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Education for Water Stewardship Program

Critical Thinking: A Manitoba school program encourages students to consider water in their daily lives. With hands-on, experiential learning, the Education for Water Stewardship Program has teachers inspiring their middle and high-school students to become more involved in water issues, both at home and around the world. Produced in partnership and with funding from Green Manitoba, Manitoba Water Stewardship and Learning for a Sustainable Future’s Project FLOW, the day-long workshop is delivered in schools by Green Manitoba staff and is free for teachers [...]

ROC Barrier

A Slick Idea: The ROC Barrier signals a cost-effective shift in the way oil spills are managed. Just as we start our conversation, Glenn Murray is called away from the phone. His courier has arrived. His company, Murrenhil Corporation, is shipping 8,000 feet of his oil collection system to California and 4,000 feet to Florida to his client, Disney Cruise Lines. “They saw it online,” Murray explains. “They’re giving it a go on two of their ships.” The product, a specialized laminate film called the ROC Barrier, uses a technology that has [...]

Snug Cove Wastewater Treatment Plant

Built to Scale: When the municipality of Bowen Island needed to expand its wastewater treatment plant, it turned to ECOfluid Systems—again. Bowen Island is almost too good to be true. Located just a short ferry ride from Horseshoe Bay in west Vancouver, it’s a popular destination for visitors from the Lower Mainland taking a day trip, as well as those looking for a more permanent home away from home. That’s why the municipality’s Snug Cove Wastewater Treatment Plant started to get just a bit too snug a few years ago. In the summer of 2005, the [...]

The iDUS G-100

Irrigation 2.0: iDus Controls reveals irrigation’s second generation: farmer (and environment) friendly devices. According to the World Resources Institute, agricultural water use accounted for 12 per cent of total water consumption in Canada in 2000. Irrigation made up 85 per cent of that total. The Conference Board of Canada says that water use in agriculture is “particularly inefficient,” returning less than 30 per cent of water consumption. Therefore, agriculture represents the largest consumer of water in the country. The key is to be responsible [...]

Advancing Canadian Wastewater Assets

Steady Streams: Over a decade in the works, ACWA is about to make pilot testing history. Just two weeks before his interview with Water Canada and over a decade after the project’s initial planning phase, Dr. Leland Jackson proudly observed the first running test stream of the Advancing Canadian Wastewater Assets (ACWA) project. “We made a few adjustments, but what had been designed worked pretty well,” says the University of Calgary biology professor enthusiastically. Designed to mimic natural systems, 12 experimental streams built near Calgary’s [...]

Wet Weather Flow Master Plan

Calming the Storm: Toronto gears up to take the lead in wet weather management. The last thing a city with world-class ambitions wants is to be recognized for its polluted waterfront. So it was in 1987, when pollution led the City to post warnings along Toronto’s beaches, earning the city a spot on the International Joint Commission’s list of 43 Areas of Concern in the Great Lakes basin. With 2,600 storm sewer outfalls and 80 combined sewer overflows, Toronto’s water pollution problems were legion, particularly after sudden or heavy precipitation. The [...]

Water and Environmental Hub

Democratizing Data: WEHUB harnesses the web to provide Alberta with a powerful, public water database. When then-Minister of Environment Jim Prentice announced the federal government’s desire to keep more accurate and up-to-date information around water and water data in 2010, the University of Lethbridge jumped at the opportunity to get involved. The result is an open-source web platform called the Water and Environmental Hub, or WEHUB for short. The WEHUB website will offer searchable, customizable data interpretation through its application programming [...]

POLIS Water Sustainability Project

Informed Consent: The POLIS Project combines activism and academia to help policy makers choose the best way forward. The researchers and academics behind the University of Victoria’s POLIS Water Sustainability Project have their jobs cut out for them. Their mandate is to provide policy makers with the best available research and help them translate it into effective policies, but while the project has achieved some important goals in the years since it was formally launched in 2003, the biggest battles may lie ahead. “In the next five to ten years [...]

Algoma Orchards

Not Far from the Tree: At Algoma Orchards, recycled water is vital for doing good business. When Algoma Orchards outgrew its Whitby, Ontario location four years ago, the company moved to a larger farmland in Newcastle that offered a limited water supply. With no municipal water source, the land itself had just a few wells to sustain the entire orchard, juice and cider operation. “We found ourselves in a position to enter the apple juice business in addition to having the orchard,” says Kirk Kemp, president of Algoma Orchards. “We were in need [...]

National Water and Wastewater Benchmarking Initiative

Beyond Scorecarding: An eager network of utilities helps to track national performance. In the late 1990s, David Main and his team at AECOM realized that Canada had only anecdotal information about water and wastewater utility performance. They also realized they could correct the deficit. “We rolled up our sleeves and began,” Main remembers. “It turned out to be more complicated than we initially thought.” Years later, the hard work has paid off. Today, the National Water and Wastewater Benchmarking Initiative (NWWBI) boasts 45 Canadian water [...]
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