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Why Invest in Water?

Posted on July 30, 2013
Written by Timothy Nash
Many of my environmentalist friends question whether it’s right to put a price on water. They see water as sacred, and get upset when I talk about it as a commodity. My standard response? We already have several prices on water, so get with the program. Of course, we're not talking about the value of water (that is, of course, priceless). We're talking about the cost of treating and distributing it. Prices vary within the same city, and the delivery system is a key factor in determining the price. My utility bill here in Toronto shows that I pay $2.7137 [...]

Closer to Home Initiative Update

Posted on July 29, 2013
Written by Michael Aherne
The Alberta Water and Wastewater Operators Association (AWWOA) Closer to Home (C2H) Initiative has been working for increased capacity of smaller communities (<5,000 residents or areas of approximately 20,000 residents) to consistently provide safe drinking water and responsibly manage wastewater. For just over a year, the AWWOA has been working with many partners to implement a combined $3.25-million investment, with $2.4 million coming as one-time commissioning funds from the Rural Alberta Development Fund (RADF). A rural Alberta operator helps document [...]

Video: UNICEF Turns Sweat into Potable Water

Posted on July 25, 2013
Appealing to "makers" everywhere, UNICEF Sweden introduced the world's first "sweat machine" today at the opening of the Gothia Cup, the world's biggest youth soccer tournament. The machine squeezes the sweat from clothes and then treats it to drinking water standards.  According to the organization's Facebook page, the aim is to draw attention to the lack of clean water in the world and raise money for water purification tablets for children. Here's a look at the making of the svettmaskin. [...]

Counterpoint: An Opposing Perspective on the State of Canada's Water Quality

Posted on July 18, 2013
Written by Ralph Pentland and Chris Wood
In his recent report for the Fraser Institute on the state of Canada’s water quality, Canadian Environmental Indicators: Water, author Joel Wood makes the case that, on balance, Canada is doing relatively well in managing the quality of its freshwaters. He also offers the rather astounding opinion that, even though southern Canada is losing its water supply via climate change, and may eventually lose it all, we needn’t worry because we can simply pipe more water in from our better watered northern territories. (See Water Canada's interview with Wood here.) Such [...]

SOWC: Water Opportunities Act Supports Ontario’s Growth

Posted on July 15, 2013
Written by Brenda Lucas
This past May, Ontario marked the third anniversary of the introduction of the Water Opportunities Act (WOA), legislation that supports the province’s commitment to water as an opportunity for economic growth and as an important resource that must be managed sustainably. In 2010, when the WOA was enacted, Ontario’s water industry was already well-positioned to strengthen its competitive advantage. This sector employed more than 22,000 highly skilled people and generated over $1.8 billion in sales of technologies such as ultraviolet disinfection, membrane [...]

Sandford: Flooding in Alberta -- Where Do We Go From Here?

Posted on July 15, 2013
Written by Bob Sandford
Given that evacuation orders that preceded flood warnings in many affected areas, now is the time to openly and publicly diagnose what went wrong with the flood protection system in Alberta in June. Without such analysis, policymakers could ignore important lessons and end up allocating scarce resources wastefully to the wrong places, only to discover that the real problems haven’t been addressed. While the Province of Alberta has announced it might adopt new rules about building in flood plains, such rules should be the beginning of a long list of reforms [...]

Video & Blog: What Asian Carp Could Mean for the Great Lakes

Posted on July 11, 2013
Written by Nancy Goucher
What could we expect if Asian carp establish reproducing populations in the Great Lakes? Environmental Defence's new report paints a pretty bleak picture. Tipping the Scales: How Canada and Ontario Can Prevent an Asian Carp Invasion of the Great Lakes says if this fish forces its way into the Great Lakes, it could severely harm the health of the ecosystem, and damage Ontario’s boating, fishing and tourism economies. About Asian carp Asian carp are strange creatures. Depending on the variety, they can grow up to 70 kg (150 lbs) and 1.5 metres [...]

Life on the Flood Plains

Posted on July 9, 2013
In June, roughly 100,000 people in Calgary and southern Alberta found themselves displaced during what the government called the worst flood in the province’s history. Though the extent of the damage will not be fully realized for months, reports have suggested the costs could be close to $5 billion. At the recent Canadian Water Summit, held in Calgary just days after the initial flooding, experts suggested that many areas of Canada have significant, comprehensive, and historic data about climate variability and flood plains. So why does a natural event [...]

Video: Sewer Manhole Explodes During Storm

Posted on July 9, 2013
Yesterday's record rainfall in Toronto left some areas flooded and put some significant strain on the city's stormwater and sewer infrastructure. Thanks to Water Canada reader R. Blom for contributing this video. [...]

Part Three: The Death and Life of a Hidden Stream

Posted on July 8, 2013
Written by Ingrid Stefanovic
An Artist’s Rendition of Taddle Creek                 Great art picks up where nature ends.                 -Marc Chagall                  I can prove anything with statistics except the truth.                 -George Canning What is truth? Or, to pose the question in terms of our interest in buried waterways: what is the “true” story of Taddle Creek? The answer to such a question often elicits what philosopher Martin Heidegger calls a “calculative” response. We reply by citing [...]
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