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Droplet Interview with Ellen Schwartzel, Acting Environmental Commissioner of Ontario

Posted on November 22, 2015
On November 3, 2015, Ellen Schwartzel, the acting environmental commissioner of Ontario, released the Commission’s Annual Report for 2014-2015 entitled, “Small Things Matter.” In it, the commissioner makes recommendations to the province regarding approaches to water management. Water Canada spoke to Schwartzel about the report.   Water Canada (WC): The 2015 Annual Report focuses full-cost pricing for water and also the polluter pays principle as tools to generate revenues for the province that could be used to improve water management. How [...]

"So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish"

Posted on November 13, 2015
“Don’t call us a minority. We come from the land. We are the earth, we are the land. The others occupy the land. When you destroy the salmon, you destroy me. The salmon made a commitment to return and to give life. He’s following his law by coming. We are violating our own law by not doing everything we can to get him back.”             -Louie Dick, Jr., a member of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Reservation (Harrison) Ratified in 1964, the Columbia River Treaty was conceived to tame the river’s floods. In the following [...]

Injecting Creativity Into Engineer Curricula—A Narrative

Posted on November 2, 2015
Natasha is every fourth-year engineer. She’s sitting in an active learning space outfitted with smart boards, collaborative workspaces, rolling chairs, and windows facing east. It’s late afternoon, hour two of a three-hour lecture, and the room’s lit by its five wall-facing projectors. Everyone looks a pale shade of grey. “What will be asked of engineers?” The question is written on the whiteboard, as part of a group assignment. Stock photos depicting what one could expect from searching for “engineering photos” are posted below the question: [...]

The Droplet: Interview: Dream Team behind the Mackenzie River Basin Agreements

Posted on October 20, 2015
The Droplet Interview with Northwest Territories Minister J. Michael Miltenberger and chief legal negotiator, Merrell-Ann Phare On October 15, 2015, British Columbia Minister Mary Polak and Northwest Territories Minister J. Michael Miltenberger signed an agreement committing both governments to co-operatively manage water in the Mackenzie River Basin. Water Canada spoke to Minister Miltenberger and Ms. Phare about the multi-faceted legal process and what we can learn from it. Water Canada (WC): Juggling multiple bi-lateral negotiations—each with [...]

The Droplet Interview: Valerie Jenkinson, CEO World Water and Wastewater Solutions

Posted on September 25, 2015
The Droplet: Interview: Valerie Jenkinson, CEO World Water and Wastewater Solutions. Valerie Jenkinson is the CEO of World Water and Wastewater Solutions LTD (WWWS), a provider of 70 operator training programs as well as the Effective Utility Management Program, currently operating in Canada and 16 countries worldwide. The company provides operational assessments and strategic advice to water and wastewater utilities for strategic planning, communications plans and setting realistic rates and tariffs. Valerie wrote the Strategic Plan for the Environmental [...]

Antarctica: The Final Proving Ground

Posted on August 21, 2015
Written by James Sbrolla
Scott Boze has an MBA from Harvard and a pedigreed career working for notable global enterprises. A family man and sports fan, he currently holds the position of VP of transformation at CSM Bakery Solutions in Atlanta, Georgia. Boze is not a “Greenpeacer,” “tree hugger,” or “granola,” yet something drove him to join Robert Swan’s “2041” mission to Antarctica. During the 10-day mission in March 2015, Boze asked Swan a very good question: “What do you want from us?” The answer is a complicated one. Swan thinks and speaks at about 1,000 [...]

California Adds Shade Balls to Reservoir

Posted on August 17, 2015
Written by Raven-Paige Wilkinson
As of August 10, 2015, there are 96 million shade balls covering Los Angeles reservoirs in a US$34.5-million attempt to conserve water in the midst of the city’s four-year drought. The small plastic balls cover the surface of the bodies of water, protecting them from UV rays and preventing evaporation. They also prevent chemical reactions caused by sunlight, repel birds and other wildlife, and protect water from rain and dust. In its media release, the city says they will save more than 300 million gallons of water and US$250 million in comparison to [...]

Low Oil Prices Call for a Change

Posted on August 11, 2015
Written by Yaniv Schmidt
The Alberta oil sands market is facing a challenging time. The rapid drop in oil pricing from $110 per barrel to $40 per barrel, and then recovery to around $60 per barrel recently, is putting a lot of stress on new developments and making it almost impossible to raise capital. Oil-producing companies are looking for a way to make new projects viable, a challenging task to accomplish after previous projects break even at $80 per barrel. The market is looking for lower capital investment; reduced installation efforts and risks; and shorter project execution [...]

Interview: Eric Meliton of Partners in Project Green

Posted on July 27, 2015
Partners in Project Green, launched by the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) and the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA), aims to create the biggest eco-business zone in the world. With a new stormwater charge set to be introduced in Mississauga, Ontario, Water Canada reached out to TRCA’s Eric Meliton to discuss the Partners in Project Green program. Water Canada: How will the new stormwater charge work for residential individuals compared to businesses? What has the response been from those living in the Region of Peel? Eric [...]

Apples and Oranges? Lessons for B.C. from California’s Drought and Groundwater Law Reform

Posted on June 28, 2015
Written by Laura Brandes
Drought can be scary, and there’s no doubt that recent news about the potentially cataclysmic drought in California has us all uneasy. Groundwater has long been California’s “safety net” in times of drought, but so much groundwater has been taken recently that land is sinking under people’s feet and aquifers are at serious risk of being depleted (if they aren’t already). What is really hard to believe is that, up until last year, when and where wells were drilled and how much could be pumped from them was basically unregulated in most of California. Can [...]
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