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
1. 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.
2. 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)
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 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
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.
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LEAFY SEADRAGONS, AN ENDANGERED SPECIES, ARE CLOSELY RELATED TO SEAHORSES AND WEEDY SEADRAGONS
Seadragons are some of the most ornately camouflaged creatures on the planet. Their spectacular gossamer, leaf-shaped appendages over their entire bodies enable them to blend in perfectly in their habitat of seaweed and kelp found in water to the south and east of Australia’s coast.
Seadragon males are responsible for childbearing. The male dragons have a spongy brood patch on the underside of the tail where females deposit their bright-pink eggs during mating. The eggs are fertilized during the transfer from the female to the male. The males incubate the eggs and release miniature sea dragons into the water after about four to six weeks (as seen in the video).
Seadragons survive on tiny crustaceans such as mysids, or sea lice. They are frequently captured by divers hoping to keep them as pets. In fact, such takings shrank their numbers so critically by the early 1990s that the Australian government placed a complete protection on both species. Pollution and habitat loss have also hurt their numbers, and they are currently listed as near threatened.
Leafy seadragon documentary film “The Vanishing Dragon”, uploaded to YouTube by madge1964 on Jan 5, 2009, was filmed in South Australia. The complete documentary DVD can be purchased at www.abysspictures.com
“Leafy Sea Dragon Compilation” YouTube video, uploaded by combisoft on Sep 23, 2006, is filmed in South Australia under the jetties at Rapid Bay and Wool Bay
Exhibits at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. ~ Leafy Sea Dragon HD SlowMix, Leafy Sea Dragon, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Monterey California, USA, Uploaded on Mar 21, 2010 by jimg944
Orlando SeaWorld breeds rare seadragons ~ “We see people come up to this (seadragon) exhibit every day, and they’re just amazed to see that there’s something so unusual-looking. They’re a beautiful representation of the marine life of the ocean,” said Teryl Nolan Hesse, assistant curator for aquariums at SeaWorld Orlando. “They come here, see this, and they get excited about it. And when they’re excited about something, they want to learn more.”
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Part 1 of this blog is about the Weedy Seadragons ~
“Life – Weedy seadragons dance into the night” – BBC One
Uploaded by BBC on Nov 3, 2009
About the programme: http://www.bbc.co.uk/life
These two could teach Strictly Come Dancing a thing or two. Named for their uncanny resemblance to the plant life around them, a male weedy seadragon seduces a female with some very fancy fin work. Two months later, however, the male is the one whos left carrying the eggs.
Living off the coast of south Australia, weedy seadragons (Phyllopteryx taeniolatus) are the only known species along with sea horses and pipefish – where the male carries the eggs. Although the eggs start out in the female, she lays about 120 of them onto the tail of the male where they are then fertilized and develop until they hatch.
Feeding on plankton, larval fishes and small shrimp-like crustaceans, seadragons resemble swaying seaweed making them difficult to find in their natural habitats, even though they can grow to about 46 cm in length.
YouTube video, “Weedy Sea Dragons, uploaded by stephenjt on Feb 3, 2007 ~ Weedy sea dragons near Hobart, Tasmania, filmed mostly on a single dive in January 2007.
YouTube video, “Botany Bay Watch – Weedy Seadragon Project Aware Survey Trip”, uploaded by Aquapix on Aug 29, 2009 ~ Training Dive Botany Bay – The Steps August 29th 2009 Volunteer Training Course, www.botanybaywatch.com.au,
In this YouTube video, “Weedy Sea Dragon, Uploaded by thelning on Dec 23, 2008, you can get an up close and personal perspective of these exotic creatures.The weird and wonderful weedy seadragon. Filmed at Jervis bay, NSW, Australia 1986. You can see at the end of the video how well camouflaged the weedy seadragon is, which makes it difficult to find them.
MALE WEEDY SEADRAGON HAS BABIES! ~ Published on Aug 3, 2012 by MontereyBayAquarium ~ In a first at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, a male weedy seadragon has had a brood of more than 80 babies. Like their seahorse cousins, it’s the male sea dragons that carry and hatch the babies. We’re only the fifth aquarium in the U.S. to breed “weedies.”
My next blog will feature the “LEAFY” Seadragons
~ just as awesome!!!
Posted in Aquatic life, Educational, Entertainment, Incredible video footage, Incredible videography, Marine biology, Marine Biology, Nature, Video
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In the following breathtaking video, “Australia Great Barrier Reef“, you get a glimpse into the magnitude of the thousands of species that inhabit Australia‘s surrounding ocean ~ Uploaded by mojorisr on Oct 3, 2009; Music: Tiesto-A Tear in the Open, Chilling Crew-For Better Moments, Tribal Trance-Orance Leopard Moon. Quote from YouTube video information: “My intentions were to make a quality trip video. We took a 4 day liveaboard with Mike Ball Dive expeditions ending up at the amazing Osprey Reef. The diving was incredible.”
This is a truly spectacular video and a must see in FULL SCREEN. I am so envious of the divers who experience this thrill of a lifetime!
Some interesting data about the species that inhabit the waters of Australia’s ocean and the Great Barrier Reef ~
The Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef in the world. It consists of more than 2,900 coral reefs, 600 continental islands, 300 coral cays and thousands of species making it one of the world’s most complex and diverse ecosystems. The animals of the Great Barrier Reef include some 1500 species of marine fish, 360 species of hard corals, between 5000 and 8000 species of mollusks, 600 species of echinoderms, 17 species of sea snakes, 1500 species of sponges, 30 species of whales and dolphins, 6 species of marine turtles, 22 species of seabirds and 32 species of shorebirds which breed on the reef’s many small islands.
Marine Fish of the Great Barrier Reef
There are more than 1500 species of fish that inhabit the Great Barrier Reef. They range in size from the tiny gobies, some of which weigh less than one gram, to the larger bony fishes such as the tuskfish and potato cod, to the massive cartilaginous fishes such as manta rays, tiger sharks and whale sharks. Damselfish, wrasses and tuskfish are among the most abundant fishes on the reef. Other fish of the Great Barrier Reef include blennies, butterfly fish, triggerfish, cowfish, pufferfish, angelfish, anemone fish, coral trout, seahorses, sea perch, sole, scorpion fish, hawkfish and surgeonfish.
Hard Corals of the Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef is home to about 360 species of hard corals including bottlebrush coral, bubble coral, brain coral, mushroom coral, staghorn coral, tabletop coral and needle coral. Hard corals, also known as stony corals, are a group of marine animals that live in shallow tropical waters and are responsible for building the structure of a coral reef. Colonies of hard corals grow in various shapes and sizes such as mounds, plates and branches. As previous coral colonies die, new ones grow on top of the limestone skeletons of their predecessors. Over time, this growth creates the three-dimensional architecture of a coral reef. Colonies of hard corals consist of thousands of small individual invertebrates referred to as coral polyps. Each polyp is radially symmetrical with a tube-like body that has a tentacle-rimmed mouth at the tip that it uses to feed.
Sponges and Echinoderms of the Great Barrier Reef
Over 600 species of echinoderms and more than 1500 species of sponges inhabit the Great Barrier Reef.
Echinoderms are bottom-dwelling marine invertebrates. They exhibit a type of radial symmetry called pentamerous symmetry in which their body can be divided into five equal parts around a central axis. The echinoderms of the Great Barrier Reef include sea urchins, sea cucumbers, sea stars, feather stars and brittle stars.
Sponges of the Great Barrier Reef include the yellow burrowing sponge, tubular sponge, thick yellow fan sponge.
There are 23 species of marine reptiles that inhabit the Great Barrier Reef including 6 species of sea turtles and 17 species of sea snakes. Occasionally, the saltwater crocodile also ventures out to forage on the reef, although such visits are quite rare.
The sea turtles that inhabit the Great Barrier Reef include the green turtle, loggerhead turtle, hawksbill turtle, flatback turtle, leatherback turtle and the Pacific ridley turtle. Some sea turtle species, such as the green turtle, loggerhead turtle and hawksbill turtle, nest on coral cays. The flatback turtle nests on continental islands and the green and leatherback turtles nest on mainland Australia. When not nesting, these sea turtle species use the waters of the Great Barrier Reef as foraging grounds.
Among the sea snakes of the Great Barrier Reef are the olive sea snake, the turtle-headed sea snake and the sea krait. All sea snakes are venomous.
Marine Mammals of the Great Barrier Reef
About 30 species of whales and dolphins frequent the waters of the Great Barrier Reef including humpback whales, Irrawaddy river dolphins, minke whales and spinner dolphins. Dugongs also inhabit the reef, feeding on the sea grasses that grow in the shallow inshore waters.
Not all of these marine mammals are permanent residents of the Great Barrier Reef. Minke whales and humpback whales visit the reef in winter. Other rorqual whales such as blue whales, fin whales and sei whales also migrate through the Great Barrier Reef region but do not stay for extended periods of time.
Mollusks of the Great Barrier Reef
More than 5000 species of mollusks live in the Great Barrier Reef. These include giant clams, cone shells, nudibranchs, octopus, cuttlefish and squid.
In this video, “Australia to create marine haven”, Australia’s Environment Minister, Tony Burke, unveils plans for the world’s largest network of protective marine parks. Published on Jun 14, 2012 by dawndotcom
VIDEO ~ “Australia to build biggest marine reserve“, posted to YouTube by Al Jazeera‘s Andrew Thomas from Sydney, Australia on Jun 15, 2012 ~ The Australian government has announced the creation of the world’s biggest network of marine parks (3.3 million square metres), covering an overall area the size of “India”
This video, “Marine Life off Perth, Western Australia”, just released by the Ocean’s Institute, University of Western Australia, showing a sequence of video footage captured off Perth, Western Australia. The marine life shown in this sequence now has a brighter future thanks to the plan for marine sanctuaries off Australia’s South West. Published on Jul 4, 2012 by SaveourmarinelifeWA
Once again, I hope you all realize how vital the work being done by the World Resources Institute Insights is and will find a way to support their efforts ~ insights.wri.org.
Posted in Aquatic life, Educational, Environmental concerns, Geography, Global awareness, Incredible video footage, Marine biology, Relaxation, Science and Technology, Scuba Diving, Travel, Underwater wonders, Video, Water, Water Sports
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The following four minute animated video, “Coral Reefs: Polyps in Peril” is presented by WRI Insights ~ insights.wri.org ~ Submitted by Lauretta Burke on July 9, 2012
We strongly recommend you visit WRI’s site to read the full article,”Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Coral Reefs“, .
Ocean advocate Céline Cousteau and cartoonist Jim Toomey (creator of Sherman’s Lagoon) teamed up with the World Resources Institute to bring you “Coral Reefs: Polyps in Peril”. This short animated film tells the story of coral reefs with humor and admiration for these wondrous ecosystems. Learn about the unique biology of coral reefs and their importance to people around the world, as well as the serious threats that they face due to overfishing, pollution, and climate change. But don’t let that get you down! The film also explores what individuals can do to help save coral reefs, including supporting sustainable seafood and tourism providers, reducing your CO2 footprint, and promoting coral reef conservation. Published to YouTube on Jul 9, 2012 by WorldResourcesInst
As a prelude to this topic you might like to preview two of my previous blogs on the Great Barrier Reef:
1) “Great Barrier Reef Video” ~ posted March 6, 2012 ~ watch the National Geographic totally awesome and mesmerizing video, “Exploring Oceans: Great Barrier Reef”.
2) “Coral Reefs Are in Crisis” ~ posted May 15, 2012.
In my next blog, “Australia ~ To Create Marine Haven”, I will be including four videos and very interesting data about the species that inhabit the waters of Australia’s ocean and the Great Barrier Reef: Marine Fish; Hard Corals; Sponges and Echinoderms; Marine Reptiles; Marine Mammals and Mollusks.
I hope you all realize how vital the work being done by the World Resources Institute Insights is and will find a way to support their efforts ~ insights.wri.org.
See you back here for Part 2
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