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Warm Fuzzies for World Water Day

Posted on March 21, 2012
On the eve of World Water Day, here are a few of the cool efforts going on to raise awareness (and funds) for water issues and projects across the globe. Picture this From March 19 through March 30, Xylem Watermark will share a $1 donation between international non-profit Water For People and non-profit partner Mercy Corps for each time this infographic is shared via Facebook. Suds for sanitation Starting March 22, when you visit Facebook to play Engineers Without Borders’ Beer 2 Water game, two amazing things will happen. With your first [...]

Invitation: The Blue Bash

Posted on March 18, 2012
This week marks World Water Day (March 22) and the second annual Canada Water Week (March 19-25). As water professionals, Water Canada's readers are well aware that nearly one billion people have no access to clean drinking water, and a further 2.6 billion have no basic sanitation like toilets and latrines. This constitutes one of the most lethal, yet solvable, public health emergencies affecting the developing world today. In October 2012, we’re taking water awareness to new heights. Joined by Ben Mulroney (CTV’s eTalk), Ray Civello (founder, Civello [...]

Two Weeks of Buzz

Posted on March 18, 2012
Playing a bit of catch up after two weeks on the road in western Canada, but wanted to quickly share some of the big buzz topics that we'll be covering in more depth in the coming weeks. Stay tuned! S-8 "We will not accept any circumstances where First Nations are set up to fail," said National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo at the recent Assembly of First Nations water conference in Edmonton. "We need to engage directly with the federal government, shaping regulations that protect our rights." The three-day conference gathered concerned chiefs [...]

Feeding a Thirsty World

Posted on March 12, 2012
“The world is thirsty because we are hungry.” Such is the tagline for World Water Day, set for March 22. With a focus on Food Security, the United Nations is highlighting how water is connected to much wider economic and societal issues. And the UN is not alone. A new study, titled Global Monthly Water Scarcity: Blue Water Footprints versus Blue Water Availability, lays bare the link between food and water: “Ninety-two percent of humanity’s total water footprint is for agriculture, and irrigated agriculture depletes more water than cities and industries.” But [...]

Water Privateers?

Posted on February 28, 2012
Should Nestlé Group's Peter Brabeck-Letmathe should receive an honorary degree from the University of Alberta? According to the Council of Canadians, absolutely not. This morning, Maude Barlow's advocacy group issued a press release to raise awareness about Brabeck-Letmathe's "pro-water market" stance, also bringing attention to his possible appointment to the university's Water Initiative, which may (or may not, depending on the veracity of the release) also include representatives from Total, Nexen, IHS Cera, Belmont Capital Management, and EPCOR. While [...]

Silencing Science

Posted on February 17, 2012
Canada is home to extremely bright minds doing excellent, groundbreaking scientific work in water. Back in September, Bob Sandford praised Canada's federal scientists in his blog post about threats of budget cuts to Environment Canada. Despite huge cuts to the department in the 1990s, he wrote, Environment Canada researchers still managed to produce two of the most influential assessments of the threats to our country’s water quality and availability to appear to date in this century. In my work with Water Canada, I frequently have the pleasure of meeting [...]

Drummond: Full-Cost Recovery Required

Posted on February 16, 2012
Infrastructure needs immediate attention, says the Commission on the Reform of Ontario's Public Services. The newly released Drummond report is recommending that Ontario 's government immediately take a number of steps to ensure that infrastructure services are efficiently delivered to the public. For water and wastewater infrastructure assets, the report explicitly references, among other items, a implementing a full-cost recovery model for water usage, similar to how the electricity sector operates. In a message to its member companies, the Ontario [...]

Water Un-frastructure

Posted on February 14, 2012
The most immediately compelling argument we have in support of water policy reform in Canada is what hydrologists describe as the loss of hydrological stationarity. While few outside the fields of hydrology and climatology presently understand the meaning of stationarity, it won’t be long before the term enters public consciousness and everyday vocabulary around the world. The reason: the loss of hydrological stationarity means that our world is changing--and in some places it is changing faster than anyone expected and in ways that many do not desire. We [...]

Democratizing Data to Build a Blue Future

Posted on February 2, 2012
This guest column is part of Building Our Blue Future, a monthly web series that narrates Canada’s water story as it happens. In 2003, Don Tapscott published a book called The Naked Corporation, which declared that the boundary-less immediacy of the Internet would expose business practices and radically change how business behaved. His message, perhaps even more resonant now, in the era of Twitter and Facebook, was that if you’re going to be exposed (or naked), you’d better be buff!  Almost 10 years later, Tapscott’s argument still has currency [...]

Video: Restoring the Lifeblood Highlights

Posted on January 17, 2012
Conceived to engage funders in a discussion on key challenges and opportunities with respect to fresh water and First Nations communities, last October's Restoring the Lifeblood: Water, First Nations, and Opportunities for Change featured talks from the topic's heavy hitters, including François Paulette, journalist Helen Fallding, the Centre for Indigenous Environment Resources' Merrell-Ann Phare, and the Assembly of First Nations' director of housing and infrastructure, Irving Leblanc. Tim Morris of the Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation facilitated a [...]
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