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Alberta Commits $600 Million to Flood Mitigation Projects

Posted on April 30, 2014
The Government of Alberta will move forward with flood mitigation efforts along the Elbow and Highwood Rivers, according to an April 29 press release. The province has committed $600 million over the next three years and is set to proceed with preliminary design, environmental review, and community consultations on water diversion and storage projects in at-risk areas. The Resilience and Mitigation Program (RAMP) will receive $325 million of the $600 million to fund community-level mitigation projects like berms, dikes, and riverbank erosion control. Some of the mitigation projects include: - An off-stream storage site near [...]

Flood Season Underway in Manitoba Communities

Posted on April 28, 2014
Flood season is underway in the Prairies, as two Manitoba communities, the Town of Birtle and the Waywayseecappo First Nation, have started evacuating their homes in preparation for an influx of water. “An embankment holding back water on a tributary of Birdtail Creek has started to fail,” reads a bulletin from the Province of Manitoba. “When it fails, a surge of water will travel quickly down Birdtail Creek, affecting communities downstream.” The Birdtail Sioux First Nation and the rural municipalities of Rossburn and Miniota also have evacuation plans in place. Crews are raising earth dikes and putting temporary tube [...]

Lake Country to Receive Water Conservation and Quality Grant

Posted on April 28, 2014
The District of Lake Country, British Columbia will receive a $10,000 Water Conservation and Quality Improvement grant from the Okanagan Basin Water Board. The money will go toward the Vernon Creek Watershed/Beaver Lake Road Drainage Assessment project. “The work was identified as a necessary risk management action,” said Lake Country mayor, James Baker. “It involves investigating the drainage of culverts and ditches along Beaver Lake Road and connections between sediment sources on Vernon Creek that may be influencing terrain stability.” According to a 2010 source water assessment of the Vernon Creek watershed, slope failures [...]

Okanagan-Similkameen to Receive Funding for Water Conservation Projects

Posted on April 21, 2014
The Okanagan Basin Water Board (OBWB) will provide $21,050 in grant funding for two water conservation projects—the Water Ambassador Program and the creation of a draft Regional Water Use and Conservation Bylaw—for the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS). “We’re very pleased to see the OBWB’s support for two of our water conservation projects,” said RDOS engineer Liisa Bloomfield. “The regional district is committed to building and sustaining an environmentally responsible community, a vision it shares with the water board.” The Water Ambassador Program focuses on water conservation through a community-based [...]

SaskWater Delivers 2013 Annual Report

Posted on April 14, 2014
South Saskatchewan River. Credit: Dean Shareski. SaskWater—a Crown corporation owned by the Government of Saskatchewan that supplies municipalities, industries, and farms with water and wastewater services—tabled its 2013 Annual Report in the Saskatchewan Legislature on April 9. The corporation reported a net income of $3.5 million for 2013, and has been named one of the province’s Top 100 Companies by Saskatchewan Business Magazine. “SaskWater’s long record of providing safe and reliable water services to its customers continued in 2013,” said Ken Cheveldayoff, minister responsible for Saskatchewan Water Corporation [...]

Experimental Lakes Area Research Station Saved

Posted on April 1, 2014
The Experimental Lakes Area (ELA) research centre—a collection of 58 lakes in northwestern Ontario where scientists have conducted environmental research for more than 40 years—is set to be transferred from the Government of Canada to the Ontario government and the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), a Winnipeg-based non-profit with offices in Ottawa, New York, Geneva, and Beijing. The Canadian scientific community has been campaigning to save the research station for two years, after a lack of funding threatened to shut it down. “This is an important milestone for science and for the protection of our [...]

B.C. Watermain May Cost $3.5 Million to Replace

Posted on March 31, 2014
A watermain running from Haslam Lake, British Columbia to a recently built reservoir may cost the city of Powell River as much as $3.5 million to replace. During a recent city budget committee meeting, it was revealed that a slew of recent breaks contributed to concerns that the watermain is at the end of its life. Tor Birtig, director of infrastructure for the city, said watermain breaks on Alberta Avenue and Gordon Avenue are a few of the indicators that point to the need for replacement. “Staff completed an asset inventory on all water systems,” he said. “We are starting to see problems with our smaller AC main and we [...]

Too Early to Predict If Alberta Faces More Flooding: Experts

Posted on March 31, 2014
A long and snowy winter in Alberta—like the one that just passed—is not necessarily a precursor to another year of flooding, according to experts. Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resources checks the snowpack each month and says the snowpack was only slightly above normal compared to last year. Spokeswoman Carrie Sancartier said the overall snowpack is 110 per cent of normal. There are four areas that have received a record amount of snow, but those are in the North Saskatchewan basin so she said they wouldn't have an impact on southern Alberta. The snowpack in the Bow River basin in southern Alberta is 103 per cent of [...]

Winnipeg to Declare Frozen Water Pipe Crisis a Disaster

Posted on March 31, 2014
Winnipeg city councillors have voted in favour of declaring the ongoing frozen water pipe crisis a disaster, a move that will allow it to apply for disaster financial assistance from the federal and provincial governments. The two councillors who voted against the motion, Scott Fielding and Justin Swandel, said the move is premature, but 13 councillors—including Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz—disagreed. Katz said it is still too early to know exactly how much frozen pipes will cost the city, but he guessed it will run upwards of $3 to $5 million. As a result, he said the city should get its request in now. "We should go forward [...]

Subsidy Extended for Manitoba Homeowners to Install Sump Pumps and Sewer Backup Valves

Posted on March 31, 2014
Manitoba families can better protect their homes from basement flooding thanks to a subsidy from the provincial government, the city of Winnipeg, and other rural municipalities. Eligible homeowners can get up to $3,000, or 60 per cent of the costs, to install a sump pump and sewer backup valve this year. This subsidy was available last year and has been extended to this year. The subsidy was announced by Kevin Chief, the province's children and youth minister. "Our homes are one of the most important investments we make for our families. As homeowners we need to take advantage of this proactive strategy to protect our property and [...]
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