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New Online Tool Helps Toronto Residents Track Water Use

Posted on February 29, 2016
Tracking water usage just got easier for Toronto residents. The city has launched MyWaterToronto, an online tool that enables customers to view their water use information from a computer or mobile device. “This new online is exciting because it allows residents to view their water use information anytime, anywhere as long as they have access to a computer or cell phone,” said councillor Jaye Robinson, chair of the Public Works and Infrastructure committee. Using their utility account information, residents can access the tool by logging into the MyWaterToronto site. The tool gives total and average water use readings by [...]

Ontario First Nations Take Water Plight to the United Nations

Posted on February 25, 2016
Three northwestern Ontario First Nations have taken their plight for safe drinking water to an international authority. Representatives from Grassy Narrows, Shoal Lake 40, and Neskantaga First Nation took to Geneva, Switzerland on Monday to present their cases to the United Nations committee on economic, social and cultural rights (CESCR), which is currently reviewing Canada’s record on human rights. None of the First Nations that met with CESCR have access to safe drinking water and their cases argue that Canada’s reluctance to act on indigenous water issues is a violation of several human rights under the International Covenant [...]

National Survey Shows that Two-Thirds of Canadians Believe They Are Covered for Flood Protection

Posted on February 23, 2016
A new national survey of  home owners shows that two-thirds of Canadians believe that flood protection is included in their home insurance plans. The survey, conducted by Vancouver-based Square One Insurance Services Inc. demonstrates that most Canadians are unaware of their exposure to floods, and incorrectly believe flood protection is included in home insurance policies. The survey results (that polled 1,500 Canadians) showed that this belief is most widely held in Manitoba and Quebec, where 69 per cent of those interviewed incorrectly assumed that they were covered for flood protection. Saskatchewan had the greatest awareness [...]

Calgary Study Sparks Fluoride Drinking Water Debate

Posted on February 21, 2016
The City of Calgary's fluoride debate erupted again this week following the release of a study published on Wednesday in the journal Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology, that shows that tooth decay in children in Calgary has increased since the city stopped adding fluoride to drinking water. The study has rekindled discussions over the benefits and risks to public health, caused by fluoride in drinking water. Despite a body of scientific evidence to support the effectiveness and safety of fluoridation of drinking water—particularly children, and families that cannot afford regular dental care—public fears about overexposure [...]

Researchers Develop New Tool To Assess Aging Water Infrastructure For Small Communities

Posted on February 21, 2016
UBC researchers have developed a tool that is designed to help small to medium-sized cities and towns address the challenges posed by aging drinking water infrastructure in Canada. The tool, developed by Solomon Tesfamariam and Rehan Sadiq, both civil engineering professors at the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan campus, helps municipal water system operators and managers better understand the state of their infrastructure. Tesfamariam explained that, “While larger cities like Vancouver or Toronto have access to budgets, engineers, and sophisticated data collection systems, smaller centres often have a single person [...]

Federation of Canadian Municipalities Makes Recommendations For the 2016 Federal Budget

Posted on February 19, 2016
The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) released its 2016 Federal Budget submission this week, proposing solutions and a strong partnership with the federal government to solve national challenges. The budget submission lays out a plan for investments in public transit, affordable housing, and climate change mitigation and adaptation. The submission highlights the importance of prioritizing upgrades to local wastewater treatment facilities deemed high risk and requiring action by 2020 under new federal regulations, and expanding upon the Green Infrastructure Fund. "Budget 2016 is a potential turning point, when we shift [...]

Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative Opposes Waukesha Diversion from Lake Michigan

Posted on February 17, 2016
The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative, representing mayors across the Great Lakes basin, sent letters to the governors and premiers of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence basin strongly urging them to reject the application from the City of Waukesha, Wisconsin to divert water out of the Great Lakes basin. The city of Waukesha has applied to divert up to an annual average of  approximately 38,000 cubic metres of water per day to serve the area's water supply from Lake Michigan, to then be discharged into the Root River. On January 7, 2016, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources recommended the approval of the application [...]

Government of Yukon Reaches Agreement To Operate Dawson Wastewater Treatment

Posted on February 12, 2016
The Government of Yukon has agreed that it will continue to own and operate the new Dawson wastewater treatment plant, despite the intentions to pass these responsibilities down to the city at the time of construction. “The Yukon government has and will continue to work closely with the City of Dawson to provide the municipality with sound wastewater infrastructure to meet the community’s long-term needs,” Community Services Minister Currie Dixon said. “We recognize the city’s concerns about its ability to fund and operate the wastewater treatment plant at this time. We have taken this step today in order to address their [...]

City of Saint John Announces $216 million P3 Plan to Overhaul Its Water System

Posted on February 11, 2016
The City of Saint John, New Brunswick has announced that it will proceed with a public-private-partnerships (P3) plan to overhaul its aging water system, totalling an estimated $216 million. Mayor Mel Norton said that it is the biggest municipal infrastructure project in the city’s history. The Safe Clean Drinking Water Project will be led by Brookfield Financial Securities LP, working with Spain's Acciona Aqua, North America Construction, SIMO Management Inc, AMEC Foster Wheeler, Stantec, and two local companies, FCC Construction and Gulf Operators. The project will feature upgrades to the Spruce Lake Water Treatment Plant [...]

Ontario Government Announces Recipients of Community Environment Fund 2015

Posted on February 11, 2016
The Ontario government today announced six new recipients of the 2015 Community Environment Fund program that will fund watershed and restoration projects across the province. The Ontario Community Environment Fund uses money collected from environmental penalties to support environmental improvement projects in the watershed where a violation happened. The Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority, in the Ganaraska watershed will receive $12,646.95 to remove two culverts on Wesleyville Creek, to improve the flow of the creek and improve habitat for fish, amphibians and other wildlife. The Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority [...]
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