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Okanagan Basin Water Board Launches Well Registry

Posted on February 17, 2017
Amidst the confusion about what new B.C. groundwater regulations mean for residents, the Okanagan Basin Water Board (OBWB) has developed a guide that explains the process for water licenses. “Most people in the Okanagan are on municipal water utilities. But there are still a large number who are on their own wells and they should know how groundwater licencing will affect them,” said OBWB executive director Anna Warwick Sears. Under the new regulations, residential well owners are not expected to get licences and do have rights to water for domestic uses. Sears said that it is prudent for those with a well to register it to [...]

Largest Agricultural Drainage Project in Sask. History

Posted on February 17, 2017
Saskatchewan’s Water Security Agency (WSA) has issued the largest single agricultural drainage approval in the province’s history. Located in the Gooseberry Lake Watershed, the Dry Lake Project is a single approval permit issued to 73 landowners of more than 7,000 hectares (18,000 acres) for an organized, managed drainage network. While large scale organized drainage projects have been built before, this project is unique as it includes all existing drainage works and some future drainage works. “This is a significant project in our province,” said Scott Moe, Minister Responsible for the Water Security Agency.  “Nowhere [...]

B.C. Watertech Wins Innovation Award for Ammonia Removal

Posted on February 16, 2017
Axine Water Technologies has won a BCIC Ignite Award for ammonia removal technology. Administered by the BC Innovation Council, the award honours three research projects in the natural resources and applied sciences in British Columbia. The awards were presented on February 7th, 2017, garnering $300,000 for Axine Water Technologies. To be eligible for the funding, projects must be in the area of natural resources or applied science providing clearly articulated solutions to existing problems. Further, they must have a pairing of an academic member and industry partner, garner funding from other sources with a 2:1 ratio with respect [...]

Whirling Disease, Bow River Declared Infected Area

Posted on February 13, 2017
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) announced on Friday that it has confirmed the presence of whirling disease (infection with Myxobolus cerebralis) in the Bow River watershed of Alberta, including Banff National Park, and the Bow River watershed has been declared an infected area for this disease. As a consequence, the CFIA has outlined a domestic movement permit process for industries dealing with potentially contaminated specimens and establishes a federal government role in management of this disease for Canada. However, the declaration does not mean that every susceptible finfish population within the Bow River watershed [...]

B.C. Watershed Snowpack 79 per cent of Normal

Posted on February 9, 2017
The latest survey of snowpack in British Columbia shows that there has been below-average accumulation in the province’s watersheds, reports the River Forecast Centre (RFC). Snowpack was 79 per cent of what is expected for February 1st, according to the latest Snow Survey and Water Supply Bulletin from the RFC. January saw “below-normal precipitation across most of the province and well below-normal precipitation in southern and north-east B.C.”, the report noted. Recent research in the journal Nature, Elevation alters ecosystem properties across temperate treelines globally, found that climate in mountainous regions is changing [...]

Research Highlights Impact of Petroleum on Fish Species

Posted on February 1, 2017
Two recent studies from the Univsersity of Alberta and Stanford have emphasized the deleterious effects of petroleum spills on the health of fish species, freshwater and saltwater, respectively. A study led by Daniel Alessi, Greg Goss, and Jon Martin from the Univesity of Alberta focused on the impact of fluids produced in hydraulic fracturing on rainbow trout. The second study, conducted by researchers at Stanford University’s Hopkins Marine Station, identified a chemical in petroleum that causes cardiotoxicity in fish exposed to oil spills. In a news article on the University of Alberta’s website, Goss said of the study [...]

B.C. Firm Grows Watershed and Fish Habitat Assessment Practice

Posted on January 31, 2017
A Canadian environmental consulting firm, Ecofish Research Ltd., which has consulted on fish habitat enhancement and watershed assessment on hydroelectric projects, has announced the acquisition of ECODynamic Solutions Inc. (EDS), a leading environmental construction monitoring firm located in Courtenay, B.C. “With the addition of a talented team of accomplished professionals, we will bring our clients even better service across all phases of their projects,” said Adam Lewis, president of Ecofish Research Ltd. A recognized expert construction environmental management and monitoring firm, EDS has for the past decade provided [...]

Manitoba Report: Soil Moisture Anticipates Major Overland Flooding

Posted on January 30, 2017
Manitoba has released its 2017 January Conditions Report, which indicates that normal to well-above normal soil moisture and winter precipitation to date, combined with future unfavourable weather conditions, will result in the risk of moderate to major overland flooding across the province. The province’s Infrastructure Minister, Blaine Pedersen, announced: “We have experienced some unusual winter weather to this point that has contributed to an expanded risk of overland flooding in Manitoba.” Pedersen continued, “The Manitoba Hydrologic Forecast Centre will continue to assess data over the coming weeks to refine future flood [...]

B.C. First Nation in Court to Fight Proposed Mine

Posted on January 30, 2017
The Tsilhqot’in Nation is in federal court in Vancouver this week to oppose an attempt by Taseko Mines Limited (TSX:TKO) (TML) to overturn the 2014 federal rejection of TML’s proposed New Prosperity Mine, which the First Nation asserts will damage the natural watercourses in the region and those that they hold title and claim over. In 2010 TML’s proposed Prosperity Mine was also rejected. TML’s proposal is for an open pit copper-gold mine where the Tsilhqot’in Nation has proven Aboriginal Rights and very near the Tsilhqot’in Declared Title Lands. The TML case includes a constitutional challenge to the Canadian Environmental [...]

Cranbrook Releases Time-Lapse Video of Dam Rehabilitation

Posted on January 25, 2017
The City of Cranbrook has released a time-lapse video of the dam rehabilitation at Idlewild Lake. Deemed by B.C.'s Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations to be a very high consequence dam, the structure posed risks to the community, including the potential disruption of aquatic species habitat in the watercourse connected to the dam. In order to safely rehabilitate the dam, it was first decommissioned, the lake drained, and the fishery habitat temporarily disrupted a bypass pipe and sediment control pond were constructed. Over the course of the late summer and fall 2016, Cranbrook live streamed the construction [...]
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