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Waukesha Mayor Speaks Out On Great Lakes Diversion

Posted on March 8, 2016
By Waukesha Mayor Shawn Reilly Waukesha, Wisconsin, has applied to borrow and return Great Lakes water because we need a healthy and sustainable water supply. We are making the request under the terms of the Great Lakes Compact, a binding agreement among states bordering the Lakes that we helped enact. Waukesha needs a new water supply because our groundwater supply is severely depleted, due in part to unique geological features that restrict recharge. Continued use is unsustainable. Naturally occurring contaminants are also increasing, and we are under [...]

Must Reads On Water and Indigenous Canadian Issues

Posted on February 26, 2016
The federal government has pledged to eliminate drinking water advisories in all First Nations communities within five years. The promise will mean immediate investments in infrastructure projects, capacity-building programs, and policy and regulatory development to address the many gaps that currently exist. For those looking to better understand the issues, cultural sensitivities, history, past failures, and best practices for the future, WC has published a recommended reading list that digs deeper into the necessary context than there was room for in [...]

Interview: Imogen Coe, Dean of the Faculty of Science at Ryerson

Posted on February 15, 2016
Dr. Imogen Coe is dean of the Faculty of Science at Ryerson University and an award-winning scientist who recognized for her research on the cell biology and biochemistry of drug transport proteins. She has nearly 70 scholarly papers, book chapters, and abstracts, and is a champion for urban water sustainability issues. Water Canada speaks to Coe about her love of science, views on wicked water challenges, and women in STEM. Water Canada (WC): When did you decide to pursue a career in science? Imogen Coe (IC): I can't remember a time when I wasn't [...]

Canadian Indigenous Perspectives on Water in Film and Video

Posted on February 10, 2016
Film and video can be important tools for communication and education. This blog contains a collection of videos on the web the pertaining to Indigenous people in Canada and water. Included are perspectives on traditional knowledge, drinking water and wastewater challenges, and project success stories related to capacity building and infrastructure investments. A Sacred Relationship The Sacred Relationship is a research, film, and educational project that explores how reconciling the relationship between Indigenous people and the rest of Canada can [...]

The Woman Who Became the Voice for the Children in the Flint Water Crisis

Posted on January 27, 2016
Written by Jan Johnston Osburn
I’ve been following the events of the Flint water crisis with sheer disbelief. Being an American, I know that we take many things for granted in the U.S. But, clean water? Clean water? Well, it’s always been our right, our expectation. What has happened in Flint seems almost unfathomable. I’m still trying to wrap my head around it all. If you are not familiar with the events, I’d encourage you to review the timeline and circumstances. While the details are still being sorted out and the blame game heats up, there’s one woman we need to thank [...]

Half Life: Hospital Radioactive Materials and Our Water

Posted on January 5, 2016
Written by Saul Chernos
While Canadian hospitals generally return leftover medications to the pharmacy for disposal, trace amounts end up in waterways through municipal sewer systems. The situation with radioactive materials used in nuclear medicine is somewhat the same. Peter Fundarek, director of the nuclear substances and radiation devices licensing division of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC), said that rules and principles guide the disposal of radioactive materials. The isotopes hospitals handle are usually short lived compared with those from power plants [...]

Interview: Christiaan Welzel's Nature Porn

Posted on December 31, 2015
Filmmaker and creative director Christiaan Welzel captured some dramatic aerial footage of lakes in rivers in western Canada in his hugely popular online  series “Earth Porn.” Water Canada connected with Welzel, while he and his wife Kseniya were shooting a film in Thailand, to discuss the series and the source of his inspiration. Water Canada (WC): What inspired the Earth Porn series? Christiaan Welzel (CW): One of my clients in the ad industry is Travel Alberta (Alberta Tourism). Naturally, when we market Alberta as a destination, we showcase [...]

The Interview: Marq de Villiers, author of Back to the Well

Posted on December 15, 2015
Fifteen years after the publication of Water, Marq de Villiers examines the politics of water—from its personal and commercial uses, to the impact of climate change and global conflicts in his new book: Back to the Well: Rethinking The Future of Water. Marq de Villiers is an award-winning writer and journalist. He is the author of fifteen books, including Water: The Fate of our Most Precious Resource (winner of the Governor General’s Award for Non-Fiction); Sahara: The Life of the Great Desert; Windswept: The Story of Wind and Weather; and Sable Island: [...]

Das Wasser, Mit Infrastruktur: Highlights From A Water Tour of Germany

Posted on December 10, 2015
Written by By Todd Latham, Publisher of Water Canada
Between Nov. 22-28, 2015 I was invited to join a group of media representatives on a seven-day tour of Germany to see the country’s innovations in water infrastructure. We packed in more site visit and presentations than I have space to describe in this blog, so I will offer a snapshot of the water-focused highlights of Munich, Hamburg, and Berlin, with more to come.  Welcome to Germany! The direct flight from Toronto to Munich had little scenery except the sunrise-lit clouds over the Celtic Sea. But the next morning we were greeted by the first snowfall [...]

Who's a "Grasshole"?

Posted on December 3, 2015
They call themselves the “Grassholes.” They are an informal (Facebook) group of citizens in Vancouver who have taken it upon themselves to post photos of naughty neighbours and institutions who violate water restrictions, keep pristine lawns, or make decisions about water use that they find unsavoury. Are they water conservation vigilantes who increase civic action against those who are using water irresponsibly, or agitators who escalate tensions in times of drought?  You decide (and tell us what you think).   [...]
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