On Oct. 20, 2018 the citizens of the Cowichan Valley voted for establishing the Drinking Water and Watershed Protection Service Establishment Bylaw (#4202). We thought that this bylaw would be used to protect our water supplies. It has been known for many years that the wells at three commercial establishments on Fisher Road, Cobble Hill had nitrate levels greatly exceeding the Health Canada Drinking Water Guidelines. These wells and surrounding CVRD monitoring wells have been monitored by a number of agencies, including the CVRD, in the past. The Cobble Hill Aquifer Interagency Task Group (CHAITG) was established to deal with this nitrate contamination and this Task Group commissioned Western Water Associates Ltd. (WWAL) to carry out a review of past studies. Surprisingly, this review did not review aquifer nitrite levels, only nitrate levels. Nitrite is a bigger concern than nitrate since nitrite can convert the oxygen-carrying hemoglobin to methemoglobin which does not carry oxygen. Thus, nitrite can cause tissue oxygen deficiency which is particularly problematical for infants and children since it can stunt their mental and physical growth.
Even as floodwaters across the region stabilize, health officials are warning people living in flood zones — particularly those who get water from wells — to remain vigilant. Hundreds of homes have been damaged by the devastating floods that have washed through eastern Ontario and western Quebec, forcing residents and volunteers to spend days filling and loading up sandbags to protect their communities.
Cheesemakers in Ontario are taking a hard look at their water use with an eye to improving quality and sustainability. Though the industry is considered a "medium" water consumer by experts, an estimated 10,000 litres of water go into producing a single pound of cheese when the entire production line is taken into account.
The Nova Scotia government is buying bottled water and dispatching tanker trucks to a southwestern stretch of the province grappling with an extended drought. The Emergency Management Office said it has been working in Argyle, Barrington and Yarmouth to make sure people whose wells have run dry have access to drinking water.
A green dot. That’s the symbol the federal government uses for this First Nation in the Gatineau River Valley. An online map that tracks one of the Liberal administration’s signature pledges — to rid First Nations of warnings that their tap water is dirty and unsafe — marks Kitigan Zibi with a green dot, like a traffic signal, indicating Mission Accomplished.