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Barlow Appointed Senior Water Advisor for UN

Posted on October 23, 2008
Maude Barlow, national chairperson of the Council of Canadians and founder of the Blue Planet Project, has been appointed as the first senior advisor on water issues by Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann, president of the 63rd session of the United Nations. Barlow, reacting in Ottawa to the announcement, says she is honoured to be working with someone of President d'Escoto's calibre. "I am excited for the year ahead, and am pleased to note that President d'Escoto has already adopted the call for water to be recognized as a human right." In his letter to Barlow, confirming her appointment as senior advisor, President d'Escoto says, "One [...]

Federal Party Leaders Plans for Great Lakes Protection

Posted on October 10, 2008
The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative (GLSLCI) sent questionnaires to five political parties; four were returned. "Given the national and international importance of the largest source of fresh water in the world, it is essential that the next federal government make a substantial commitment to protecting the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence", said Toronto mayor David Miller. "It is equally important that our federal government works closely with the next federal administration in the United States to modernize our bi-national strategy to protect this shared resource." Here are some response highlights: Liberal Party [...]

Team Led By SickKids Scientist Develops Water Safety Strategy

Posted on October 8, 2008
The drinking water of Bangladesh, known to be contaminated with toxic agents, can be addressed, according to an international team of volunteer researchers, led by a scientist at The Hospital for Sick Children. Following years of study of the contaminants in the water, the team has developed a practical strategy to ensure its safety. Over the three-year study, eleven scientists from four countries led by Dr. Bibudhendra (Amu) Sarkar, Senior Scientist Emeritus in the Molecular Structure & Function program at SickKids, and professor in biochemistry at the University of Toronto, collected groundwater samples from 67 tubewells in [...]

Party Leaders Urged to Sign Great Lakes Pledge

Posted on October 3, 2008
Environmental groups asked the leaders of the federal parties yesterday to put their name to a pledge to make toxic pollution in the Great Lakes region a top priority. The pledge comes in the wake of several actions in the U.S. to address the Great Lakes, including new funds to clean up contaminated sediment and restore habitat and Democratic candidate Barack Obama's plan to commit $5 billion to Great Lakes clean up and establishing a Great Lakes "czar" to oversee action. "The Great Lakes are a defining feature of Canada's landscape, its history, and its future," said Fe de Leon, researcher at the Canadian Environmental Law Association [...]

Ike’s Effects Linger in Great Lakes

Posted on October 3, 2008
Although Hurricane Ike is long gone, its impact lingers more than a thousand miles from where it made landfall. Runoff from tributaries dumped massive amounts of sediment into Lake Michigan, contaminating the water, compromising near-shore navigation and raising E. coli bacteria to levels unsafe for swimming. According to Richard Whitman, a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) expert on beach health, "The local effects that Ike had on Lake Michigan's Indiana shoreline, water depth, and water quality have been profound." While assessing Ike's impact on the lake, Whitman noted that "The velocity and height of a tributary emptying into Lake [...]

New EZ Coliform Cult – MUG Bacteria Test

Posted on September 29, 2008
Industrial Test Systems, Inc. (ITS) has announced a new, USEPA compliant method for presence/absence determination of Total Coliforms and E. coli in water - EZ Coliform Cult - MUG Test.  Each test consists of a sterilized, ready-to-use 120mL bottle containing a premeasured amount of growth media. To run the test simply add the water sample, cap the bottle and then incubate at 35°C for 24 hours (or 25°C for 48 hours). The test works by detecting an enzyme produced by coliform bacteria and a specific enzyme produced by E. coli.  If coliforms are present, the liquid sample will change from yellow to blue-green in color.  If E. coli [...]

U.S. House Approves Great Lakes Compact: AP

Posted on September 24, 2008
The House ratified a compact Tuesday to prevent the diversion of water from the Great Lakes, one of the world's largest sources of fresh water, reports the Associated Press. Eight Great Lakes states negotiated the compact after more than four years of talks involving business, scientific and environmental interests. Supporters said the protections against diverting water were needed to guard the lakes from future depletion. "The Great Lakes are a vital natural resource," said Rep. Vernon Ehlers, R-Mich. "But it is also a delicate resource, which can be devastated by large withdrawals of water." The compact, which was approved [...]

NTP Finalizes Report on Bisphenol A

Posted on September 3, 2008
Another bisphenol A (BPA) report has arrived, this time released by the National Toxicology Program (NTP) in the United States. Current human exposure to BPA, a chemical used in many polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins, is of "some concern" for effects on development of the prostate gland and brain and for behavioural effects in fetuses, infants and children, according to the final report. The report provides the NTP's current opinion on BPA's potential to cause harm to human reproduction or development, with conclusions based primarily on a broad body of research involving laboratory animal studies. The report is part of a [...]

Weekend Water News

Posted on September 2, 2008
Funds A wastewater treatment plant in Cambridge, Ont. is getting a $21-million upgrade: the aim is to "dewater" the sludge held in its digesters. Meanwhile, Victoria, B.C. water pipes are getting a $10-million upgrade. The watermains, installed in 1927, will ensure quality drinking water and improved water pressure for firefighting. Barrie, Ont. is expanding its water and wastewater systems with three major infrastructure projects that include a $108-million surface water treatment plant and low lift pumping station, an $87-million water pollution control plant expansion, and a $23-million expansion of the city's biosolids storage [...]

New GM for NSF’s Beverage Quality Program

Posted on August 27, 2008
Christopher Dunn, a 30-year veteran of the beverage industry, is now the general manager of NSF International's Beverage Quality Program. The beverage quality program tests, audits and certifies bottled water and natural mineral waters, flavored and functional beverages, and packaged ice. In the past, Dunn has served as president of his own company, DunnWorks, LLC, a consulting firm that provides assistance in business development and market strategy to the water, beverage and consumer package goods industries, for the past four years. During the early development of his company, Dunn served as senior vice president of BIOTA Brands [...]
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