Tag Archives: lakes

Canada in need of a national water policy?

1-BLOG WATER ACT

The following article, “Should Canada have a National Water Policy, by Stephen Braun, appeared in the July/Aug 2014 issue of watercanada.

Despite the best efforts of many people who care so much about our national water resources, Canada has no national water policy or strategy. 

hydrologic_cycle

Canada’s creeks, rivers, lakes, and groundwater are governed by a patchwork of laws and regulations, though they cross provincial or territorial boundaries without restriction.
One thing is certain: coming up with a better definition of a national water policy is not going to make it spontaneously materialize. We have defined this issue well and have a good point of reference. What is required now is political will and recognition that such a policy is essential to Canada’s self-interest – and nothing less.
CWRAFor example, the Canadian Water Resources Association took the issue on in 2008 with the release of Toward a Canadian National Water Strategy, authored by well-Rob-de-Loeknown water policy expert Rob de Loe. Yet implementation remains elusive on this subject despite this and other high profile efforts.
More recently, Ralph Pentland and Chris Wood’s 2013 down the drainbook, Down the Drain: How We are Failing to Protect Our Water Resources, explained the unimplemented but ambitious 1987 Federal Water Policy,and that little progress has been seen since federally. Their arguments and facts that our water resources are an issue of national importance and cannot be left to the provinces are compelling. Pentland and Wood stated: “Legislation currently in force and Confederation’s founding documents empower Canada’s federal Crown to take robust action to defend water, waterways, and the life that inhabits them.”
Canada’s past approach to the contrary, the federal government absolutely does have the power to ensure our national water resources are kept healthy and sound. Canada
Canadians might believe this country is advanced in its environmental policy, but we are lagging behind other Image result for environmental protection agency (epa)jurisdictions. Even Republican U.S. President Richard Nixon recognized the importance of a national water policy. He founded
the  Environmental Protection Agency  (EPA), which subsequently led to the Clean Water and Safe DrinkingSAFE WATER ACT Water acts.  Nixon facilitated some pretty ambitious national water protection in a country not known for its love of federal regulation.
Canada’s more recent approach Of discontinuing environmental round-tables, restricting scientists from speaking publicly, and shuttering cottages on certain lakes might seem like the time isn’t ripe for a national water policy. Perhaps the time will never be right exactly, but as water professionals we must continue to advocate for it.

DESMOND TUTUDesmond Tutu visited some of Canada’s northern watersheds this spring. His famous quote, “I am not an optimist, I am a prisoner of hope,” seemed to capture the mood up there. But he said something else.
ch7_11If we apply this insight to a national water policy, it can be seen that the pillars of the bridge are largely in place. They are there as the result of excellent past work of many in this country and within other parts of the world. The reasonableness is in those pillars; it is up to us to build the rest of the bridge—hopefully with more magnanimity than realpolitik—but it must get built. 

 STEPHEN BRAUNStephen Braun is a principal
and water resources engineer
with GeoProcess Research
Associates.

RAINGRID LOGOHe is a founding
partner of RainGrid Inc.

CWRAand is currently the Ontario branch president of
the 
Canadian Water Resources Association.

Related link

http://www.canadians.org/waterpolicy-info 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=er3pJzAmouw

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Wolves change the course of rivers – 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

…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

INCREDIBLE LAKES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

Wouldn’t it be an awesome experience to be fortunate enough to relax by any one of these lakes surrounded by the magnificence of nature?  The natural beauty of these lakes is unsurpassed ~ an artist’s dream come true! 

Mother Nature never ceases to amaze me!

I’ve created a video for you that I uploaded to YouTube ~ sit back, relax and enjoy ~ turn up your speakers!!!

 

 Five of my favorites are:

 PLITVICE LAKE

The stunning Plitvice Lakes National Park lies in the Lika region of Croatia. The park is surrounded by the mountains Plješevica, Mala Kapela, and Medveđak, which are part of the Dinaric Alps. The 16 blue-green Plitvice Lakes, which are separated by natural dams of travertine, are situated on the Plitvice plateau. Waterfalls connect the lakes, and the tallest waterfall is Veliki Slap at 70 meters (230 feet) tall.

FIVE-FLOWER LAKE

The pristine water of Wuhua Hai, or Five-Flower Lake, is the pride of Jiuzhaigon National Park in China. This lake contains such auspicious colors of nature, such flourishing flowers and trees of various kinds that it gives a multi-colored exquisite grandeur. This is why the lake is also called the ‘five-flower lake’. The lake displays all sorts of colors but the main to be sighted are blue, dark green, pinkish red, even goose feather yellow and light yellow, etc. This lake is actually one of the dozen natural lakes. It is quite shallow, and its bottom, which is as clearly visible as through clear glass, is littered with fallen tree trunks. The water of this lake never freezes and never dries up.

LAKE BLED

Lake Bled is located in Slovenia in the region of  Upper Carniola. It takes it’s name after the Bled castle. The lake finds it’s beauty in the reflection of the marvelously beautiful castle standing magnificently on a rock overlooking the lake. It is a well known tourist attraction because of it’s mystic and royal appearance and cultural rooting of the castle.  The island on the lake has 99 steps and a beautiful and touching tradition is that groom carries his bride up these steps on their wedding day.

YUCATAN CAVE LAKE

Yucatan Cave Lake is yet another masterpiece of nature. The lake is considered forbidden though, but the lake itself is so beautiful, one can hardly resist the sight. It is found in Mexico, in the basement of Tiger Che in Yucatan peninsula. The lake consists of various caves in and around it, and they are the real amazing and delightful sight. One can hear deep and beautiful musical instrumental sounds, more like the sounds of bells, if any flat place there is struck hard with a fist.

LAKE TAHOE

At a surface elevation of 6,225 ft (1,897 m), Lake Tahoe is located along the border between California and Nevada, west of Carson City. Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in North America. Lake Tahoe is a major tourist attraction in both Nevada and California.

~ AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST ~

Naturally I’d be remiss if I neglected to include one of our own beautiful Canadian lakes ~ Moraine Lake ~ located in Banff National Park, Alberta

Moraine Lake is a glacially fed lake in Banff National Park, 14 kilometres (8.7 mi) outside the Village of Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada. It is situated in the Valley of the Ten Peaks, at an elevation of approximately 6,183 feet (1,885 m). The lake has a surface area of .5 square kilometres (0.19 sq mi).  The lake, being glacially fed, does not reach its crest until mid to late June. When it is full, it reflects a distinct shade of blue. The color is due to the refraction of light off the rock flour deposited in the lake on a continual basis.

Link ~

http://www.theworldgeography.com/2012/03/12-of-most-beautiful-lakes-in-world.html

THE COLOUR OF BEAUTIFUL LAKES

While doing some research on another topic, I came across a photograph of an incredibly beautiful and colourful body of water and became curious enough to search for other photos and the factors that determine the different colours of our lakes and oceans.

I have a fabulous slide show for you that can be viewed full screen below.

THE COLOUR OF WATER

What color is water? It is a question that many children ask, not to mention adults, and the answer is invariably that it has no color. It is transparent, clear, see through. Is that answer the correct one?

In order to see the real color of water we must take a look at a large body –  where a great volume of water can be looked through or down into. It can be done scientifically as well, but the human eye can see the intrinsic color of water in the right conditions. You may well have already guessed what that color may be.

NOTE from the Editor: It has been pointed out to me by Joe Larsen, Researcher at USC, that the Rayleigh scattering of the light from the sun (according to which the blue light is scattered more than other colors) is also an important factor in the color of the oceans. Rayleigh scattering is also a reason behind the blue color of the sky.

Color is how the human eye perceives the reflection of different spectrums of light. We perceive color just as we perceive taste: sublime, exquisite, horrible and delicious. It provokes us, it enchants us and our whole world revolves around it. Everything from the clothes we wear, to the foods we eat are determined by color.

It’s only fitting then, that we explore some of Mother Nature’s most colorful works. The kaleidoscope of colors presented in this series of spectacular lake images, encapsulate the incredible natural beauty of enclosed expanses of water.

More info and photos:
http://athena.wednet.edu/curric/oceans/ocolor/index.html

http://www.physlink.com/education/askexperts/ae12.cfm

  Slideshow link –

  I hope you enjoy the spectacular photography!

COOL THINGS ABOUT WATER – NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC

– Very interesting water facts –

National Geographic Kids blog:

http://kidsblogs.nationalgeographic.com/greenscene/2011/06/20-cool-things-about-water.html

FUN WATER FACTS

1. The first municipal water filtration works opened in Paisley, Scotland in 1832.
2. More than 79,000 tons of chlorine are used per year in the United States and Canada to treat water.
3. Of all the earth’s water, 97% is salt water found in oceans and seas.
4. Only 1% of the earth’s water is available for drinking water. Two percent is currently frozen.
5. About 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.
6. There are more than 56,000 community water systems providing water to the public in the United States.
7. Public water suppliers process 38 billion gallons of water per day for domestic and public use.
8. 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.
9. About 800,000 water wells are drilled each year in the United States for domestic, farming, commercial, and water testing purposes.
10. Typically, households consume at least 50% of their water by lawn watering. Inside, toilets use the most water, with an average of 27 gallons per person per day.
11. In 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.
12. More than 13 million households get their water from their own private wells and are responsible for treating and pumping the water themselves.
13. Industries released 197 million pounds of toxic chemicals into waterways in 1990.
14. The 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.
15. You can survive about a month without food, but only 5 to 7 days without water.
16. Each person uses about 100 gallons of water a day at home.
17. The average five-minute shower takes between 15 to 25 gallons of water.
18. You can refill an 8 oz glass of water approximately 15,000 times for the same cost as a six-pack of soda.
19. An automatic dishwasher uses approximately 9 to 12 gallons of water while hand washing dishes can use up to 20 gallons.
20. If every household in America had a faucet that dripped once each second, 928 million gallons of water a day would leak away.
21. A dairy cow must drink four gallons of water to produce one gallon of milk.
22. One gallon of water weighs approximately 8½ pounds.
23. One inch of rainfall drops 7,000 gallons, or nearly 30 tons of water, on a 60′ x 180′ piece of land.
24. 300 million gallons of water are needed to produce a single day’s supply of U.S. newsprint.
25. A person should consume 2½ quarts of water per day (from all sources of water, food, etc.) to maintain health.
26. A person can live more than a month without food, but only about a week, depending on conditions, without water.
27. 65% of the human body is water, 75% of the human brain is water.
28. 75% of a chicken, 80% of a pineapple, and 95% of a tomato is water.
29. The first water pipes in the U.S. were made of hollowed-out logs.
30. 352 days – record of consecutive days with no measurable precipitation in Sentinel, AZ (Feb 1901 – Jan 1902).
31. The world’s rainiest place is Mt. Wai’ale’ale, Kauai, Hawaii. During an average year, there are only 15 dry days.
32. The water in Lake Tahoe could cover a flat area the size of California 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.
33. Nevada is the driest state in the nation with an average annual rainfall of only about 7 inches