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Opportunities Act Details Emerge

Posted on May 18, 2010
"We want Ontario to provide the solutions the world is calling for," said Ontario's Minister of Environment, John Gerretsen, today. Quietly and without much advance notice, the provincial government announced the introduction of its Water Opportunities and Water Conservation Act this morning on the second day of the Discovery 2010 conference. The Act would, if passed, encourage the creation and export of innovative clean water technology, promote water conservation, attract economic development and create jobs. Among its proposals, the government is aiming to make Ontario a North American leader in developing and selling [...]

Toronto-Area Rivers High in PCBs: Study

Posted on May 14, 2010
A University of Toronto study of the concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and other chemicals in the rivers running into Lake Ontario reveals significantly higher concentrations in areas closest to the centre of Toronto, an indication of the profound effects the city has on water quality. The team looked specifically at concentrations of chemicals that have been strongly associated with human health problems: PCBs, a banned industrial chemical from the 1970s; polycyclic musks, a common fragrance compound used in a range of personal care products; polybrominated diphenyl ethers, a recently banned flame retardant, and [...]

Feds Table Bill to Prevent Bulk Water Exports

Posted on May 13, 2010
Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today tabled a new bill, the Transboundary Waters Protection Act, which proposes protection of Canadian water by strengthening prohibitions on bulk removal of Canada’s water outside the country. “This important legislation makes it clear that we are not in the business of exporting our water. Canadian water is not a commodity. It is not for sale,” said Jim Prentice, Minister of the Environment. The new act would strengthen existing protections by bringing waters within federal jurisdiction under a more comprehensive prohibition against bulk water removals. Rivers and streams that [...]

Helmholtz Academics to Visit Waterloo's Water Institute

Posted on April 27, 2010
Nineteen influential environmental scientists from Germany will participate in a water protection research seminar Thursday as part of a four-day visit to the University of Waterloo. The newly created Water Institute at Waterloo will host the delegation from the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research-UFZ, one of the largest research institutions in Europe. Waterloo will also sign a memorandun of understanding with the Leipzig-based centre, part of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres. "The Helmholtz Centre is globally influential in many areas, particularly in the area of water, and it is very significant [...]

Wheatley Harbour Restored

Posted on April 19, 2010
Wheatley Harbour, Ontario is once again a clean and healthy aquatic ecosystem, announced Dave Van Kesteren, MP for Chatham-Kent-Essex last week. Wheatley Harbour was designated a Great Lakes Area of Concern in 1985 pursuant to the Canada-United States Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. The major environmental concerns were historical sources of PCBs, contaminated sediments, high phosphorus concentrations, poor water clarity, bacterial contamination, and habitat loss. Through federal and provincial action completed in 2008, conditions in Wheatley Harbour have improved considerably. "This is a major milestone for the Great Lakes [...]

2010: Year of Water Investment

Posted on April 15, 2010
As growing pressures combine to force investments in water infrastructure and technology of up to US$1 trillion every year between now and 2030, Jens Peers, portfolio manager of the Calvert Global Water Fund and head of Eco Funds for Dublin-based KBC Asset Management International Ltd., told reporters today that water sustainability is likely to break through in 2010 as a mainstream issue for investors. “Water is already known by many investors as ‘blue gold,’" says Peers. "2010 is shaping up as the year in which that reality will become apparent to one and all, as awareness grows that the demand for safe water is outpacing [...]

Study Links Softener to Energy Use

Posted on April 15, 2010
Softeners are among the "very best" household energy savers, says a new independent study released by the Battelle Institute, commissioned by the Water Quality Research Foundation. Released yesterday, the study found that softeners help preserve the efficiency of water heaters and major appliances and keep showers and faucets unclogged. Among some of the key findings of the study: Gas storage tank household water heaters operated on softened water maintained the original factory efficiency rating over a 15-year lifetime. On the other hand, hard water can lead to as much as a 48 per cent loss of efficiency in water heaters. Up [...]

Canada-Ontario Great Lakes Agreement Extended

Posted on April 1, 2010
The 2007 Canada-Ontario Agreement Respecting the Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem (COA) has been extended to March 31, 2011. The agreement, signed in June 2007, was set to expire on March 31, 2010.The COA establishes an action plan and roles and responsibilities between federal and provincial ministries, and helps Canada to meet its commitments under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (GLWQA). This one-year extension allows Canada and Ontario to continue their work to protect and restore the Great Lakes while the governments of Canada and the United States negotiate amendments to the GLWQA. Efforts in the next year will continue to [...]

EPCOR Supports Decade of Action

Posted on March 19, 2010
As part of its effort to increase the public's understanding of water scarcity issues in Canada, EPCOR Utilities Inc. is supporting the United Nations' Water for Life program. For the next three years, the Canadian arm of the program will be called the EPCOR Chair in support of the United Nations' Water for Life Decade of Action initiative in Canada. "Growing populations, heavy agricultural and industrial withdrawals, and climate change effects on water supply will make it necessary to manage water in far more efficient ways in the future," said Bob Sandford, director of the Western Watersheds Climate Research Collaborative [...]

GE to Move Zenon Operations to Hungary

Posted on March 10, 2010
Just days after the provincial government announced the proposed Water Opportunities Act, a plan to capitalize on Ontario's water technology sector, GE Canada has announced that its Zenon Environmental Inc. operations will be moving to Hungary. The Hamilton Spectator reports that operations at the Burlington plant of what was once known as Zenon will cease by year's end. The plant manufactures the ZeeWeed line, the spaghetti-like membrane that filters bacteria and other contaminants out of water and wastewater. From the article: The company announced last week that approximately 45 employees at the facility will be affected. Employees [...]
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