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Ottawa and Alberta Announce 17 New Water Infrastructure Projects

Posted on September 6, 2016
The governments of Canada and Alberta announced a new bilateral agreement that will make more than $1.08 billion in funding available under two new federal programs - the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund and the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund. The federal government is providing up to 50 per cent of funding--just over $543 million--for projects supported through these programs and the provincial government and municipalities will provide the balance of funding. The Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, and the Honourable Brian Mason, Alberta Minister of Infrastructure and Minister of Transportation [...]

South Red Deer Regional Wastewater System Wins APWA Award

Posted on September 1, 2016
The South Red Deer Regional Wastewater System project was recently named a 2016 Public Works Project of the Year by the American Public Works Association (APWA). The project is being honoured with APWA’s Project of the Year award in the Small Cities/Rural Communities--Environment category. The award honours agencies representing cities and communities with a population of 75,000 or less that have include treatment and recycling facilities, landfill reclamation projects, and sewer projects. The Small Cities/Rural Cities Project of the Year Award was established to promote excellence in demonstrating creativity, ingenuity and efficiency [...]

Jasper, B.C. in Need of a new Biosolids Management Plan

Posted on September 1, 2016
The Town of Jasper is in need of an alternative for managing its bio-solids waste now that tests have shown that the compost is unfit for Parks Canada. In the original plan, the treated bio-solids material was to have been mixed with wood chips and used by Parks for site reclamation. However, tests showed that the “grade B” compost mixture contained invasive plant seeds that would have posed a problem for the park’s biodiversity. “It’s been a growing problem for several years,” said Janet Cooper, the environmental stewardship coordinator, during a council meeting Aug. 16. Council will decide this week, how to address [...]

High Temperatures Lead to Angling Closures in Victoria, B.C.

Posted on August 30, 2016
Victoria, B.C. has temporarily shut down fishing on Nicola River, Coldwater River and Spius Creek, to help protect steelhead and other trout species from health risks associated with rising water temperatures. The closure will remain in effect until further notice. It mirrors a federal steelhead closure on the same rivers. When stream temperatures rise above 20°C, the mortality rate of catch-and-release trout increases. Under the federal Fisheries Act, the Province is responsible for non-salmon freshwater fisheries, including sea-run steelhead, cutthroat, and Dolly Varden. [...]

Province Appoints New Chairs to Public Utilities Board, Manitoba Clean Environment Commission

Posted on August 26, 2016
The Manitoba government has appointed new chairpersons for the Public Utilities Board and the Manitoba Clean Environment Commission, with Robert T. Gabor, QC, as chairperson of the Public Utilities Board and Serge Scrafield as chairperson of the Manitoba Clean Environment Commission, Premier Brian Pallister announced. “Our government is pleased to welcome these eminently talented individuals to the team that will be leading Manitoba forward,” said Pallister.  “As our government aggressively pursues a balance of economic development, fiscal responsibility and environmental consciousness, these new chairs will bring new ideas [...]

All Hands on Deck to Keep Invasive Species Out of Alberta

Posted on August 26, 2016
A report by the Alberta Water Council (AWC) recommends seven ways in which Alberta can improve its management of aquatic invasive species (AIS). AIS include plants, mussels, fish, amphibians, and snails. Once established, these species can seriously threaten Alberta’s water management facilities, water supply infrastructure, aquatic ecosystems, recreation, and human health, with direct and indirect economic costs to the agriculture sector, industry, and municipalities. Gord Edwards, executive director of the AWC said, “A recent study estimates that an infestation of invasive mussels would create about $75 million in annual losses [...]

Sask. Premier Brad Wall Announces Cabinet Shuffle, New Minister of Environment

Posted on August 24, 2016
The Premier of Saskatchewan Brad Wall has made changes to his cabinet, and Scott Moe will assume the role of Minister of Environment and Minister with responsibilties for SaskWater, the province's commercial crown water utility and the Water Security Agency. Wall said, “In the April election, we were fortunate that voters elected a number of very talented and capable new MLAs, creating the opportunity for renewal in our government. The new cabinet will have a strong blend of experience and new faces and will serve Saskatchewan well as we work to meet the opportunities and challenges facing our province.” Moe received his Bachelor [...]

B.C.'s Coastal Water Goes Green from Algae Bloom

Posted on August 24, 2016
The water in southern B.C. has turned a vibrant shade of green due to a massive bloom of algae. The ocean water that stretches from the southern Gulf Islands, up to Strait of Georgia and Howe Sound started to turn green in early August, and since that time, the shade began to resemble something like the Incredible Hulk. Nicky Haig is the scientist behind Vancouver Island University's harmful algae monitoring program. She told the CBC News that the cause of the green water is an algae species called coccolithophorids. Coccolithophorids are single-celled marine algae, distinguished from other phytoplankton by an external covering [...]

Lowest Number of Sockeye On Record Reported in the Fraser River

Posted on August 22, 2016
The Pacific Salmon Commission (PSC) has reported the lowest number of sockeye salmon in the Fraser River since estimates began in 1893. The PSC’s Fraser River Panel met last week to review assessment data. They reported that, “The exact reasons why the return fell at the lower end of the forecast range are unknown at this time, but poorer than average marine survival is a leading candidate.” Almost half of the total 2016 return was expected to come from the Chilko River and Lake populations. But current in-season estimates of Chilko returns would project a smolt to age 4 survival of less than 2 per cent. This represents less [...]

Coldwater River B.C. Nearing Level 4 Drought

Posted on August 19, 2016
Despite normal flows for many streams and Level 1 drought conditions elsewhere within the Nicola region, low flows in the Coldwater River system are nearing Level 4—extremely dry--drought conditions. The Coldwater River is located in south central British Columbia, Canada. It is the largest tributary of the Nicola River, which it joins at the city of Merritt. The river drains a watershed of 917 square kilometres. The Province is urging surface water and groundwater users within the Coldwater River system and Merritt municipal boundaries to voluntarily reduce consumption by 30 per cent, in accordance with the provincial BC Drought [...]
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