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Canada Releases New Floodplain Mapping Framework

Posted on March 7, 2017
In Canada, overland flooding costs the Canadian economy more than any other kind of natural hazard. It is the single largest draw on the Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements (DFAA). In an effort to improve Canada's resiliency to flooding, the federal government has released the first of a series of guidelines for provinces and communities as a resource for floodplain mapping projects and activities undertaken across Canada. Floodplain mapping identifies the boundaries of a potential flood event under different scenarios. Understanding and strengthening floodplain mapping is critical to support informed decisions and investments [...]

Grit Gradation Data Sets for Western Canada and Ont.

Posted on February 23, 2017
Important reference data on the regional characteristics of wastewater grit across North America have been published for the first time. The grit gradation data sets can help engineers, owners, and operators design and optimize grit removal systems for wastewater treatment plants. The regional data sets have been compiled from over 120 tests conducted across the United States and Canada. Specific data sets for Western Canada and Ontario are presently available. The data delivers specific velocity for a range of particle sizes. “The efficiency of removal systems can be calculated much more accurately when the settling velocity [...]

NEB Releases Best Technology Guidelines for Pipeline Life Cycle

Posted on February 22, 2017
The National Energy Board (NEB) has released a new report, Best Available Technologies in Federally-Regulated Pipelines. The report is a detailed overview of the best current technologies and respective practices for protecting people and the environment in the lifecycle of a pipeline. It includes detailed technological and procedural descriptions for how to safeguard watercourses at every stage of planning, construction, operation, and maintenance. The areas of focus in the report were modified after the Liberal government gained its majority government. At that time, James Carr, Minister of Natural Resources, requested that the [...]

Canada Lacks Research on Drinking Water and Indigenous Health

Posted on February 21, 2017
New research from the School of Public Health at the University of Saskatchewan shows that research on drinking water and health outcomes in Indigenous communities in Canada is limited and has occurred on an opportunistic basis. Drs. Lori  Bradford, Lalita  Bharadwaj, Udoka Okpalauwaekwe, and Cheryl Waldner assert that there is a need for more research funding, and inquiry to inform policy decisions for improvements of water quality and health-related outcomes in Indigenous communities. Dr. Bharadwaj said, "We need to start linking health impacts-effects at all levels of the multi-barrier approach (MBA) to safe drinking water [...]

Hydraulic Fracturing Expected Value: 68 Billion by 2024

Posted on February 9, 2017
A report from Global Market Insights, Inc., released today, on the hydraulic fracturing market, suggests the industry share is poised to exceed USD 68 billion by 2024. Plug and perforation hydraulic fracturing market size was valued at over USD 15 billion in 2015 and is expected to grow and accounted for over 70 per cent of global hydraulic fracturing market share in 2015. Ease of accessibility for fracking in horizontal wells is expected to boost technology demand. A major factor noted in the growth of the industry was increasing investment in exploration and production of unconventional resources due to rising concern over depletion [...]

In Memory: Professor Steven Renzetti

Posted on February 4, 2017
One of Canada’s leading researchers on freshwater resources and conservation from Brock University has passed away. Professor Steven Renzetti—husband to professor Diane Dupont, and brother to Globe and Mail columnist Elizabeth Renzetti—passed away Friday Feb. 3 after a brief illness. A news release posted on the Brock University website said, "People across the Brock University community were stunned and deeply saddened to learn of the death of colleague and scholar." A professor of economics whose research made him an internationally-renowned thought leader on fresh water resources and conservation, Renzetti was known [...]

A New Survey on Public-Private Partnerships

Posted on February 3, 2017
Service Works Global (SWG), has today announced the launch of a new survey, exploring the operational phase of PPP / P3 (public-private partnership) projects, in collaboration with leading industry journal, P3 Bulletin and the Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships (CCPPP). The survey is now live and is open to industry professionals to gather insight and identify trends on the optimisation of operational and contractual procedures for P3 projects. P3 contracts now play a prominent role in a large percentage of public infrastructure projects. P3 (or PPP) arrangements typically look to have mutually-beneficial effect on the [...]

PBO Releases New Infrastructure Report; Says Funds Are Moving Slowly

Posted on February 2, 2017
In a new report to parliament, the Parliamentary Budget Officer, Jean-Denis Fréchette, provided analysis on the results of the Government’s New Infrastructure Plan (NIP) announced through the 2016 Federal Budget and its 2016 Fall Economic Statement. Entitled, Canada’s New Infrastructure Plan: Following the Money, the PBO's analysis shows that of the $13.6 billion for fiscal years 2016-18 announced in Budget 2016, departments have identified only $4.6 billion worth of projects. It stated, "While departments have committed to spending all the allocated funds within the time frame provided, these data show that there remains [...]

Celebrating World Wetlands Day in Canada

Posted on February 2, 2017
February 2 is World Wetlands Day—the anniversary of the adoption of a treaty which provides the framework for the conservation and wise use of wetlands. While often overshadowed by Wiarton Willie, the event observed annually around the globe. Karla Guyn, CEO for Ducks Unlimited Canada, an non-profit group that actively works to preserve wetlands, said, "Wetlands are one of the best ways we can minimize damage from disasters." Wetlands are important as one of Earth's most productive ecosystems, supporting a disproportionately high number of species, including species at risk and significant numbers of migratory birds, fish, amphibians [...]

Homeowners Unprepared for Flooding, Unaware of Insurance Changes

Posted on January 25, 2017
A report from the CBC has brought to a light a poll conducted on behalf of Public Safety Canada in summer 2016, which found that 40 per cent of respondents agreed with the statement: “The government will take care of me and my home if there’s major overland flooding.” The survey of 1,234 respondents over the age of 25 found that 54 per cent were not concerned about flooding while 74 per cent had taken no action to protect their homes from flooding, reported Dean Beeby for the CBC. Problems arise, Beeby reports, in that the federal government has traditionally compensated homeowners for afflicted by major disasters by way [...]
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