detecting it.

This is an especially DANGERS OF SALT CROPbig issue for people on salt restrictive diets. Overall, though, road salt-laced drinking water isn’t a widespread problem: A 2009 USGS study found that fewer than 2 percent of the drinking wells sampled had chloride levels that surpassed federal standards.

GREEN GLOBERoad salt pollution is generally a bigger issue for the surrounding environment and the organisms that live in it. It’s estimated that chloride concentrations above 800 ppm are harmful to most freshwater aquatic organisms. Because these high levels interfere with how animals regulate the uptake of salt into their bodies—and for short periods after a snow melt, wetlands nearby highways can surpass these levels. A range of studies has found that chloride from road salt can negatively impact the survival rates of crustaceans, amphibians ROCK SALTsuch as salamanders and frogs, fish, plants and other organisms. There’s even some evidence that it could hasten invasions of non-native plant species—in one marsh by the Massachusetts Turnpike, a study found that it aided the spread of salt-tolerant invasives.

On a broader scale, elevated salt concentrations can reduce water circulation in lakes and ponds (because salt affects water’s density), preventing oxygen from reaching bottom layers of water. It can also interfere with a body of water’s natural chemistry, reducing the overall nutrient load. DAMAGED TREESOn a smaller scale, highly concentrated road salt can dehydrate and kill trees and plants growing next to roadways, creating desert conditions because the plants have so much more difficulty absorbing water. In some cases, dried salt crystals can attract deer and moose to busy roads, increasing their chance of becoming roadkill.

DEERHow can we avoid killing trees and making roadkill of deer while de-icing the roads? Recently, in some areas, transportation departments have begun pursuing strategies to reduce salt use. Salting before a storm, instead of after, can prevent snow and ice from binding to the asphalt, making the post-storm cleanup a little bit easier and allowing road crews to use less salt overall. Mixing the salt with slight amounts of water allows it to spread more, and blending in sand or gravel lets it to stick more easily and improve traction for cars.


Elsewhere, municipalities are trying out alternate de-icing compounds. Over the past few years, beet juice, sugarcane molasses and cheese brine, among other substances, have been mixed in with salt to reduce the overall chloride load on the environment. These don’t eliminate the need for conventional salt, but they could play a role in cutting down just how much we dump on the roads.

JOSDPH STROMBERG SMITHSONIANJoseph Stromberg writes about science, technology and the environment for Smithsonian and has also contributed to Slate, the Verge, Salon and other outlets.

WATERCANADA MAGAZINE RELATED ARTICLE
“Where Does the Road Salt Go?”, written by Justin Clarke, appeared in WaterCanada’s Jan./Feb. 2014 issue. 
DURING MY TIME as an environmental consultant, I toured most of Southern Ontario by travelling between job sites. Over the past 15 years, I have noticed changes to our roadside landscapes. As I watched city and town limits grow, roads were often upgraded and salted in the winter to assist the local traffic… Ultimately, we must find a viable solution to keep our roadsides safe and our natural environment healthy. We must stop prioritizing one over the other. 
JUSTIN CLARKJustin Clarke who is the environmental
sales and services coordinator of
MAXIM Environmental and Safety Inc.

http://watercanada.net/archives/#

Arsenic Presence and Detection in Groundwater

TOADS_CANADIAN

This short article, “What the Toad Knows” appears in Jan./Feb. issue of WaterCanada magazine.
WHAT CAN AMPHIBIANS tell us about arsenic levels in groundwater? Iris Koch and a team composed of researchers
CAN LIGHT SOURCEfrom the Royal Military College of Canada and scientists from the Canadian Light Source said frogs and toads could hold the key to arsenic detection in freshwater sites.

UPPER SEAL HARBOURThe team studied amphibians living in an old mine tailings site near Upper Seal Harbour, Nova Scotia. The animals showed high levels of arsenic after being tested using synchrotron light.
CONTAMINATED WATER SIGN“Any time you have water that’s contaminated, the organisms that are living in the water will likely give you some idea of how toxic the water is,” Koch said. “Organisms might respond in ways that indicate that they are being poisoned.”
TOAD IN WATERWhile the amphibians appeared to be relatively healthy despite displaying very detectable levels of inorganic arsenic, which is typically toxic, Koch said the biggest outcome of the research is understanding arsenic movement in the environment.
TAILING POND“At the end of the day, looking at a contaminated site like the one in Nova Scotia, we are interested in whether any of the arsenic in the soil and tailings gets into plants and animals,” she said. “We can learn about what animals do with the arsenic in their bodies and this might be helpful in predicting how people might interact with the arsenic, if they were exposed to it.”
Groundwater arsenic contamination is an international health concern since many countries, including China, India, Bangladesh, and Nepal, are dealing with widespread contamination issues. —Staff

In my follow-up research I found the following information on pages 9 and 10 (including a comparison chart) of a report on arsenic found in drinking water in Canadian provinces at –   href=”http://www.fraserhealth.ca/media/ArsenicReportSurreyLangley.pdf”
“Arsenic is found in both surface and groundwater, and levels are generally higher in groundwater (Wang & Mulligan, 2006). In Canada, total arsenic levels in drinking water  generally fall well below the MAC, although elevated concentrations have been found in areas with natural sources of arsenic. High levels of arsenic have been found in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, and Nova Scotia, and in British Columbia (Table 1).
MINERALSMany of the Canadian arsenic occurrences have been associated with naturally occurring mineralized deposits, usually of volcanic origin. Finding high levels of arsenic in surficial materials is somewhat unusual unless they can be traced to the mineralized source area.”

Well water testing and source protection
Well owners are encouraged to test their water periodically to make sure it is safe to drink. When testing for arsenic,
a “low level” analysis is required to ensure that the minimum detection limit of the analytical method used by the
laboratory is below the drinking water guideline.

Call us if you have concerns about the condition of your water
and your family’s health.
WATER DROPLET HAPPY ICON GIMPCROPPED We offer a free home water analysis at
Eternally Pure Water Systems, Inc.
613-742-0058
Mon. – Fri.   9:00-5:00

RAINSOFT1

Associated link ~
http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/wsd/plan_protect_sustain/groundwater/library/ground_fact_sheets/pdfs/as(020715)_fin3.pdf

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/

WATER BROTHERS ~ STOP DRINKING BOTTLED WATER!

BOTTLED WATER1

IMAGEAddicted to bottled water? You can save lots of money a month if you can kick your bottled water habit and start using good, old fashioned tap water. This infographic argues the point that bottled water isn’t any more superior than regular water and that we are all being conned by marketers to buy priced up water.

Don’t like the way your local tap water tastes?

We have answers to the above question ~ a whole house carbon filtration system that leaves you with pure, clean and healthy water for a lifetime ~ watch our video.

Why You Should Stop Drinking Bottled Water

RAINSOFTHOUSEWITHLOGOAND TEXT FOR BLOG

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/

SOPHISTICATED GROUNDWATER MONITORING VIA SATELLITE

WATERCANADALOGOThe following excerpts are taken from Water Canada’s March/April 2013 article, “UNDERGROUND NETWORK – From sensors below the surface to satellites  somewhere in orbit, groundwater monitoring is becoming more  sophisticated”, by Erin Pehlivan.

HELEN APIO CHARITY.ORGHelen Apio is filled with joy as she collects clean water in her Northern Uganda village.  When she didn’t have water, she would walk to the nearest well—2.4 kilometres away—and wait in line with hundreds of other women, clutching two empty five-gallon water cans, anticipating stock.

BC GROUNDWATERCharity: water has helped women like Apio by introducing a unique water technology that detects groundwater in developing countries. Founded in 2006, charity: water’s first project was to install six wells in a Ugandan refugee camp.  They bought a GPS for $100, took it to Uganda, visited each project location and plotted six points on Google Maps, making the information and images public on their website.  Six years later, the charity has funded over 6,994 water projects in 20 countries serving over 2.5 million people with clean drinking waterCHARITY PUMP SENSORSThey have recently been allocated US$5 million for a pilot project via Google’s Global Impact Award to develop remote sensor technology specifically for groundwater.

So far, the charity has mapped each of its water projects to see how they function in real-time.  The remote sensor technology will help keep them posted on whether water is flowing at any of their projects, at any given time, anywhere in the world.

The efficient design of remote sensor technology means that individual community members don’t need to visit every project physically to ensure constant water flow.  These sensors manage time, budgets and resources with ease, allowing more time to be spent analyzing the actual water sample itself in the lab.

Below the surface: While real-time technology is growing more common throughout the water industry, groundwater applications are scarce.

RICHARDRichard Kolacz, president of Global Spatial Technology Solutions Inc. (GSTS), observes smart sensor capabilities that connect to groundwater sensors in Canada, allowing people to collect information from the sensors remotely.

GSTS LOGO2One Ontario conservation authority is already using one of GSTS’s water sensor prototypes on site.  Initially, conservation authorities collected information manually.  Now they’re able to collect it remotely.  “We’ve developed an interface – a means of connecting to a groundwater sensor— to collect information in a format that the conservation authority likes,” says Kolacz.  “Rather than waiting six months or more to collect data, they could have it back instantly.”

GROUNDWATER SENSORSThe data coming from groundwater sensors to conservation authorities allows them to monitor water quality and quantity, and helps them understand the health and use of the water.

What’s so important about monitoring water data?  The data could help First Nations communities in northern Ontario, according to Kolacz.  “We would have the ability to monitor key data points on potentially clean or waste water treatment plants, and provide opportunities to monitor the health and status of those facilities remotely,” he says.

Much like charity: water, the difficulty with GSTS’s prototype comes from having to train staff to manage facilities. The data still has to be analyzed, and the quality of that analysis depends upon a certain level of knowledge.

Please note:  I found the following YouTube video, published on Mar 27, 2013, that is directly related to the above information.  Mr. Kolacz speaks about GSTS’s most recent application regarding goundwater monitoring.  His presentation dealing with this topic runs from 3:20 to 7:30 on the video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=tEIb4z3YFe0#at=237

CHARITY SENSORS2Meanwhile, charity: water’s goal is to develop and install 4,000 low-cost remote sensors in existing and new water projects globally, all of which will transmit real-time data to the charity, its partners, and eventually to donors via status updates.  Canada can learn from this model. According to the 2010 Review and Assessment of Canadian Groundwater Resources, Management, Current Research Mechanisms and Priorities by theCCME LOGO Canadian Council of Ministers of the  Environment, practitioners in the field need access to organized groundwater data.  With projects like the ones charity: water and GSTS are piloting, that access can skyrocket.

SATELITEGroundwater is a valuable resource, but it is poorly understood and expensive to investigate. Incentives to effectively manage the resource are low. But respondents of the aforementioned review demand significant effort from the provincial government databases to provide up-to-date groundwater information accessible online. And once we embrace the new insights of cloud-based collaboration and networked sensor arrays, science-based policy will develop and advance, leading to more responsible water resource management and investments – especially when it comes to the murky and mysterious water that flows beneath us. Erin Pehlivan is a Toronto-based writer.

Related links ~

http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/earth-sciences/geography-boundary/remote-sensing/geospatial/1196

for Charity:water ~ http://washfunders.org/Blog/(offset)/30

CANADA ~ A WATER SOLUTIONS COUNTRY

WATER SOLUTIONS COUNTRY1

“A WATER SOLUTIONS COUNTRY –  Strategic steps for a more competitive water sector in Canada lead the way to global opportunities” – excerpts taken from the May/June issue of Water Canada by David Crane.

The availability and quality of water is the overarching challenge facing the global community in the 21st century. It is also Canada’s opportunity.

WORLD POPULATIONA world population that is projected to add 2.5 billion people by 2050, a global economy that is forecast to quadruple in this same period, the prospect of adding one billion people to the global middle class, and a sharp increase in the number of people in big cities will mean a an unprecedented demand for water. GLOBE WITH TAPAs well as more people, which will mean much greater need for clean water and sanitation, a bigger population with rising incomes means a much higher level of consumption of food, energy, natural resources, and industrial products—all of which will also increase the demand for water.

CLIMATE CHANGEAdd the expected impact of climate change on the distribution and availability of water, which could leave large numbers of people facing severe water stress, and the threats of drought and floods to food production, and it’s clear water is the most serious challenge we face. We can substitute batteries for oil in automobiles, but there is no substitute for water. So we face a water-stressed world.

WORLD WATER FORUMNeed, however, equals opportunity. The challenge is for Canada to contribute to water strategies and help the world meet the global water challenge. How do we utilize our strengths—the excellence of our engineering and technical Graduates, our proven academic research capabilities, and our innovative companies that can deliver water goods and services to build up a strong water sector—to generate new jobs and competitive companies while helping to meet the overarching global challenge?

WATER SOLUTIONS COUNTRY3

Steps for a world water strategy: First, Canadians need to raise the level of understanding, not only among policymakers but also among the wider public; that there is an enormous challenge facing the world and that there is also a significant opportunity for Canada, by strengthening our research base and the strength of our companies. This is the first great challenge—to identify our water champions who will provide the leadership to make Canada a water-solutions country. These champions must come not only from academia and our clean water companies but also from the user community, our municipalities, and businesses that need a safe and reliable water supply. Water users have a significant stake in a solutions strategy. OUTDOOR CANADAThere is the risk of complacency due to a widespread public assumption that Canada’s abundant water supply means we don’t face water challenges. Yet Canada itself faces challenges—to improve water quality and sanitation performance, meet the threats of droughts and floods in agricultural lands, ensure the efficient and sustainable use of water in energy and mining industries, meet the water needs of First Nations, and improve water efficiency and conservation technologies and practices in the economy and society. LIGHTBULBMeeting domestic challenges through innovative solutions will strengthen the research base and the capabilities and competitiveness of Canadian water companies. This means efforts to balance federal and provincial budgets must not come at the expense of research or improvements in water infrastructure. Cutting these investments would mean a weaker future Canadian economy. Research and infrastructure spending are investments in a more secure and sustainable future. Another challenge needs to be addressed: How do we grow more small companies into mid-size or large companies? Canada is very successful in starting companies, but many water companies are small and remain small. They face significant challenges in obtaining the capital needed to develop new products or services, pursue new domestic and foreign markets, build the management strengths they need for success, and scale up so that users and systems integrators in Canada and elsewhere are confident in using their products or services. Many promising smaller companies fail to make the transition to significant scale, which means they can become takeover targets by large multinational corporations seeking their proprietary technologies. While federal and provincial programs that support company technology development are important, we also need to find ways to strengthen the equity base of promising Canadian companies. It is equity rather than debt that enables companies to innovate and to pursue new products or markets.

There are many advantages in Canada, including a well-developed research base, a significant number of companies with proprietary technologies and experience in the global marketplace, easy access to the U.S. and Mexican markets (which have huge future water needs), universities and colleges that graduate high-quality engineers and technicians, and some well-targeted government programs to assist small and mid-size companies. Given these strengths, failing to capitalize on them to meet the enormous world need for water solutions would represent a huge lost opportunity for Canada.

DAVID CRANEDavid Crane is an award-winning Canadian writer and the author of Canada as the Water Solutions Country: Defining the Opportunities, a discussion paper published by the Blue Economy Initiative.

WATER CRISIS ~ TO FLUSH OR NOT TO FLUSH?

  CONSERVE NOW  

The following excerpt is from a livingliberally.org blog, submitted by KAT on Mon,10/22/2007 http://livingliberally.org/eating/story__not_so_flush_oct_22_2007_id721

TOILETMore and more of my friends are flushing their toilets less and less. In fact, some of us are even flushing each other’s toilets less and less. That may sound like a ghastly breach of etiquette to the vast majority of Americans, but when you’re as immersed in water issues as some of my friends are, you start to feel foolish about flushing away gallons of water just to disperse, say, a pint of pee.

CARBON FOOTPRINTMost of us have barely begun to size up our carbon footprint, and the concept of “peak oil” is just starting to seep into the MSM. But Jon Gertner’s chilling story on thePERFECT DROUGHT cover of Sunday’s New York Times Magazine, The Perfect Drought, adds two new phrases to the lexicon of looming limitations: “peak water,” (criticalWATER FOOTPRINT water shortages in the future, or peak water), and “water footprint.”

MONGOLIA DROUGHT

This YouTube video is not part of the article, but I’ve included it to add impact to the severity of the drought situation –  “Desert Overtaking Inner Mongolia“, uploaded on Sep 23, 2011, by circleofblue ~
         

The West is dry as a bone, as Malibu’s transformation from hot spot to inferno so vividly illustrates, and the fires are spreading SANDIEGO FIREfrom San Diego to Santa Barbara. The drought is so severe in North Georgia that Governor Sonny Perdue has called on President Bush to declare 85 counties federal disaster areas.

All of which lends credence to Gertner’s claim that a severe water crisis is already in the pipeline. An extended drought LOW WATER RESEVOIRcompounded by climate change has left reservoirs at an all-time low just when more and more people are relocating to the increasingly arid West. There’s not enough water to meet the growing demands of agriculture and development, and the situation is only going to get worse—much, much worse, according to the experts Gertner interviewed.

Pat Mulroy, head of Southern Nevada’s Water Authority, told Gertner: “We have an exploding human population, and we DESERThave a shrinking clean water supply. Those are on colliding paths…the people who move to the West today need to realize they’re moving into a desert…if they want to live in a desert, they have to adapt to a desert lifestyle.”

CALIFORNIA IRRIGATIONThose of us who hail from the irrigated deserts of California are familiar with the water-wise mantra “If it’s yellow, let it mellow; if it’s brown, flush it down,” or what Treehugger has dubbed “the selective flush.” But, as Treehugger noted, the Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, caused a furor when he suggested that Londoners might want to think twice before flushing.

DOUBLE FLUSH CONTROLOn this side of the Atlantic, the squandering of water is not only accepted, but expected. Ann Coulter decries the low-flush toilet as the epitome of liberal lunacy. Coulter once told Slate: … everything that is unpleasant in life has been brought to us by liberals. One of them is the fact that we can only have two tablespoons of water in our toilet bowls because of some idiotic conservation of water… You throw half a tissue in the toilet and you have to flush it 16 times… 

GREEN LAWNAnd then there’s the ubiquitous American lawn, utterly unsuited to much of the country’s climate, yet mandated by local ordinances… I was delighted by a Daily Kos diary DAILY KOSthe other day devoted to a Boulder, Colorado CSA (community supported agriculture) run by a farmer, Kipp Nash, who works with suburban homeowners to convert useless lawns into productive vegetable patches.

SALAD BOWLLettuce in lieu of lawns? If our nation’s salad bowl turns into a dust bowl, we’re going to need a nation of Kipp Nashes to keep us in greens. The impending water crisis threatens the very foundation of our current agricultural system, which not only sucks up a huge percentage of theROYT West’s water, but also spews copious amounts of chemicals back into our water supply, as Elizabeth Royte documents in her thorough–and thoroughly distressing–recent Grist feature, From Bad to Thirst.

Water’s been on the verge of becoming the new oil for awhile, now, but with the evidence mounting fast that we’re on the verge of being tapped out, maybe the need to conserve will finally sink in. Or, we could just keep flushing away. I’m sure Ann Coulter will.

SAVE THE RAIN APP – FIND YOUR OWN HOUSE!

SAVE THE RAIN

IMPORTANT NOTE:  IN ORDER TO USE THIS APP YOU MUST ACCESS THIS BLOG SITE BY USING GOOGLE CHROME, SAFARI, FIREFOX OR INTERNET EXPLORER 9. (I tried using my IE 8 and it does not work, so I’m using Google Chrome.)

FIRST: Watch this ‘how to’ video for instructions on using the app

SECOND: Click on the link following for the article and under the video click on the green “Go To App”. Find out how much water you could capture in a year. Draw a box over your roof. You might be surprised!  Have some fun with this – enter the White House address or your own City Hall address and check out the results.

http://www.apps4ottawa.ca/en/apps/73

Description: On July 11, 2012, Ottawa City Council passed the new 2012 Green Building Promotion Program. Green buildings constitute high levels of environmental performance in design, construction and operation. Energy, water and resource efficiency are a key components of a Green Building. Harvesting rainwater or recycling grey water to irrigate lawns and flush toilets is a significant green building technique. The Save the Rain app facilitates the rainwater harvesting process by calculating annually how much rain can be captured from a rooftop.

Drinking Water Summary data (communal wells) – http://app06.ottawa.ca/en/city_hall/statisticsdata/opendata/info/well_water/
Ontario

Well Record data -
http://www.ene.gov.on.ca/environment/en/resources/collection/data_downloads/index.htm#Well Records

The value it provides to residents: For centuries, people have collected rainwater for drinking, washing and irrigation purposes. With the advent of municipal water treatment, rainwater collection became less popular in urbanized centres, though water storage cisterns can still be found in old farmhouses across Canada. But recently, rainwater harvesting has experienced an increase in popularity in countries around the globe as a result of droughts, water shortages and the rising costs of drinking water and stormwater infrastructure. Canada, too, is experiencing an increase in rainwater harvesting for lawn and garden irrigation, and many municipalities have begun to offer rebates for rain barrels. But larger, more sophisticated systems that capture, store, treat and redirect greater quantities of rainwater for other uses are still relatively new. (src: http://www.dcnonl.com/nw/32111/—rainwater-harvesting)

The Save the Rain app facilitates the rainwater harvesting design process by calculating annually how much rain can be captured from any rooftop. The Save the Rain app also displays the Ottawa communal well locations and associated water quality reports.

Related link ~ very informative

http://www.dcnonl.com/nw/32111/—rainwater-harvesting