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.
Bottled water is being flown in to supply the remote northern community of Shamattawa First Nation after a failure at the water treatment plant. The Red Cross is flying 14,000 litres of bottled water to the community from Thompson. Shamattawa is about 745 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg and 361 kilometres northeast of Thompson.
Northerners looking to participate in the economic spin offs of the $1-billion Giant Mine remediation project can expect to wait for the water licence before the project's main manager gets specific on potential contracts. The project's deputy director, Natalie Plato, said that the main construction manager, Parsons Inc., gave the board the "most detailed schedule" it could within last six months.
The Okanagan Basin Water Board has approved more than $318,000 in funding to 17 projects that will help conserve and protect water in the valley while addressing the larger issues of climate change. Directors approved the Water Conservation and Quality Improvement grants at their last board meeting, April 2. Recipients have now been notified. In total, there were 31 applications with a total ask of $688,281.
The Liard First Nation in Yukon is testing a new method of obtaining clean water — pulling it out of the air. An atmospheric water generator installed in Watson Lake is gathering moisture from the air like a dehumidifier, then purifying it for drinking by using UV light. When working properly, the machine can generate 30 litres a day, which is enough for a family's daily needs.
The cause of the fire that destroyed the water treatment facility on Carry The Kettle Nakoda Nation has been ruled undetermined by Saskatchewan First Nation Emergency Management. The facility was destroyed in February, leaving roughly 1,500 people without water. According to Kimbal Ironstar, the First Nation’s projects manager, within three days of the fire they were able to hook up untreated well water and restore running water.
Canada's federal environment and fisheries departments failed at monitoring waste dumps by mining companies and did not always check if these firms were carrying out plans to save fish from lethal chemicals, Canada's environment commissioner has found.
While some remote Indigenous communities are still struggling with boil water advisories and crumbling infrastructure, a community north of Manitoulin Island has some of the best drinking water in the province. Since 2012, Whitefish River First Nation has won the Water Taste Challenge five times. The award is handed out to the First Nation with the cleanest water. It's an honour that community members take pride in.
Water is something most Canadians take for granted. We have so much of it, it's no wonder. Per capita, our country has the world's third-largest freshwater reserves, but yet in many Indigenous communities, water can be difficult to access, at-risk because of unreliable treatment systems, or contaminated. That's the case in Delaware First Nation, an Indigenous community of about 500 people an hour southwest of London, Ont., a place where fishing was everything 60 years ago.
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.
For the first time almost three decades, Health Canada has updated its guideline for lead in drinking water — cutting the acceptable concentration of the metal in half. The decision is based on the latest science, according to the government body, which worked with the provinces and territories to reduce the maximum acceptable concentration from 0.01 mg/L, set in 1992, to 0.005 mg/L.
The elected leader of a remote First Nation in B.C. which has been under a boil-water order for 18 years says he’s confident his community will eventually find a solution to its drinking water woes — regardless of which party is elected federally this year. Chief Jimmy Lulua’s comments to the Star came a day after Canada’s new Indigenous Services minister boasted Ottawa has made “progress” on the First Nations drinking water crisis to mark World Water Day on Friday.
A dental health advocate in Calgary is working to make drinking water fluoridation a campaign issue. There's already one political party on board — the Alberta Party said Friday that if elected, the government will place a greater focus on preventative health, including the fluoridation of municipal drinking water. "Research has shown that fluoride works, and we would encourage municipalities across the province to make the investments necessary to protect their children, their families," said Alberta Party leader Stephen Mandel.
In Canada, we are fortunate to have an ample supply of water; in fact, some statistics suggest we hold within our borders 20% of the world’s freshwater. And while our issues are not the same as those who struggle to find the resource. We are still challenged to ensure that everyone has access to a sustainable and safe water supply.
“Far too often, governments in Canada have demonstrated that they place little value on the health and well-being of Indigenous peoples and the revitalization of their cultures and traditions,” Tara Scurr, business and human rights campaigner with Amnesty International Canada, said in a statement Thursday.
The Great Lakes region is warming faster than the rest of the U.S., a trend that is likely to bring more extreme storms while also degrading water quality, worsening erosion and posing tougher challenges for farming, scientists report. In a report commissioned by the Chicago-based Environmental Law & Policy Center, the annual mean air temperature in the region increased 0.89 C in the periods 1901-60 and 1985-2016 — compared to 0.67 C for the rest of U.S.
More than 40 Indigenous communities in Canada have launched guardian programs, which employ local members to monitor ecosystems and protect sensitive areas and species. At a national gathering in Vancouver this week, guardians raised alarm about environmental degradation and climate change in their territories.
The construction of a modest road into a small community wouldn't usually get a full ground-breaking photo op, complete with gold-coloured shovels and government officials. But for the Semiahmoo First Nation, the road work is just the first step toward new water infrastructure that will end the community's 15-year permanent boil water advisory. "I'm waiting for a day to be able to turn on a tap and drink a glass of water," said Harley Chappell, Semiahmoo's elected chief. "That's the goal."
Moonias said Indigenous Services needs to work with them to get a new contractor who will complete the project. He’s calling for a shutdown of the reverse osmosis system – and a return to bottled water to all homes instead.
A new $40 thousand report concludes scaly material that built up over decades in the water pipes of west Saint John homes was weakened by a change in the water source, which eventually caused leaks. The report follows over 200 complaints of leaking pipes and a series of angry public meetings that concluded in an ongoing class action lawsuit.
A water-main break in Nackawic early Monday morning has prompted a boil order for some residents and closed two schools for the day. The order affects only those on lower Landegger Drive, according to a post on the town's Facebook page. Nackawic High School and Nackawic Middle School are closed because of the break, a town official said.
There is also concern the changes that were made that allowed some of the advisories to be lifted were just temporary fixes. There are long-term, structural problems with the water treatment systems in many Indigenous communities that have not been addressed. Many of these places lack the proper equipment needed to remedy the operational issues with which they are confronted.
B.C.'s Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy is announcing new rules for farmers, intended to protect water sources and "provide more clarity for the agricultural sector." According to the ministry, the rules will protect groundwater with proper manure and nutrient storage, ban direct discharges, allow increased monitoring in high-risk areas, and require record keeping.
The federal Liberal government is on track with its pledge to end long-term boil-water advisories on First Nations reserves, but the overall reliability of the underlying water systems is little improved since the party came to power, according to a Globe and Mail analysis.
A hole drilled for a mineral exploration company seven years ago is leaking contaminated water into the environment, and although the Nova Scotia government learned of the problem last year, staff decided not to fix it. The incident raises questions about how the province regulates exploration activities.
Union Bay resident Kathy Calder wants to know why she can't drink her tap water. Her community, in the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island, has been on a boil water advisory for more than a month. Calder was looking forward to asking some questions at Thursday night's Union Bay Improvement District [UBID] public meeting. However, a letter posted to the district's website Jan. 10 says residents are banned from attending the public meeting, which consists of elected officials.
The protesters in northern British Columbia had camped out for days amid bitter cold and deep snow, manning a checkpoint to prevent construction vehicles from entering the territory of the Wet’suwet’en nation. Their demonstrations, part of a fight against a multibillion-dollar natural gas pipeline, galvanized supporters across the country and at his town hall meeting, the prime minister was forced to content with a barrage of angry questions.
Flett was confident that when the water left the plant it was as clean and drinkable as any you can find in Canada. Garden Hill has never had a long-term boil water advisory and even short-term advisories are rare. Even so, like many Garden Hill residents, Flett and his family refuse to drink the water that comes out of their tap at home. They stopped in 2015 after everyone in the family got sick.
Regional councillors do not support planning changes proposed under Bill 66 and will be sending that message to the province about it. During the planning and works committee meeting on Tuesday morning, councillors voted on a staff recommendation to tell the province the region does not support proposed amendments to the Planning Act as set out in Bill 66, the Restoring Ontario's Competitiveness Act, because "it fails to adequately protect human health and safety and in particular the safety of the Region of Waterloo's drinking water resources."
More than three dozen former biologists are asking the Alberta government to stick with conservation efforts in a vast area of west-central Alberta despite what they call misinformation from an Opposition member of the legislature. "We were very concerned about the misinformation, the inflamed rhetoric and the lack of a long-term vision that perspective provides for the Bighorn," said Lorne Fitch, a longtime fisheries biologist and University of Calgary professor who is one 37 signatories to the open letter to Premier Rachel Notley and Environment Minister Shannon Phillips. In November, the New Democrats announced eight new parks covering 4,000 square kilometres along the eastern edges of Banff and Jasper national parks in the so-called Bighorn Country.