Water Canada: Water Quality Forecasting for Better Infrastructure Spending

Via: Water Canada, Posted on October 1, 2012
Written by Greg Rose and Tim Webster

Water resource conflicts are becoming increasingly prevalent as the intensity of competing uses of nearshore environments increases. Given the complexity of environmental systems, successfully managing and cost-effectively addressing these conflicts can be challenging. To address such challenges, a five-partner collaboration, comprising Golder Associates, Esri Canada, the Applied Geomatics Research Group, Scotia Weather Services and GeoNet, is developing and testing a water quality forecasting and infrastructure optimization system piloted in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Basin.

Funded by the Atlantic Innovation Fund of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, the research project leverages geospatial technology for advanced mapping and analysis of various factors affecting water quality. When completed, the system will allow municipalities in the basin to focus their infrastructure investment strategies to maximize environmental returns and allow shellfish harvesting to be planned in a way that maximizes existing resources.

The issue

Shellfish harvesting is a key part of the economy of the Annapolis Basin, an arm of the Bay of Fundy in eastern Canada. For the region’s famed Digby clams and other seafood to be marketable, the water from which they are harvested must be sufficiently clean. This can be a challenge given the area’s proximity to sources of potential contamination, such as municipal wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs), watershed runoff, and concentrated deposits of fecal matter from seabirds and seals, as well as high tidal flows that can carry contaminants far from the source and render the harvest from some of the basin’s shellfish growing areas (SGAs) temporarily unsafe.

While current legislative controls in Canada, administered via the Canadian Shellfish Sanitation Program (CSSP), provide the necessary checks and balances for protecting human health, their application is relatively labour intensive and expensive. Understandably, the current protocols are geared to exercising precaution. This often leads to closures of growing areas, in cases where these have the potential to yield high-quality harvests under optimal environmental conditions. Conversely, where shellfish harvested from non-prohibited areas are identified as contaminated during the testing process, the harvest is inevitably worthless unless it can be purified cost-effectively.

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TorStar: Ontario only province to get an ‘A’ for drinking water: Ecojustice report

via: Toronto Star Published Nov 15 2011
Colin Perkel for The Canadian Press

TORONTO—More than a decade after the Walkerton disaster, much of Canada’s tap water remains at risk from contamination despite initial progress in front-line monitoring and treatment, a new report concludes.

In its third such report released Tuesday, the environmental group Ecojustice warns that while some jurisdictions have stepped up water protection efforts in the past five years, most have not done enough.

In 2000, seven people died and 2,500 fell ill in Walkerton, Ont., when the town’s poorly monitored drinking water was contaminated with E. coli from farm runoff.

The tragedy prompted most provinces to review and revamp their drinking water laws with mixed results — but that burst of enthusiasm has faded in recent years, according to the report.

“In many places, the health of Canadians is still at risk,” the report concludes.

“The lack of recent progress also seems to indicate that the impetus for improved water protection, spurred by events like Walkerton, is on the wane.”

The report called “Waterproof 3” finds only Ontario among the provinces worthy of an A grade for its water protection efforts, while Alberta lags with a C-.

The federal government gets an F for a record that continues to worsen, the report states.

In particular, the report criticizes Ottawa for a lack of progress on the legislative front, poor water quality for First Nations, and budget cuts it says will hurt Environment Canada’s ability to monitor the situation.

“The federal government is failing in almost every aspect of water protection, even though it should be setting rigorous standards,” the report says.

For the first time, the report has expanded to include source-water protection efforts — the idea that the best way to provide safe tap water is to ensure the water does not get contaminated in the first place.

The findings are not encouraging.

“Full-fledged source-water protection — a critical first step in achieving safe drinking water systems — has been implemented to some degree in only seven of 13 provinces and territories,” the report states.

“(It) is notably lacking in industry-heavy areas where the risk of contamination is high.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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For more information, please contact:

Kimberly Shearon, communications coordinator | Ecojustice
604.685.5618 x 242 | 778.988.1530
kshearon@ecojustice.ca

Sutton Eaves, communications director | Ecojustice
778.829.3265
seaves@ecojustice.ca

Water World: John Meunier awarded drinking water treatment for Nisga’a Village of Gitwinksihlkw, British Columbia, Canada.

John Meunier Inc./Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies Canada To Supply Drinking Water Treatment System To The Village Of Gitwinksihlkw

Drinking water treatment system from John Meunier to provide reliable drinking water supply for British Columbia villagers

MONTREAL, PQ, Canada, Oct. 5, 2011 — John Meunier Inc./Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies Canada has been awarded a contract to supply a drinking water treatment system to the Nisga’a Village of Gitwinksihlkw, British Columbia, Canada.

The package drinking water treatment plant will have a capacity of 500 m³/day and includes an ACTIFLO® high rate clarification system and Dusenflo® gravity filtration, plus all ancillary chemical dosing, instrumentation and control systems.

The ACTIFLO® process has been selected for its reliability, compactness and suitability for treating Nass River water, which contains very fine volcanic and glacial particles.

Gitwinksihlkw, with a population of 250, is located on the north bank of the Nass River, 100 km northwest of Terrace, BC, and 1400 km from Vancouver, BC. Over the past several years, the village, one of four Nisga’a communities, has experienced frequent water shortages, requiring water to be trucked in for domestic use.

The new treatment plant is designed to provide microbiologically- and chemically-safe and aesthetically pleasing drinking water for the village. The finished water quality will meet or exceed the Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality (May 2008), as well as the disinfection requirements outlined in the Protocol for Safe Drinking Water in First Nations Communities, INAC (2006). The plant start-up is planned for fall 2011.