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Seen and Heard: May/June 2014 Events

Posted on June 26, 2014
WatIF Conference May 4-6 WatIF 2014 delegates. Water challenges are complex, and require interdisciplinary solutions that are not confined by silos or jurisdictional boundaries. In May 2014, Queen’s University hosted the first graduate student-run Water Initiative for the Future (WatIF). This multidisciplinary conference was designed to establish a culture of collaboration and communication at the early stages of students’ careers. More than 100 like-minded graduate students and 50 professionals from all provinces across Canada came together [...]

Eliminating Zebra Mussels: Chlorine or Potash?

Posted on June 23, 2014
Written by Merry Dang
In October of 2013, the Government of Manitoba was notified of a zebra mussel presence in Lake Winnipeg and was tasked with eliminating the invasive species in a safe and environmentally sound manner, while also abiding by the regulations and standards acts. Potash was chosen as the preferred method for this project, which is currently at 80 per cent completion. “It’s been a challenging process, but we’re happy with the outcome thus far,” said Dan Butts, the ASI branch manager of Western Ontario, who is leading the project. This project in Lake [...]

Interview: Simon Courtenay on the Canadian Watershed Research Consortium

Posted on June 23, 2014
The final POLIS Creating a Blue Dialogue webinar of 2013/2014 will take place on Thursday, June 26. The webinar—Resilience Thinking and the Future of Watersheds—will feature Ryan Plummer, director of the Environmental Sustainability Research Centre and senior research fellow at the Stockholm Resilience Centre, and Simon Courtenay, scientific director of the Canadian Water Network (CWN). Water Canada spoke with Courtenay about his work with the Canadian Watershed Research Consortium (CWRC). Water Canada: When was the CWRC formed and what is the primary [...]

Ethical Water: Canada Must Protect the Environment, Jobs, and Taxpayers

Posted on June 16, 2014
Written by David Zetland
Ezra Levant published Ethical Oil: The Case for Canada's Oil Sands in 2010. In that book and a separate, sympathetic website, Levant and others claim that oil consumers should buy Canadian oil over the oil produced in corrupt and failing countries such as Nigeria, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, and so on. I agree with that perspective, but I think that (some) Canadians are perhaps overconfident in their ethics, especially when it comes to the country's other great resource: water. There are many dimensions to Canadian water resources, but I will focus [...]

Ontario Election 2014: Where Do the Parties Stand on Water?

Posted on June 11, 2014
Written by Kristen Curtis
The Ontario provincial election is on June 12. Where do the four main political parties stand on water? The NDP: The New Democratic Party of Ontario promises to clean up Ontario's water. According to the party’s public relations representative, Kaleen McNamara, “The Ontario NDP knows the importance of clean water to the health of our communities and our families. Protecting water quality is a critical responsibility for the next government.” The NDP promises to protect Ontario’s water by conducting environmental assessments of pipeline projects [...]

The Trouble with Lead

Posted on May 30, 2014
Written by Katie Yantzi
The Toronto Star reported last week that, of 15,000 household water samples collected by the city over the past six years, 13 per cent contained an unsafe amount of lead. This news is unsettling to homeowners who may not even be aware that their home is fitted with lead pipes. Many citizens are also either unaware of the threat, or feel indifferent or unconcerned. “Most people don’t think about it or even know that they have a lead pipe. And some people don’t really care,” said Lou Di Gironimo, general manager of Toronto Water, to the Toronto [...]


Posted on May 30, 2014
Once upon a time, in almost every city, many rivers flowed. Why did they disappear? How? And could we see them again? This documentary tries to find answers by meeting visionary urban thinkers, activists and artists from around the world. Written & Directed by Caroline Bâcle Produced by Katarina Soukup Catbird Films, Inc (Montreal, Canada) NOW AVAILABLE ON DVD! [...]

The Watersheds 2014 Forum Consensus

Posted on April 28, 2014
Written by Laura Brandes
Watersheds 2014: Towards Watershed Governance in British Columbia and Beyond was held on Cowichan Tribes territory in Duncan, British Columbia from January 27th to 29th, 2014.  This forum attracted nearly 200 delegates, plus more than 75 virtual participants via online satellite events across the country. The delegates came from a diversity of backgrounds—including watershed groups, researchers, professional resource managers, and decision-makers at all levels of government, including First Nations—who came together to re-envision the way we use, share [...]

Profiling Ooho: An Environmentally Friendly, Edible Water Bottle

Posted on April 28, 2014
Written by Kristen Curtis
A new creation made of edible algae may eliminate the need for disposable plastic water bottles. The Ooho was designed by Rodrigo Garcia Gonzalez, Pierre Paslier, and Guillaume Couche, three London-based design students who have co-founded Skipping Rocks Lab in New Zealand together. The Ooho is an edible and environmentally friendly alternative to the plastic water bottle. Credit: Rodrigo Garcia Gonzalez. The trio's design won the 2014 Lexus Design Award, with this year's theme being curiosity. The three collaborators worked on their design idea together [...]

VIDEO: The Aqua Lauta Project in Action

Posted on April 25, 2014
  The product of both art and engineering students at McMaster University, the Aqua Lauta is an installation with a message: water conservation might be difficult, but it's incredibly important. It will be featured in Water Canada's May/June 2014 issue. [...]
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