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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 [...]

Muskoka Watershed Group Receives Trillium Funding

Posted on March 6, 2017
On February 13th, Norm Miller, MPP Parry Sound — Muskoka, met with members of the Friends of the Muskoka Watershed (FMW) to congratulate them on receiving a $74,400 Seed grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF). FMW were awarded the grant to correct what it terms aquatic osteoporosis in Muskoka’s lakes through the coming year. The group will use a wood ash recycling program, collecting the ash from year-round and seasonal residents of the region. Muskoka’s forests and lakes are suffering from long-term calcium (Ca) decline caused mainly by decades of acid rain. Multiple logging cycles can worsen Ca depletion, as well [...]

B.C. Funds Alternative Drinking Water Sources in Hullcar Valley

Posted on March 6, 2017
The Government of British Columbia has announced that it will provide $950,000 for alternative drinking water sources, treatment for domestic well users, and sustainable, environmentally appropriate farming the Hullcar Valley. The Province will work with the Township of Spallumcheen, Splatsin, Steele Springs Water District, Interior Health, and First Nations Health Authority around the mechanics and timelines for bringing the alternative drinking water sources online. “Splatsin acknowledges B.C.'s commitment providing financial resources to lay the groundwork for safe clean drinking as we see this as a basic human right. We are [...]

Dr. Steve Wiseman Joins Board of Canadian Rivers Institute

Posted on March 3, 2017
Dr. Steve Wiseman, a Canada Research Chair in Aquatic and Mechanistic Toxicology with the University of Lethbridge, has joined the Canadian Rivers Institute Science Directors Board. The CRI Science Directors Board was pleased to accept the nomination of Dr. Steve Wiseman to the CRI science leadership team. Named a Canada Research Chair (Tier II) in December, 2016, Wiseman’s research is focused on the molecular and biochemical mechanisms of both adaptive and maladaptive responses in aquatic organisms, particularly fishes, exposed acutely or chronically to natural and anthropogenic chemical stressors. Characterization of adverse effects [...]

Grand River Conservation Authority Confirms Budget

Posted on March 3, 2017
The Grand River Conservation Authority (GRCA) will spend about $31 million this year on programs that protect water quality, reduce flood damages, protect natural areas, support responsible development and provide outdoor recreation and environmental education. The budget was approved by the GRCA board on Friday, February 24, 2017. The board is made up of 26 members appointed by the municipalities in the Grand River watershed. Municipalities will contribute $11 million in general municipal levy to the GRCA this year, about 36 per cent of the total budget. The municipal levy portion is up about 2.5 per cent this year, about $10.60 [...]

Report Points to Source of Mercury Contamination in Grassy Narrows

Posted on March 3, 2017
A new report provides strong evidence that the old industrial chlor-alkali plant, that is upstream of the Asubpeeschoseewagong Netum Anishinabek (Grassy Narrows First Nation) in Dryden, Ontario, is still leaking mercury. The Wabigoon River Mercury Remediation Study, dated February 1, 2017, was done on behalf of the Grassy Narrows community. It demonstrates that mercury levels is about 130 times higher than background (normal) levels in and around the old plant site. While the provincial government indicated that it is committed to remediating the area, on Wednesday Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told a CBC reporter that the matter [...]

Great Lakes Commission on Binational Infrastructure Priorities

Posted on March 3, 2017
On March 2nd, the binational Great Lakes Commission (GLC) called for U.S. and Canadian leadership to rebuild and modernize aging water infrastructure in the Great Lakes region. Detailed recommendations to both governments argue for investments in infrastructure that continue to provide safe drinking water to more than 48 million people, transports 200 million tons of freight each year, and supports a $5 trillion economy in the eight-state, two-province Great Lakes region. The majority of U.S. water systems are between 50 and 150 years old, and costs to maintain and update them are projected to rise steeply if action is deferred [...]

Big Data and IoT Expected to Generate $20B Globally in Water

Posted on March 2, 2017
According to Bluefield Research, big data and the IoT will attract over $20 billion globally between 2016 and 2025 in the water sector, providing solutions in metering, data management, and analytics. The organization reported that, “Cutting-edge, smart water solutions are gaining traction with municipal water utilities, which see data and analytics as critical tools for overcoming the age-old issue of crumbling water infrastructure.” Bluefield sees this as a natural response to “mounting financial pressure” among utilities and municipalities that are struggling to improve performance and infrastructure on tight budgets [...]

Inuvik, NWT, Completes a New Drinking Water Treatment Plant

Posted on March 2, 2017
The Town of Inuvik, North West Territories, has announced the completion of a new drinking water treatment plant. The water treatment plant received about $2,018,925 through the Provincial-Territorial Base Fund for this project and up to $2,062,143 through the federal Gas Tax Fund. The remaining $19 million for the project was provided by the Town of Inuvik. A utility corridor replacement project is also underway, receiving up to $4,297,000 in federal contributions from the Small Communities Fund. The remainder of the $5,729,334 necessary for the corridor is being provided by the town. "The improvement of drinking water infrastructure [...]

UPDATED: WHO Calls for R&D of New Antibiotics to Combat Resistant Bacteria

Posted on March 1, 2017
The World Health Organization (WHO) has published its first ever list of antibiotic-resistant priority pathogens, cataloguing 12 families of bacteria that pose the greatest threat to human health. The list was created to guide and promote research and development (R&D) of new antibiotics, as part of WHO’s efforts to address growing global resistance to antimicrobial medicines. As Kara Neudorf, postdoctoral fellow at Dalhousie University, reported for Water Canada in January, 2016, “The battle to mitigate this resistance is a global problem and is compounded by the fact pharmaceutical companies have curtailed investment into [...]
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