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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 [...]

Alberta Researchers Model Water Supply & Water Scarcity

Posted on January 19, 2017
Researchers at the University of Alberta have developed an agro-hydrological model to study water supply in Alberta’s 2,255 sub-basins and to better understand water scarcity. With respect to the development of the agro-hydrological model, the research abstract states, “Natural hydrologic features of the region create a unique hydrological system, which must be accurately represented in the model for reliable estimates of water supply at high spatial and temporal resolution.” The paper—Uncertainty based assessment of dynamic freshwater scarcity in semi-arid watersheds of Alberta, Canada—examined the cumulative effects [...]

Development of Competency Framework for Water and Wastewater Operators in B.C.

Posted on January 18, 2017
The Environmental Operators Certification Program (EOCP) is looking for a consultant to develop a competency framework for water and wastewater Operators. Background Competencies are the abilities, skills and applied knowledge that are needed for effective performance of a job. The EOCP follows the Association of Boards of Certification (ABC) model for certification for Operators in water and wastewater (Levels 1 to 4). The ABC model uses ‘Need to Know’ criteria for each level of Operator which tend to focus on technical knowledge or ability. However, there is a need to more clearly elucidate the full range of Operator [...]

Funding Announced for Sask. Wastewater Lagoons

Posted on January 12, 2017
Canada and Saskatchewan have announced the allocation of funding for water, wastewater, and transit infrastructure projects in the province including new and upgraded wastewater lagoons in nine Sask. municipalities. The funding is a part of previous commitments by the federal and provincial governments to providing safe drinking water, reliable wastewater systems, and high-quality public transit systems. Announced by Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, and Donna Harpauer, Minister of Government Relations and Minister Responsible for First Nations, Métis and Northern Affairs, the projects will use [...]
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