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Interview: Jay Bhagwan

Posted on October 25, 2010

Canada has federally funded Centres of Excellence, such as the Canadian Water Network, to help facilitate water research—but how are other countries moving forward? For many years, the South African Water Research Commission (WRC) has employed a unique model for funding research and innovation [...]

Right or Wrong?

Posted on October 12, 2010
Written by Ian Richler

The hidden implications of recognizing water as a human right.

On July 28, 2010, the United Nations General Assembly, noting that “approximately 884 million people lack access to safe drinking water and that more than 2.6 billion do not have access to basic sanitation,” adopted a resolution recognizing water as a human right. The resolution declaring “the [...]

Worth Every Penny

Posted on September 23, 2010
Written by Kirk Stinchcombe, Oliver M. Brandes and Steven Renzetti

Conservation-oriented water pricing.

Canadians pay remarkably little for the water supplied to our homes and businesses compared to other developed countries (see figure 1). It’s no coincidence that we are also among the highest per capita consumers of water in the world. The environmental consequences of water overconsumption are [...]

Connecting Water to Grid

Posted on September 3, 2010
Written by Holly Dollinger and Wilf Argue

Uncovering hidden revenues could turn cost centres into profit centres.

The promise is decidedly bold—a brand new, no-strings-attached source of revenue for Ontario municipalities. But Ron Dizy is confident his company, Sempa Power, can deliver. The Canadian company is applying smart grid technology—two-way communications systems that take place in real-time—to help [...]

Sewage Secrecy

Posted on August 30, 2010
Written by Alan MacKenzie

Opponents worry that Winnipeg’s new 30-year wastewater contract lacks transparency.

*Update* Winnipeg mayoral candidate Judy Wasylycia-Leis held a press conference on Sunday demanding that Mayor Sam Katz release the details of the City of Winnipeg and Veolia Canada contract, approved by council in May and yet to be signed. On May 19 Winnipeg city councillors voted in favour of a [...]

A Competitive Water Market

Posted on August 19, 2010
Written by Mira Shenker

Scotland creates a best practice for water pricing that some countries are looking to emulate.

With just about every good or service, including some essential services, people decide how much of it they want based on its cost. When gas prices go up, car drivers decide whether or not they want to absorb that cost. But when the cost of clean water goes up, it’s mostly absorbed by the service provider: [...]

Rising Tensions

Posted on August 8, 2010
Written by Tony Maas and Robert Sandford

Transboundary troubles in Canada’s largest river basin.

Named Deh Cho, or “big river,” by the Dene people, the Mackenzie River is one of the world’s few remaining large, free-flowing rivers, and one of remarkable continental and global importance. At 1.8 million square kilometres, the Mackenzie River Basin (MRB) drains 20 per cent of Canada’s land [...]

Ship Wrecked

Posted on July 18, 2010
Written by Craig Saunders

Ballast water from big boats is a major threat to the Great Lakes. 
What are we doing about it?

It’s a cool, wet morning in late April 2008. Somewhere in the islands near Put-in-Bay, Ohio, Jeff Reutter, director of the Stone Lab, has just hauled in the net from a five-minute trawl. The good news is that there are plenty of fish. “More than I’d expected at this time of year,” says Reutter [...]

Operation: Efficiency

Posted on July 5, 2010
Written by Tony DiMarco

Geospatial solutions for management of water utilities infrastructure.

Like many other industries, the water industry is currently under pressure to do more with less. One way in which water utilities can improve their operational efficiency, and therefore cut costs, is through a comprehensive, IT-based asset management system. For water utilities, large and expansive [...]

Operator Assistance

Posted on June 20, 2010
Written by Tina Chu

Training for First Nations operators where and when it’s most-needed.

First Nations drinking water has had a history of infamy in Canada. In comparison to drinking water off-reserve, the quality of on-reserve water is largely unacceptable. Off-reserve, the responsibility for water and wastewater lies within the jurisdiction of provincial and territorial governments [...]
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