Category Archives: Environment

Wolves Change Yellowstone’s River’s Course ~ Remarkable Video

WOLVES

The following excerpts are from ‘How Exactly Wolves Change the Course of Rivers’ by Ray Molina of yourdailymedia.com Mar. 1, 2014

I know you’re thinking that this can’t be possible – just read on!
Just this week ViralNova posted this topic so I thought I’d republish it for those who missed it on Mar. 4, 2014.  The video is really a must see.

…Trophic cascade is when the behavior of top predators have a trickling down effect on their environment. Let’s call these predators the “one percent.”
WOLVES LARGE ANIMALS
The one percent may be vicious killing machines who think only of themselves, but even bad intentions could have good outcomes. We are finding out that their murderous ways can be useful in controlling the over population of herbivores that are eating more than their fair share, which leaves little for a multitude of other animals lower on the food chain.
WOLVES WATER MAMMALS
Eventually there will be plenty of wolves, perhaps even too many, and at some point we may need to protect the rest of the food chain from these top predators.
WOLVES WATER BIRDS
But like most things, if not everything, there’s a time and a place.
WOLVES WATERFALLS
I do wonder about whether or not the Ecosystems would have just found a new way to balance themselves out over time. Who knows how long that might have taken though, or maybe it’s currently happening in ways we cannot yet witness.
WOLVES SCENES
The main culprit of our Eco failures is you and me through our destruction of habitats through land-developing and hunting and pollution. We really blew it, and now we’re trying to cut our losses by celebrating animals that repair our mistakes.

In the video below, Author/Activist George Monbiot describes to an audience at TED the effects of Wolves that were reintroduced into Yellowstone National Park in the mid 90’s.
He describes how the wolves, in a relatively short period of time, have transformed the landscape and allowed more varieties of life to flourish. And wolves did it in ways we never expected.
It’s a humbling reminder of just how connected life on this planet really is.

The original TED talk by George Monbiot, gives numerous examples of how “rewilding” our ecosystem can give us back the earth our predecessors had the privilege of experiencing.

NOTE: There are “elk” pictured in this video when the narrator is referring to “deer.” This is because the narrator is British and the British word for “elk” is “red deer” or “deer” for short. The scientific report this is based on refers to elk so we wanted to be accurate with the truth of the story.

When wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park in the United States after being absent nearly 70 years, the most remarkable “trophic cascade” occurred. What is a trophic cascade and how exactly do wolves change rivers? George Monbiot explains in this movie remix.

Narration from TED: “For more wonder, rewild the world” by George Monbiot. Watch the full talk, here: http://bit.ly/N3m62h

Article link – http://www.yourdailymedia.com/post/how-exactly-do-wolves-change-rivers

Drinking Water Contaminated ~ Drugs on Tap

  DRUGS IN WATER         Scientists are re-designing pharmaceuticals and other contaminants to keep them out of our drinking water.

MAIN IMAGEMaking pharmaceuticals that degrade before they can contaminate drinking water.

DRUGS ON TAPIn recent years, researchers have realized that many products, including pharmaceuticals, have ended up where they’re not supposed to be — in our drinking water. But now scientists have developed a way to make drugs that break down into harmless compounds before they contaminate our taps.

Pub JMESTheir report appears in ACS’ journal
ACSEnvironmental Science & Technology.

 

 

 

PROPRANOLOLThe researchers chose to work with a commonly used drug called propranolol — a beta blocker prescribed to treat high blood pressure and to prevent heart problems. It is very stable and has been found in sewage. They made a small molecular change in its structure that didn’t affect its beta blocking activity but allowed it to break down more easily than the NON TOXICoriginal form. Further studies are needed, but initial testing showed that the altered drug and its byproducts are likely not toxic. The researchers suggest that a similar approach could be used to re-design other classes of drugs and chemicals to make them more environmentally friendly, too. 

COSMETICSA wide range of active ingredients originating from pesticides, shampoos, lotions, cosmetics, disinfectants and drugs get washed into sewage systems or rivers and streams, ending up in our tap water.

WILDLIFEScientists don’t have a complete picture yet of what effects these substances have on wildlife and human health, but they are a major concern. Researchers have detected them in low levels in streams and rivers across the United States and in other countries. To address the specific problem of medications in the environment, Klaus Kümmerer and colleagues made tweaks to pharmaceuticals so they degrade after they’ve passed through both the body and sewage treatment systems, which aren’t capable of scrubbing wastewater of all contaminants.

KLAUSDr. Klaus Kümmerer, professor of sustainable chemistry and material resources at the University of Lüneburg

The authors acknowledge funding from the German Ministry of Education and Research.

http://canadafreepress.com/articles-health/75133

Fun Water Facts ~ Part II

Image result for friday fun facts

WATER GLASSYou can refill an 8 oz glass of water approximately
15,000 times for the same cost as a six-pack of soda.

 

DISHWASHERAn automatic dishwasher uses approximately 9 to 12 gallons of water while hand washing dishes can use up to 20 gallons.

 

LEAKY FAUCETIf every household in America had a faucet that dripped once each second, 928 million gallons of water a day would leak away.

 

COWA dairy cow must drink four gallons of water to produce one gallon of milk.

 

One gallon of water weighs approximately 8½ pounds.

 

RAINFALLOne inch of rainfall drops 7,000 gallons, or nearly 30 tons of water, on a 60′ x 180′ piece of land.

 

Image result for newspaper300 million gallons of water are needed to produce a single day’s supply of U.S. newsprint.

 

Image result for A person should consume 2½ quarts of water per dayA person should consume 2½ quarts of water per day (from all sources of water, food, etc.) to maintain health.

 

CHICKEN65% of the human body is water,
75% of the human brain is water.

75% of a chicken, 80% of a pineapple, and 95% of a tomato is water.

FIRST WATER PIPESThe first water pipes in the U.S. were made of hollowed-out logs.

 

SENTINEL352 days – record of consecutive days with no measurable precipitation in Sentinel, AZ (Feb 1901 – Jan 1902).

 

MOST RAIN HAWAIIThe world’s rainiest place is Mt. Wai’ale’ale, Kauai, Hawaii. During an average year, there are only 15 dry days.

LAKE TAHOEThe water in Lake Tahoe could cover a flat area the size ofCalifornia 14 inches deep. This amount of water is enough to supply everyone in the U.S. with 50 gallons of water/day for 5 years.

NEVADANevada is the driest state in the nation with an average annual rainfall of only about 7 inches

 

World Water Week ~ Fun Water Facts

Image result for friday fun facts

PAISLEY SAND FILTERThe first municipal water filtration works opened in Paisley, Scotland in 1832.

 

CHLORINEMore than 79,000 tons of chlorine are used per year in the United States.

 

OCEAN WATEROf all the earth’s water, 97% is salt water found in oceans and seas. Only 1% of the earth’s water is available for drinking water. Two percent is currently frozen.

BODYAbout two thirds of the human body is water.
Some parts of the body contain more water than others.
For example,
70% of your skin is water.

 

PUBLIC WATER SUPPLIESPublic water suppliers process 38 billion gallons of water per day for domestic and public use.

A person can live more than a month without food, but only about a week, depending on conditions, without water.

Image result for 1 million miles of pipelines and aqueducts carry water in the United States and Canada.Approximately 1 million miles of pipelines and aqueducts carry water in the United States and Canada. That’s enough to circle the earth 40 times.

 

WATER WELL DRILLINGAbout 800,000 water wells are drilled each year in the United States for domestic, farming, commercial, and water testing purposes.

 

LAWNTypically, households consume at least 50% of their water by lawn watering.

 

TOILETInside, toilets use the most water,
with an average of 27 gallons
per person per day.

 

SAFE WATER ACTIn 1974, Congress passed the Safe Drinking Water Act to ensure that drinking water is safe for human consumption. The Act requires public water systems to monitor and treat drinking water for safety.

PRIVATE WELLSMore than 13 million households get their water from their own private wells and are responsible for treating and pumping the water themselves.

 

TOXIC CHEMICAL IN WATER Industries released
197 million pounds
of toxic chemicals
into waterways in 1990.
PUBLIC WATER SUPPLIES US AND CANADAThe average daily requirement for fresh water in the United States is about 40 billion gallons a day, with about 300 billion gallons used untreated for agriculture and commercial purposes.

INDOOR WATER USEEach person uses
about 100 gallons
of water a day at home.

 

SHOWERThe average five-minute shower takes between 15 to 25 gallons of water.

 

WATER DROPLET HAPPY ICON GIMPCROPPEDThere are more fun water facts to share

– check them out next Friday.

                            Have a great weekend everyone.

 

Armchair Travel ~ Horseback ~ Canada’s Great Divide

Image result for great divide

Riding the Great Divide

Photos from a journey through K-Country on horseback by Sabrina Doyle

Kananaskis Country is a giant scenic playground covering 4,257 square kilometers of the Rocky Mountain foothills. There are many ways to explore the region, but Andre Prefontaine chose to venture offroad on horseback (look for his story in the September 2015 travel issue of Canadian Geographic). Guiding him was the charismatic Dewy Matthews of Anchor Doutfitters. For seven days the group moved through the Highwood Range to the Continental Divide and into British Columbia. Here’s a glimpse into their trip.

The group makes their way up to Fording River Pass, along the continental divide, before crossing into British Columbia. After leaving the tree line behind they reached a large stony area where a patch of petrified horn coral dating back to the mid-to-late Cretaceous period, some 66 to 140 million years ago. (Photo courtesy Janet and Mike Michaud)

The group reaches British Columbia after crossing the continental divide. (Photo courtesy Janet and Mike Michaud)

Dewy scans the horizon on day 3, from the summit of a mountain he called the Strawberry Hills. (Photo courtesy Janet and Mike Michaud)

Atop the Strawberry Hills. (Photo courtesy Janet and Mike Michaud)

Lunch break on the summit of the Strawberry Hills afforded breathtaking 360 degree views of the valleys below. (Photo courtesy André Préfontaine/Canadian Geographic)

An early morning view of Mount McPhail through the mist. Taken at the third and final base camp along McPhail Creek. (Photo courtesy André Préfontaine/Canadian Geographic)

Photo courtesy André Préfontaine/Canadian Geographic

Three chuck wagons follow the Highwood River as the group makes their way out of the mountain back to High River Junction on the last day of the ride. The wagons contain all the gear and food for the seven-day ride. (Photo courtesy André Préfontaine/Canadian Geographic)

Dewy stands on a fossil patch on the way up to the Fording River Pass. (Photo courtesy Christine Thomas)

Dewy rides to the top Fording River Pass. (Photo courtesy Christine Thomas)

http://www.canadiangeographic.ca/travel/travel_magazine/sep15/great-divide-ride.asp

WATER DROPLET HAPPY ICON GIMPCROPPEDHope you enjoyed your horseback photo adventure                         into the great mountains of Canada. 

 Have a great weekend everyone – get out and enjoy some of your local events now that the extremely hot                                                  temperatures seem to be behind us.

Canadian Drinking Water Tests Failing

Investigation finds Canada’s drinking water testing falls short – posted on Water Technology on JUNE 19, 2015

OTTAWA, Ontario — A CBC News investigation found that many Canadian cities’ drinking water is not tested for harmful contaminants, according to CBC.ca.

Out of 18 cities, only Ottawa tested for all 75 substances outlined in the country’s drinking water guidelines, noted the article. The cities were asked to provide a list of health-related contaminants tested in water.

Calgary, Edmonton and Hailfax test for all but one of the substances, stated the article, while Quebec City tests for 62, Regina 52 and Winnipeg 49. Iqaluit and St. John’s test water for 20 contaminants.

Countries like the U.S. have mandatory requirements for water testing, reported the article, and experts believe Canada’s voluntary guidelines should be made enforceable as well. Currently, each province decides the frequency of its municipalities’ testing.

“They should be testing for everything, maybe not all the time, but at least on a periodic basis, rather than never testing for them at all,” said Eva Pip, a University of Winnipeg professor specializing in water quality and toxicology, in the article. “There is no such thing anymore as a pristine environment anywhere on this planet.”

The article reports that while some substances may not present an immediate threat, they do present long-term risks, even when present in low doses.

“Many of the chemicals which are of industrial origin could affect the liver, and in some cases they are carcinogens,” explained Chris Metcalfe, a Trent University professor in environmental and resource studies, in the article. “They can lead to the development of cancer if we’re exposed over a very long period of time.”

WATER DROPLET HAPPY ICON GIMPCROPPEDOnce again it seems that health issues relating to the water we drink are increasing and I along with many many others can breathe a sigh of relief. Although I am very concerned with this news, I do not have to worry about my drinking water.  Our Rainsoft Reverse Osmosis water treatment system removes the dangerous chemicals, pharmaceuticals, pesticides and herbicides leaving pure delicious tasting drinking and cooking water.

To learn more about our system please watch Martin’s video (below) and call for more information.

Eternally Pure Water Systems, Inc.
 5450 Canotek Rd, 66-67
 Ottawa, Ontario  K1J 9G5
Tel – (613) 742-0058
Fax – (613) 742-4209

Hours: Mon. – Fri. 9:00  – 5:00 

Consumers Choice Gold Winners – 2006, 07, 08, 09, 10 
Web Site – www.rainsoftofottawa.com
Twitter – http://twitter.com/Rainsoftottawa  
Blog – https://rainsoftottawa.wordpress.com/
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A+ Rating with BBB

Click here to read the entire article.

http://www.watertechonline.com/articles/170093-investigation-finds-canadas-drinking-water-testing-falls-short

Wild Canadian Fish Party on Cocaine and Oxycodone

TAKE THIS SERIOUSLY FOLKS!

1-FISH ON DRUGS ONTARIO

The blog title may seem frivolous to you folks, but our drinking water is next in line for these dangerous drugs leaching into our water. The three drugs mentioned are three of many abusive drugs.

The following article link to Munchies_ Food by VICE appeared in Drinking Water Canada’s newsletter,  ~ “Why Wild Canadian Fish Are on Cocaine and Oxycodone” by Alex Swerdloff July 27, 2015

   GRAND RIVERBust out your rhinestone snuffboxes and hit up your favorite restroom, party people. It’s time to head up to Ontario’s Grand River. Cocaine, morphine, and oxycodone—among other drugs of abuse, as the scientists call them—apparently flow freely in the waters there.

JOURNALThat’s right. A study recently published in the journal Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry shows that way more fish have been getting their Tony Montana on than we previously believed.

The study, which comes out of McGill University’s Department of Chemical Engineering, focused on the Grand River Watershed in Southern Ontario. The research shows that water discharged from wastewater treatment plants in the area has low levels of the aforementioned drugs in it, which could affect marine life and contaminate local sources of drinking water.

PLANTHere’s the problem. Households and chemical plants discharge both figurative and literal crap into the river. A wastewater treatment plant is supposed to clean out most of these contaminants. And some distance downstream, the water then goes through an additional water treatment plant that cleans it further and prepares it for human consumption.

DRUGSBut the study showed that small quantities of drugs were found in the river water coming out of the water treatment plant, and their concentration did not decline with distance downstream from the plant. To make matters worse, the drugs were not removed completely during drinking water treatment.

In short, plants, fish and other living things in the river were swimming in water dosed with small amounts of recreational and prescription drugs. Screw Nemo—these fish seem to have more in common with Rick Ross!

YARGOBut there could be a solution. Professor Viviane Yargeau, who was the lead author of the study, argues, “Improving our wastewater treatment processes can help clean up our drinking water.”

FISH BESTWhat’s new about this research is that the scientists found drugs in the water between the wastewater treatment plant and the drinking water treatment plant. Sure, the drinking water treatment plants got most of the drugs out of the water, but not all. Improvements upstream would keep the life aquatic—including plants, insects, and fish—from inadvertently indulging.

It seems to me, however, that the researchers forgot to ask one all-important question: How in the hell does a fish line up a rail without an opposable thumb?

Back to Professor Yargeau. She explains, “We believe that if improvements are made to wastewater treatment plants to protect the sources of drinking water, this will prove a more effective way of dealing with the problem in the long run—as this strategy would also protect the aquatic environment and all the plants, insects and fish that are found there.”

WATERNext to come will be a five-year project to look into improving wastewater treatment to keep contaminants like cocaine out of Canada’s drinking water. But five years is a while away, so the fish will keep partying on in the meantime.

After all, even marine life deserves some booger sugar once in a while.

So folks now the choice is up to you ~ wait for the hammer to fall  ~ or be proactive and protect your family’s health right now.  We have great options for you as a water treatment system company.

WATER DROPLET1_FOR BLOG ICONOur RainSoft Reverse Osmosis Water system is exactly what you and I need right now.  Martin, owner of Eternally Pure Water Systems, Inc. explains how this system works to provide you with safe, delicious and refreshing drinking water.  Watch the video below (truly worth your while) and call us.  We’re here to solve all your water treatment problems.

Eternally Pure Water Systems, Inc.
 5450 Canotek Rd, 66-67
 Ottawa, Ontario  K1J 9G5
Tel – (613) 742-0058
Fax – (613) 742-4209

Hours: Mon. – Fri. 9:00  – 5:00 

Consumers Choice Gold Winners – 2006, 07, 08, 09, 10 
Web Site – www.rainsoftofottawa.com
Twitter – http://twitter.com/Rainsoftottawa  
Blog – https://rainsoftottawa.wordpress.com/
Facebook – http://on.fb.me/gVap5O
A+ Rating with BBB

Universal Water Access ~ “Muddled Policy…”

The following article, “Is Water A Right, Commodity, Or Service?”, Sara Jeromewritten by Sara Jerome, is taken from Water Online, posted June 12, 2015

faucet.reg

Is water a commodity, a service, or a right? Recently, the debate has raged.

Daniel Van Abs, a water policy professor at Rutgers University,raised that question in a recent editorial published in NJ Spotlight. Van Abs is a water policy professor at Rutgers University who served as senior director for planning and science with the New Jersey Highlands Council, a water-protection implementation body. He has since retired from state government.

VAN ABS TO CROPVan Abs posed this question in his post: “Is water, as the U.N. states, a fundamental human right? Or is it a commodity that must be purchased at the going rate? Or is it a public service, in which the focus is on satisfying a social goal for provision of general needs?”

WATER HUMAN RIGHT TO CROP“Our history shows us that water supply has aspects of all three, which makes for a muddled policy setting. What do we do when basic water services exceed a customer’s ability to pay? As water rates rise to address the costs of system rehabilitation, enhanced drinking-water treatment, and source-water protection, we need to make sense of this mess,” he continued.Image result for Detroit water service
DETROITDetroit officials sparked protests last year by shutting off water service for thousands of delinquent customers, a move that prompted questions about whether shutoffs violate human rights. “The city, which continues to close as many as 400 accounts a day, has been widely criticized for its actions,” CBS News reported. United Nations advisers have argued that Detroit violated human rights during a frenzy of water shutoffs.

Image result for Detroit water serviceCities other than Detroit have also used water shutoffs to handle ratepayer delinquency. “In Michigan, Hamtramck, Warren, Pontiac, Eastpointe, Romulus and other cities have shut off delinquent customers as a way to improve collections. Elsewhere, so have other big cities such as Baltimore and St. Louis,” the Detroit Free Press reported.

Van Abs noted that New Jersey is no stranger to ratepayer delinquency. “New Jersey has areas of high poverty that have lost most of their industrial water customers. And much of the state’s water-supply infrastructure is old, if not decrepit,” he wrote.

Maude Barlow: “Water a right, not a commodity”, uploaded on Mar 18, 2009 – Canadian water activist Maude Barlow, leading protesters at the World Water Forum in Istanbul, says access to water is a fundamental human right.

To Van Abs, there are problems with calling water a guaranteed public service. “The costs could be handled like many other public services (such as police or courts), through the property tax, with local governments paying the water utility to provide the service. Doing so would remove incentives for efficient water use, unless provisions are made to limit the service by household to only what is necessary. Just imagine the problems with this approach. Government would have to track the number of people per household to ensure that a single-person household and a five-person household are provided for equitably,” he said.

There are also problems with calling water a commodity, since it means water shutoffs if customers cannot pay. “Clearly, this approach is not socially acceptable for those of limited means,” Van Abs writes.

Image result for water a guaranteed public serviceWhat if water were treated as a basic human right? For utilities to be empowered to treat service as such, policy changes would be needed in many places, including New Jersey.

“The problem is that New Jersey has no routine system for helping poor households afford water (and sewer) services. For residential energy, the NJ Board of Public Utilities regulates essentially all providers, and New Jersey has established several programs for temporary and long-term assistance. The same is not true of water supply utilities, since there are hundreds of government and privately owned water utilities in New Jersey. Establishing a unique household assistance program in each of these utilities would be an administrative nightmare, and some are too small or serve too poor an area to provide this aid,” Van Abs wrote.

“A broader approach is needed. New Jersey needs to take a hard look at how its poorest households will maintain access to water utility services as water and sewer rates increase. We shouldn’t allow the Detroit question to become the New Jersey problem,” Van Abs wrote.

Image credit: “running faucet,” Steve Johnson © 2010, used under an Attribution 2.0 Generic license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

WATER DROPLET HAPPY ICON GIMPCROPPED

This is a very serious universal topic – one that affects each and everyone of us.  Let’s make it a priority to be pro-active – do research, access local resources, attend meetings, lobby your Members of Parliament. There is a plethora of related videos on Youtube – well worth viewing!  

http://www.wateronline.com/doc/is-water-a-right-commodity-or-service-0001?

Plastic Is Clogging Oceans ~ Disturbing Infographic

With an estimated 6.4 million tons of plastic getting dumped in the ocean annually, build-up has become a huge problem that merits serious attention.

We have a serious plastic problem here on Earth. In less than a century, plastic has permeated every aspect of our lives, creating tremendous amounts of waste that does not degrade. Much of it ends up in the oceans – an estimated 6.4 millions tons annually – which wreaks havoc with marine wildlife. From entanglement to ingestion, sea animals are suffering as a result of our obsession with plastic and reluctance to switch to reusables.

The following infographic is called “Spiraling Out of Control: Plastic Buildup in Our Oceans” and comes via CustomMade. It provides an excellent overview of the insidious cycle of plastic use that’s causing such damage. You will never want to accept another plastic shopping bag again after reading this.

plastic-buildup-720x6888.jpg.650x0_q70_crop-smart

Please make a commitment to do your part to save our oceans, human and aquatic life.  This can no longer be ignored.

Read more: http://www.treehugger.com/culture/disturbing-infographic-shows-how-plastic-clogging-our-oceans.html#ixzz3bvucaiaZ

http://www.care2.com/causes/disturbing-infographic-shows-how-plastic-is-clogging-our-oceans.html

NatureCanada Photo Contest 2015 ~ Enter Now

Tree Frog On Leaf

O.K. Canada ~ It’s time once again to enjoy the great outdoors and start snapping your outstanding shots of Canadian nature with your favorite camera and enter this contest.  Make sure to check out the fabulous prizes!

Get your cameras ready… Nature Canada is happy to announce the
launch of its 2015 Photo Contest!

LOON

Last year’s 75th Anniversary Photo Contest was a huge hit. We received over 3,000 entries and the top photos were featured in our 75th Anniversary Calendar as well as at the Canadian Museum of Nature!

Starting May 19th and running until August 14th, we will be accepting photo entries which capture the beauty of Canadian nature all around us. Special prizes from our generous supporters are available for the winners who will be announced.

DRAGONFLY 2014

In case you were looking for inspiration, we’ve created a variety of categories into which you can submit your photo(s)!

  • Canadian Landscape
  • People in Nature
  • Nature in Action
  • Fauna & Flora
  • Nature Nearby
  • Favorite Memory in Nature

Image result for nature canada 2014 photo contest entries

There will be Early Bird draws, so get your submissions in early! See our rules and regulations for more information.

It is our hope that by spending time in nature you will experience and learn about the natural beauty our country has to offer. So get up, get outside, and enjoy the great outdoors!

Contest link ~

http://naturecanada.ca/2015-photo-contest/

We wish you all the best of luck!