Category Archives: Endangered resources

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 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/

HOW EARTH MADE US – WATER ~ A MUST SEE VIDEO!!!

HOW EARTH MADE US_WATER

How Earth Made Us – The untold story of history.

This is part 2 in Professor Iain Stewart’s series, “How Earth Made Us”.  I highly recommend you take an hour to watch it as it is superlative!!!

Our planet has amazing power, and yet that’s rarely mentioned in our history books. This series tells the story of how the Earth has influenced human history, from the dawn of civilisation to the modern industrial age. It reveals for the first time on television how geology, geography and climate have been a far more powerful influence on the human story than has previously been acknowledged. A combination of epic story telling, visually stunning camerawork, extraordinary locations and passionate presenting combine to form a highly original version of human history.

Youtube video, “How Earth Made Us – Water”, uploaded on May 16, 2011 – Of all our planet’s forces perhaps none has greater power over us than water.  For me water is the most magical force on earth.  The presence of water shapes, renews and nourishes our planet.  It’s our planet’s life blood, that pumps through it continuously…

Water

This time he explores our complex relationship with water. Visiting spectacular locations in Iceland, the Middle East and India, Iain shows how control over water has been central to human existence. He takes a precarious flight in a motorised paraglider to experience the cycle of freshwater that we depend on, discovers how villagers in the foothills of the Himalayas have built a living bridge to cope with the monsoon, and visits Egypt to reveal the secret of the pharaohs’ success. Throughout history, success has depended on our ability to adapt to and control constantly shifting sources of water.

Discover why societies have succeeded or failed, and how the environment has influenced every aspect of our history from art to industry, religion to war, world domination or collapse. Visiting some of the most iconic places on Earth, How Earth Made Us overturns preconceptions about our civilisations and our cultures to offer a new perspective on who we are today.

~Youtube video presented by Professor Iain Stewart ~

Link to ~ How Earth Made Us—a masterly BBC documentary

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2012/04/eart-a21.html

 
Our heartfelt thanks to Professor Stewart
for his exceptional accomplishment!

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

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 IN EARTH’S NEXT EPOCH ~ ALARMING!!!

EARTH GRAPHIC COVER THE ECONOMIST JUNE 2011

Beautiful YouTube video,  ‘Water in the Anthropocene’, post on geek.com by May. 26, 2013 It’s not easy to visualize the global impact of modern man on our Earth. Fortunately, there’s this great video to fill in whatever gaps you may have.  It’s impossible to argue with the fact that modern man has impacted the world, but seeing, explaining, and understanding remains difficult. One way to do so would be to focus on the changes we have made that affect one of our most important natural resources, our water supply

EARTHWhen you think about everything in our world that needs water, and then think about how mankind has affected that resource on a global scale, the chances are high that you lack the whole picture. Fortunately, this short video on how we as humanity has affected water in the world today is here to help paint the global picture.

ANTHROPOCENE CHART

It is currently being debated whether we are currently living in or on the verge of the next epoch, the Anthropocene. Before now, the Earth was affected by natural forces and organic structures. It still is of course, but in our lifetime we have created structures and organized ourselves as civilizations that are now changing many of those natural forces and organic structures. It’s interesting to be able to see that kind of thing on a global scale, and wonder how the next generation of humanity will interact and change the planet.

STOERMERThe geological epoch we are currently in is formally known as the Holocene. Anthropocene is an informal term coined by Dr. Eugene F. Stoermer, who found Holocene to seem incorrect given the impact of man on the Earth. The Holocene is widely accepted to have started about 12,000 years ago, so it’s quite understandable that the developments humans have made over the past few hundred years alone would be sufficient to be considered the dawn of a new era, even a geological one.

2013 BONN CONFERENCE Links related to article:
More info at -
 

BILLION YEAR OLD WATER FOUND RIGHT HERE IN CANADA!!!

Collages1A team of British and Canadian scientists think they’ve found the oldest water sealed off from the Earth’s atmosphere hidden deep in the Earth’s crust, and estimate it is between 1.5 and 2.67 billion years old. 

YouTube video, “1.5-Billion-Year Old Water Discovered”, published by GeoBeats News on May 17, 2013 ~

The researchers analyzed water welling up from boreholes drilled 1.5 miles under the planet’s surface in a zinc and copper mine in Timmins, Canada.

YouTube video, “Gold Diggers Unleash Water Trapped in Rock for 1.5 Billion Years”, published by slatester on May 17, 2013 ~


An analysis of the water, particularly its xenon content, suggests it is at least 1.5 billion years old, and even much older if it was around at the time as the rock formations in which it was found — an age range that came as something of a shock.  “We were expecting these fluids to be possibly tens, perhaps even hundreds of millions of years of age,” said Chris Ballentine, a geochemist at the University of Manchester, in a statement.  The water was found in the Precambrian Shield, a geological formation covering much of northern Canada, which billions of years ago was at the bottom of a sea. While the water is still being analyzed for signs of microorganisms, it does contain hydrogen, nitrogen, and methane in forms that could support life.

YouTube video, “Scientist Find Oldest Water On Earth”, published May 16, 2013 by VideoNewsPortal ~

 Greg Holland, a geochemist at Lancaster University in England, announced in the journal Nature, that this is the oldest cache of water ever found.  “That is the lower limit for the age,” Holland says. It could be a billion years older. That means the water was sealed in the rock before humans evolved, before pterosaurs flew and before multi-cellular life.  But how did it end up underneath that gold mine in north eastern Canada? Where did it come from? “The fluids that we see now are actually preservations of ancient oceans,” Holland says.  About 2.7 billion years ago, the landscape of small-town Timmins looked a bit different. Beneath prehistoric seas, tectonic plates were spreading, and magma was welling up to form new rock. As the rock matured under heat and pressure, water was trapped inside tiny cracks.  The rock drifted around the globe for eons, helping form continents and mountain ranges, and all the while it kept its cargo of water sealed up tight inside.  “It’s managed to stay isolated for almost half the lifetime of the Earth,” Holland says. It’s a time capsule. And it doesn’t just hold water. “There’s a lot of hydrogen in these samples.” That’s significant because hydrogen is food for some micro organisms. Hydrogen-eating microbes have been found deep in the ocean and in South African mines where chemical reactions in the rock produce a steady supply of hydrogen. And that hydrogen, says Holland, “could provide the energy for life to survive in isolation for 2 billion years.”  Holland’s colleagues are now testing the water samples for evidence of microbes. They hope to have results within a year. If life is found, it would have evolved distinctly from the surface world and might give a unique insight into the earliest forms of life on Earth. Its discovery would also give hope to people searching for life in places that are even more remote. geologyterrain

This map, from the United States Geological Survey, shows the age of bedrock in different regions of North America. Scientists found ancient water in bedrock north of Lake Superior. This region, colored red, was formed more than 2.5 billion years ago.

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

WATER CRISIS! ~ TIME TO SAVE WATER!

 TIME TO SAVE WATER

PERCENTAlthough our earth is made of 20% land and 80% water, 97% of the water is salt water and only 3% of the water is fresh waterHowever, 3% of water contains 2% frozen water, which means there is only 1% of the water we can use.     

CRISISWater crisis is becoming a more serious now. 36% of the world’s population lacks access to improved sanitation. 780 million people live without access to save drinking water.

SAFE WATER TO CROPMortality rates remain high without fresh, potable drinking water.

SANITATIONEach year 3.6 million people die from water related disease. It’s time to save water now.

UNESCO2UNESCO has predicted that by 2020 water shortage will be a serious worldwide problem.”

Let us take the global picture into account. As per a recent study, by the year 2020 water shortage will be a serious worldwide problem. Our water resources will not be sufficient anymore.

SAVE WATER2So an environmental approach is not only a good thing, it is necessary if we want our children to have water when they grow up.

What can we do? In fact, we can do more things to protect our planet.

CHART

Now here’s a topic that should be generating great interest around the globe – something not just to think about, but rather put into action.  In Spain they are definitely working in the right direction – stop the devastating loss of water. As an example, the image below shows the water loss in the Aral Sea over only a 50 year time frame.  This is alarming!

ARAL SEA

Utilizing a greywater system – eco friendly water conservation and solutions.  Greywater systems can help you save 35% to 40% on your annual water bill, and while saving money, you will also help save the environment and provide a better future for our children and their children to come. With this amount of savings, your Greywater Recycling System pays for itself.

http://www.lambourneproperties.com/eco_friendly_grey_water.php

 Eternally Pure –  Water Systems
5450 Canotek Road, Unit 66-67
Ottawa, Ontario K1J 9G5
613-742-0058

IMG_0212

http://visual.ly/it%E2%80%99s-time-save-water-now

USER FEES THAT PLEASE – KITCHENER, ONTARIO

USER FEES_WITH TEXT BOXThe following excerpts are taken from WaterCanada’s Mar/Apr issue article, ‘USER FEES THAT PLEASE’, by Nick Gollan – A new USER FEES SIGNuser pay and credit system helps Kitchener fund its municipal stormwater program.

assn of municipalitiesThe City of Kitchener received the Peter J. Marshall Municipal Innovation Award from the Association of Municipalities of Ontario and the Best Practices Award from Ontario Good Roads Association in 2011, for the implementation of its stormwater rate model.

GRAND RIVERStormwater flows within the Kitchener, Ontario are directed towards the Grand River, with Lake Erie acting as the ultimate receiver. Additionally, about 70 per cent of the drinking water for Kitchener residents comes from groundwater sources, with the balance from the Grand River; therefore, source water protection is critical, not only for the City, but across the watershed. In this respect, KSTORMWATER MANAGEMENTitchener is representative of many mid-sized Canadian communities. Located in southwestern Ontario, Kitchener has stormwater management (SWM) infrastructure assets valued at $300 million, covering a land mass of about 137 square kilometres. Property taxes are still the primary source of SWM program funding for Ontario municipalities. However, many municipalities recognize that some form of user pay approach needs to be developed in order to fairly and equitably distribute the increasing costs associated with this municipal service.
SHARED INITIATIVEImplementing user pay: The City of Kitchener, along with the adjacent City of Waterloo, collaboratively completed the SWM Program and Funding Review Study. AECOM was the lead consultant who undertook the feasibility study which included an extensive public consultation and review over the course of five years. CITY COUNCILBoth councils agreed to the study recommendations, and both adopted the overarching principles of a user pay approach. The implementation of a rate structure that rationally assigns costs of service to users is an innovative and important step forward and demonstrates the feasibility of an equitable and defendable stormwater rate structure… STORMWATER CREDIT PROGRAMUnder the utility structure, the impervious area is used as a surrogate to determine the amount of stormwater loading discharged to the municipal system and a credit policy provides financial incentives for property owners to implement and maintain private SWM best management practices (BMPs) to reduce stormwater loading.

KITCH COUNCILA tiered flat fee stormwater rate model has been in place since January 1, 2011. A rate tier is assessed to each land parcel based on their impervious area. The charge appears on the monthly municipal utility bill and is itemized as a SWM service. Moving to this type of funding model has allowed Kitchener to make significant improvements to the municipal stormwater infrastructure such as the Victoria Park Lake Improvements project completed in 2012. Other municipalities that fund stormwater programs in a similar fashion include the City of Waterloo, Ontario, the City of Edmonton, Alberta, and the City of Portland, Oregon, amongst hundreds of others in the United States.

BAG MONEYRewarding property owners for BMPs:  A key issue that arose during public debates related to the provision of credits for the adoption of BMPs by private property owners. The public wanted to be acknowledged and compensated for implementing BMPs such as vegetated swales, infiltration trenches, pervious pavement, extended detention stormwater basins, constructed wetlands, and other low impact development (LID) techniques. The objective of the city’s stormwater credit policy is to encourage the implementation of measures on private property in order to reduce total runoff volume and pollutant loading discharged to the city’s stormwater management system. Property owners qualify for stormwater rate credits when they demonstrate that their existing or proposed stormwater facilities or applied best management practices are functioning as approved. This policy enables the city to reward private property owners who are good stewards, in the  implementation of SWM best management practices while supporting the municipality’s SWM and sub-watershed policies…   

NICK GOLLANNick Gollan is manager of the stormwater utility at the City of Kitchener.

 

Topic related links –

http://www.waterloo.ca/en/living/creditprogram.asp

http://tpo-training.com/asset-management/kitcheners-stormwater-utility/