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Manitoba Announces Flood Season Forecast Report

Posted on December 19, 2014
Manitoba’s Minister of Infrastructure and Transportation Steve Ashton announced on December 16 the release of a 2014 Fall Conditions Report on soil moisture levels at freeze-up, produced by the Hydrologic Forecast Centre. The Assiniboine River in Manitoba received precipitation normal to well above normal between April 1 and October 31 in 2014. Credit: qwekiop147. “It’s too early to produce a detailed long-term flood forecast as conditions could change significantly during the coming months, but the Hydrologic Forecast Centre is gathering information now that will form the flood forecasts in the first few months of 2015,” [...]

B.C. Indian Bands Celebrate Water System Upgrades

Posted on December 18, 2014
The Little Shuswap Lake and Okanagan Indian Bands, both located in British Columbia, celebrated the completion of water system upgrades in their communities on December 15. The improvements are set to benefit as many as 455 homes. Both communities received new water wells, distribution and supply lines, and a pump house and treatment system, while the Okanagan Indian Band also received a new reservoir. Funding awarded to the Little Shuswap Lake Indian Band also helped connect two water systems between the Main Community and the North Subdivision. “Over the years, the quality and level of water in our wells had been declining,” [...]

Elevated Arsenic, Manganese Levels Found in Edmonton-Area Wells

Posted on December 15, 2014
Alberta Health Services (AHS) has identified elevated arsenic and manganese levels in several private wells near Edmonton. The manganese levels discovered were in some cases 50 times higher than the recommended provincial guidelines for drinking water, while arsenic levels were at twice the recommended levels. However, these elevated levels are still not cause for immediate concern. “The levels that we’re seeing, we don’t have immediate cause for concern,” Chris Sikora of AHS told the CBC. “The levels that we’re seeing might have a cause for an individual who drank water over the 75-year lifetime. That being said, it’s [...]

British Columbia First Nation Exploring Ocean Thermal Technology for New Town

Posted on December 15, 2014
The Sci’anew (Cheanuh) Beecher Bay Band First Nation in British Columbia will receive $40,000 in funding from the First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund to explore the possibility of heating the new Spirit Bay residential community using ocean thermal energy. The new town of Spirit Bay, a partnership between the Beecher Bay First Nation and the Trust for Sustainable Development, is expected to include 800 mixed residential units as well as a town centre with offices, shops, and recreational facilities. It will be built over the next 10 years. If ocean thermal technology is found to be a viable option for the community, the [...]

City of Winnipeg Preps Homeowners for Winter

Posted on December 5, 2014
Winnipeg is bracing for another winter of frigid temperatures, and the City is recommending that property owners take all measures to protect internal plumbing from freezing. The City of Winnipeg recommends that property owners take all measures to protect internal plumbing from freezing. Credit: Mourial. Internal plumbing refers to any pipes, including fittings, valves, and fixtures, which carry water from the point where the private water service pipe enters a building to the taps. In low temperatures, internal plumbing that has not been properly safeguarded is vulnerable to freezing. Factors contributing to freezing include [...]

Manitoba Introduces Proposed New Legislation to Stop Spread of Zebra Mussels

Posted on December 4, 2014
The Manitoban government has introduced a proposed piece of new legislation in an effort to control the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS) like zebra mussels. Many jurisdictions across Canada and the United States face this problem and it is encouraging to see “efforts aimed at stopping the spread of this invasive species,” said David Carrick, founder and past-president of Fish Futures Inc. “We would hate to see anything impact the commercial and recreational fishery or see the kind of damage done in other areas where these mussels got a foothold.” The proposed new AIS legislation includes: Prohibiting the possession [...]

Woodland Cree First Nation Completes Water System Improvements

Posted on December 3, 2014
The Woodland Cree First Nation has completed the $4-million Marten Lake, Alberta water pipeline and fill station, ensuring safe drinking water for the registered population of 800. The project, funded by the Government of Canada through the First Nation Water and Wastewater Action Plan, will “benefit in two ways: quick access to safe, clean drinking water and a reduction of costs for water operations and maintenance,” said Chris Warkentin, MP for Peace River. Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Bernard Valcourt added that, "Our Government remains committed to supporting improvements for water systems in [...]

Saskatchewan to Invest $10 Million in M1 Canal Rehabilitation

Posted on November 27, 2014
A section of the M1 Canal. Credit: Roger Kidd. The Government of Saskatchewan announced on November 26 the $10-million rehabilitation of a four kilometre section of the M1 Canal. The canal is a 22.5 kilometre long water supply extending from Lake Diefenbaker to Broderick Reservoir near Outlook. The project will enlarge the bed of the canal from 6.1 metres to 9.5 metres, which should increase the flow of the water and ensure a secure, reliable source of water for users in the area. “As Saskatchewan continues to grow, the sustainability of our water supply has become increasingly important,” said minister responsible for the [...]

Manitoba Announces Historic Wetland Conservation Donation

Posted on November 26, 2014
The municipalities of Lakeview and Westbourne on the shore of Lake Manitoba have donated thousands of acres of wetland for conservation. The Big Grass Marsh wetland is about five times larger than Birds Hill Park and is the largest conservation donation in the history of the province, as well as the largest conservation agreement of its kind in Canada. “This is the kind of forward-thinking, responsible habitat management that ensures the protection of an iconic wetland that provides flood control, water quality enhancement, protection from drainage, carbon storage, and wildlife habitat,” said Conservation and Water Stewardship [...]

Alberta Contractor Fined $180,000 for Chlorinated Water Release

Posted on November 24, 2014
Alberta Provincial Court has ordered Norellco Contractors Ltd. to pay $185,000 after the company released chlorinated water into the Sturgeon River. Norellco pleaded guilty to one count of an offence under the Fisheries Act. The incident was reported to Environment Canada in June 2012 after the company broke a high pressure watermain in St. Albert. The break resulted in around 18,000 litres of chlorinated water discharging into local sewer drains, which lead to the Sturgeon River—home to white sucker, northern pike, longnose dace, and a number of other fish species. In July 2012, Norellco caused another break to the same watermain [...]
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