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Syncrude Changes Waterfowl Protection Plan

Posted on March 31, 2009
"The drowning of the waterfowl last April shouldn't have happened and is unacceptable," said Syncrude's president and CEO Tom Katinas. "There is tremendous resolve in our organization to learn from this experience and help ensure it does not happen again." In April 2008, a large number of waterfowl landed on Syncrude's Aurora settling basin. The birds (initially estimated at 500, final count now released as 1,606) drowned after becoming coated in residual bitumen floating on the water surface. In response to the incident, Syncrude today announced a series of measures aimed at improving its waterfowl protection systems in advance [...]

Manitoba Assaults Phosphorus

Posted on March 30, 2009
New measures were announced last week by Manitoba's Conservation Minister Stan Struthers as part of an aggressive plan to reduce phosphorus that promotes growth of algae blooms that threaten the health of Lake Winnipeg. "The Clean Environment Commission has sent a clear message that excessive phosphorus is enemy number one when it comes to restoring the health of Lake Winnipeg," Struthers said.  "New and more aggressive action is needed by all of us to ensure we can improve water quality." Struthers announced new actions will be taken to reduce phosphorus contributed from households, cottages, the city of Winnipeg and from [...]

Flathead River Tops B.C.’s Endangered List

Posted on March 24, 2009
The Flathead River, which flows through southeastern British Columbia into Montana, tops B.C.'s most endangered rivers list for 2009, according to a report from the Outdoor Recreation Council of British Columbia. The river is at risk, says the report, due to concerns about a controversial proposed open pit coal mine. "The Flathead supports important trans-boundary fish populations while also sustaining the highest density of inland grizzly bears anywhere in North America", said Mark Angelo, Rivers Chair for the Outdoor Recreation Council. Other threats to the river include coalbed methane development, roads and pipelines. "The [...]

Flood Compensation for Sask. Residents

Posted on March 24, 2009
It's flood season. Yesterday, Dominion City became the first Manitoba community to declare a state of emergency to deal with the spring thaw and rains that have begun to raise water levels and threaten to flood some areas of the province. Monday also brought an announcement from the federal government: it will share the cost of eligible expenditures incurred by Saskatchewan through the Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements (DFAA) for damages caused by extensive flooding in the spring and summer of 2007. Extensive spring snow melt and water run-off resulted in extreme high water levels from March through to November 2007 [...]

U of W Implements Campus-Wide Bottled Water Ban

Posted on March 23, 2009
Bottled water bans have hit schools. The University of Winnipeg (U of W) announced today that it will become the first university in Canada to end the provision and sale of bottled water campus-wide. The sale of bottled water will be phased out by the autumn 2009 semester and funding will be put towards upgrading water infrastructure on campus. Water fountains will also be installed and located in prominent areas in three new facilities. The U of W Students' Association (UWSA) also recently voted to end the purchase and provision of bottled water at student-led events and meetings, and in a recent student initiated referendum [...]

Chemainus Wells Water Supply Project Approved

Posted on March 11, 2009
The District of North Cowichan, B.C. has received an environmental assessment (EA) certificate for its proposal to install and operate a groundwater supply for the Town of Chemainus during the fall, winter and spring to address seasonal turbidity problems with the existing surface water supply. Environment Minister Barry Penner and Community Development Minister Kevin Krueger made the decision to grant the EA certificate after considering a review led by B.C.'s Environmental Assessment Office (EAO). The proposed project includes two groundwater production wells, each with a capacity of approximately 75 litres per second, a pump [...]

Increased Funding for SW Sask.

Posted on March 9, 2009
Farmers and ranchers in the 65 drought-designated RMs in Southwest Saskatchewan, looking for long-term solutions to deal with drought, will receive additional support. The federal and provincial governments are working together to increase funding for the Farm and Ranch Water Infrastructure Program (FRWIP) to $29 million. The FRWIP, announced last spring, provides funding for on-farm wells, pipelines and dugouts, as well as community wells. These measures address short-term needs while providing long-term solutions. The original funding for this program totaled $15 million. The program has been very successful, with nearly 3,400 [...]

$4.8M to Construct Fernie Reservoir

Posted on March 9, 2009
A federal-provincial investment of over $4.8 million will improve the drinking water in Fernie, B.C. The money will be directed to a new reservoir, which will improve the reliability of the drinking water system. This project, which is estimated to create approximately 72 direct and indirect jobs, involves building a new reservoir with a water treatment system as well as a transmission main connecting the well to the reservoir. The new infrastructure is anticipated to improve overall water quality while reducing water system losses by 20 per cent. [...]

Langley to Capture Thermal Heat from Groundwater

Posted on March 3, 2009
The Township of Langley, B.C. is set to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by installing a thermal recovery pump system, with the help of a joint federal-provincial investment of $67,000. The new system for the Aldergrove Water Treatment Plant will consist of a new thermal recovery pump system that will take heat from the groundwater that is processed through the plant, reducing the reliance on natural gas at the plant. This project is one of 41 projects across the province that will break ground quickly due to a joint federal-provincial investment of $110 million. [...]

Sask. Funds Source Water Protection Groups

Posted on February 27, 2009
Eight non-profit groups are receiving provincial funding to further protect the Saskatchewan's water resources. The non-profit agencies that keep Saskatchewan's watersheds and water bodies healthy and viable will receive $25,000 each for a total of $200,000. Recipients are Assiniboine Watershed Stewardship Association Inc.; Lower Souris Watershed Committee Inc.; Moose Jaw River Watershed Stewards Inc.; North Saskatchewan River Basin Council Inc.; South Saskatchewan River Watershed Stewards Inc.; and Wascana and Upper Qu'Appelle Watersheds Association Taking Responsibility Inc. Funding [...]

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