Water News 2021

Oldman River’s low water levels adding stress to ecosystem: experts

PUBLISHED: 22 October 2021

Global News 

As Autumn wanes on, those walking past the Oldman River in Lethbridge may have noticed the water isn’t as plentiful as it usually is. According to experts, the province’s hot and dry summer is partially to blame. Click here to continue reading

 

Canadian Forces to be deployed to help tackle Iqaluit’s water crisis

PUBLISHED: 22 October 2021

CBC News 

The Canadian Armed Forces will be stepping in to help with the water crisis in Iqaluit. The city has been in a state of emergency since Oct. 12, when staff confirmed evidence of fuel contamination in the city’s treated water supply. Residents have been told the water is unsafe to drink even if it’s filtered and boiled. Click here to continue reading

 

Water shortages are a major risk of climate change. Alberta may already be seeing warning signs

PUBLISHED: 21 October 2021

CBC News 

Canada’s Prairie provinces use lots of water for industry and could be hit particularly hard, experts say. “We’re already in the climate catastrophe era,” said James Byrne, a geography professor at the University of Lethbridge who has studied climate change for more than 30 years. No part of the globe or this country is immune from the effects of climate change. Click here to continue reading

Compare and Contrast: Rains delay wheat planting, autumn grain harvest in China

PUBLISHED: 21 October 2021

The Western Producer 

Constant rains in recent weeks have delayed wheat planting in main production regions in China, a government official said on Wednesday. China had completed 26 percent of winter wheat planting across the nation by October 19, slower by 27 percent than normal years, due to constant rains since September, according to Pan Wenbo, head of the planting management division under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs. Click here to continue reading

Compare and Contrast: At least 150 dead in flooding and landslides in India and Nepal

PUBLISHED: 21 October 2021

The Guardian

More than 150 people have died in devastating floods across India and Nepal after some of the heaviest rainfall in over a century triggered flash flooding and landslides. In the north Indian state of Uttarakhand, at least 46 people died and 11 were missing after record-breaking rainfall caused by cloudbursts, an intense deluge of rain, on Monday and Tuesday. Click here to continue reading

Iqaluit forced to medevac patients out of territory as water crisis hits hospital

PUBLISHED: 21 October 2021

CTV News 

Iqaluit is being forced to medevac patients out of the territory as its only hospital suffers the effects of the water contamination crisis. Iqaluit’s state of emergency has been extended until October 27 by the Department of Health, after testing showed a high concentration of fuel in a tank that supplies water to the city last week. As a result, hospital workers are unable to properly wash their hands or sterilize equipment. Click here to continue reading 

Alberta glacier suffered record melt this year — but researchers suggest it will get worse

PUBLISHED: 20 October 2021

CBC News 

The Saskatchewan Glacier in Banff National Park melted by more than 10 metres in the past year, researchers say. Melting this summer even surpassed observational records that date back much longer, Menounos said. The rapid melting was caused, in part, by the early heatwave in June. Temperatures in the Canadian Rockies soared above 40 C during the longest days of the year, so there was less time for temperatures to drop. Click here to continue reading 

To be resilient, the Canadian Prairie needs lots of wetlands: researchers

PUBLISHED: 20 October 2021

Western Producer

In the Canadian Prairies, wetland drainage has resulted in the loss of more than 40 percent of natural wetlands. The impacts associated with this drainage are largely unmitigated. The removal of wetlands through drainage reduces the capacity for water storage on the land and can increase the magnitude and frequency of downstream flooding. These impacts may be exacerbated in the future, as more intense weather events become increasingly common. Click here to continue reading

Council expected to move quickly on returning fluoride to Calgary’s water

PUBLISHED: 20 October 2021

Calgary Herald

With so much of the councillors-elect in favour of either water fluoridation or abiding by Monday’s vote, a notice of motion will likely come forward sooner than later, said Ward 9’s Gian-Carlo Carra. City council will likely move quickly to ratify results of Monday’s plebiscite that favoured returning fluoride to Calgary’s water, say some newly elected lawmakers and advocates. Click here to continue reading 

Compare and Contrast: Australia’s trash tide: what researchers found as they studied 20m pieces of beach rubbish

PUBLISHED: 19 October 2021

The Guardian

An analysis of coastal rubbish collected over a decade reveals almost half of it is local litter, but in some areas plastic is washing up from overseas. Plastic makes up 84% of the rubbish found on Australian beaches, according to analysis of a decade of clean-up efforts by more than 150,000 citizen scientists. Click here to continue reading

Stormwater Kidney open in Dawson’s Landing

PUBLISHED: 19 October 2021

The Chestermere Anchor

Qualico Communities Calgary is excited to announce the Stormwater Kidney® in Dawson’s Landing, Chestermere is now open. The Stormwater Kidney® system cleans stormwater by circulating the water through spaces with a diverse ecosystem of plants and aquatic creatures so that nutrients contained in the stormwater nourish the living organisms. Click here to continue reading

Calgarians vote yes to fluoride in city water supply

PUBLISHED: 19 October 2021

CTV News

Calgarians have voted to add fluoride back to the city’s water supply. Calgary stopped adding fluoride to its drinking water in 2011 as directed by city council. Plebiscites on the fluoridation of Calgary’s drinking water have been held six times: in 1999, 1989, 1971, 1966, 1961 and 1957. Click here to continue reading

Testing shows high concentrations of fuel in tank at Iqaluit’s water treatment plant

PUBLISHED: 18 October 2021

CTV News

The City of Iqaluit says testing shows a high concentration of fuel in a tank that supplies water to the Nunavut capital, but long-term health effects are not a concern. Officials at a news conference Friday said the fuel could be diesel or kerosene. Click here to continue reading

Compare and Contrast: Tropical wetlands reduce storm impacts and save thousands of lives and $600bn each year, study suggests

PUBLISHED: 18 October 2021

The Guardian

Tropical wetlands provide storm protection that saves thousands of lives and more than $600bn each year, an Australian-linked world-first study has found. Dr. Diane Jarvis from james Cook University says it’s vitally important, because around the world the area covered by wetlands is reducing. As we keep destroying our wetlands, we put more people at risk. Click here to continue reading

Compare and Contrast: Fukushima wastewater release must happen soon, Japanese PM says

PUBLISHED: 18 October 2021

Canada’s National Observer

Japan’s new prime minister on Sunday, October 17, 2021, said the planned mass disposal of wastewater stored at the tsunami-wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant cannot be delayed, despite concerns from local residents. Click here to continue reading

Group delivers water to people without cars after fuel contaminates pipes in Iqaluit

PUBLISHED: 18 October 2021

Red Deer Advocate

When staff at Iqaluit’s Qajuqturvik Community Food Centre heard the news last week that water from the city’s distribution pipes wasn’t safe to drink because of fuel contamination, they knew some people weren’t going to be able to get the precious liquid themselves. The city set up two distribution sites where people could fill up jugs with potable water. Click here to continue reading

Drought aftermath continues for farmers

PUBLISHED: 15 October 2021

The Western Producer

The 2021 growing season has ended amid drought that plagued much of the Prairies and experts warn the effects aren’t over yet. The Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission recently released a document detailing post-drought agronomic considerations. They include soil fertility, herbicide carryover and insects. Click here to continue reading

Compare and Contrast: After fighting for clean drinking water since 2018, a Michigan city will finally get lead-free lines

PUBLISHED: 15 October 2021

The Guardian

Residents of Benton Harbor, Michigan, a predominantly Black city that has dealt with elevated lead levels in its water for at least three years, have welcomed an announcement by the governor, that all lead lines in the city would now be replaced over the next 18 months. Click here to continue reading

Nunavut declares emergency in Iqaluit as city ships in potable water

PUBLISHED: 15 October 2021

Canada’s National Observer

The Nunavut government has declared a 14-day state of emergency in Iqaluit after water in the capital was deemed undrinkable and potentially tainted with petroleum. The first shipment of potable water for residents also arrived by plane, with more expected to be delivered in the coming days. Click here to continue reading

Compare and Contrast: Boss of English water firm fined over sewage says he would swim in rivers

PUBLISHED: 14 October 2021

The Guardian

A water company boss has told MPs he would swim in the rivers and sea in the area where he lives, as he and others were challenged over “routine” dumping of raw sewage. The heads of the five largest privatised companies – Southern Water, South West Water, Northumbrian, Severn Trent and Thames Water – were questioned on Wednesday over discharges of raw effluent into rivers. Click here to continue reading

Compare and Contrast: Iran buying record volume of wheat after worst drought in 50 years

PUBLISHED: 14 October 2021

Western Producer

Iran needs to buy a record 8 million tonnes of wheat in the current season, Iranian industry sources said, after its domestic crop was hit by drought, while the jump in imports will coincide with high global grain prices adding to pressures on the country’s finances. The country suffered its worst drought in 50 years during the 2021 growing season, leading international trade house sources to raise their expectations for imports. Click here to continue reading

Don’t drink from tap, Canadian city says, as gasoline suspected in water supply

PUBLISHED: 14 October 2021

The Guardian

Officials in Canada’s northernmost capital have declared a local state of emergency after finding possible evidence of gasoline in the city’s tap water. Residents of Iqaluit, the capital of the Arctic territory of Nunavut, have been told not to drink, boil or cook with the city’s water. In a public health advisory late on Tuesday, the Nunavut government said it was testing the city’s water for suspected petroleum hydrocarbons. Click here to continue reading

Compare and Contrast: Fire-ravaged Greek island of Evia hit by floods and mudslides

PUBLISHED: 14 October 2021

The Guardian

Storms and heavy rain have laid bare the scale of the destruction wreaked by massive fires on the Greek island of Evia, with communities now having to deal with flooding and mudslides. After a summer of record temperatures igniting unprecedented wildfires across Greece, authorities in affected regions have now been put on the defensive as the nation has been hit by a second bout of severe weather in less than a week. Click here to continue reading

‘Going forward, is it OK? Absolutely not’: Fuel in water not dangerous short-term

PUBLISHED: 14 October 2021

Red Deer Advocate

A University of Saskatchewan professor who has worked in Iqaluit says any amount of fuel in drinking water is unsafe, but drinking it over the short term isn’t necessarily dangerous. Iqaluit residents were told not to drink the city’s tap water Tuesday after a fuel smell was detected at the water treatment plant, but it’s still unknown whether there is fuel in the water. Click here to continue reading

Approval Granted for Springbank Offstream Reservoir Project

PUBLISHED: 14 October 2021

Environmental and Resources Law Blog

On October 6, 2021, the Lieutenant Governor in Council (provincial Cabinet) authorized the Natural Resources Conservation Board to grant approval to Alberta Transportation and Alberta Environment and Parks to construct and operate the Springbank Offstream Reservoir Project, located approximately 15 kilometres west of Calgary. Click here to continue reading

‘Don’t drink the water’: Iqaluit drinking water supply possibly tainted with petroleum hydrocarbons

PUBLISHED: 13 October 2021

CTV News

Residents of Nunavut’s capital city, Iqaluit, are being warned not to consume the city’s drinking water due to the possibility of petroleum hydrocarbons. Residents are being advised not to consume tap water for drinking or cooking until further notice. Both boiled and filtered water are not safe for consumption at this time. Click here to continue reading

Compare and Contrast: Lake Tahoe water level hits four-year low as drought pummels tourist spot

PUBLISHED: 13 October 2021

The Guardian

Lake Tahoe’s water level dropped to a four-year low on Tuesday as gusty winds and the impacts of California’s devastating drought hit the popular tourist destination. After days of high winds increased evaporation rates, water levels fell to the basin’s natural rim for the first time since 2017, the end of the state’s last drought. Click here to continue reading

Compare and Contrast: China floods: bus falls into river as heavy rains destroy homes

PUBLISHED: 12 October 2021

The Guardian

A bus has fallen into a river in northern China, leaving at least three people dead and 11 others missing after flooding from heavy rains destroyed homes and covered farmland in two provinces. Video posted online showed people on top of an almost submerged bus in a rushing river flowing over a nearby bridge outside the city of Shijiazhuang, about 165 miles (265km) south-west of Beijing. Click here to continue reading

Compare and Contrast: Rotting Red Sea oil tanker could leave 8m people without water

PUBLISHED: 12 October 2021

The Guardian

The impact of an oil spill in the Red Sea from a tanker that is rotting in the water could be far wider than anticipated, with 8 million people losing access to running water and Yemen’s Red Sea fishing stock destroyed within three weeks. Negotiations are under way to offload the estimated 1.1m barrels of crude oil that remains onboard the FSO Safer, which has been deteriorating by the month since it was abandoned in 2017. Click here to continue reading

Compare and Contrast: California justice department to investigate enormous oil spill

PUBLISHED: 12 October 2021

The Guardian

California’s justice department is investigating the spill off the coast of Huntington Beach earlier this month, which sent thousands of gallons of oil into the ocean, the state’s attorney general, Rob Bonta, announced on Monday. The spill, from an undersea pipeline, polluted the waters near Los Angeles last weekend, blackening beaches and endangering wildlife. Click here to continue reading

Compare and Contrast: Michigan tells majority-Black city not to drink tap water amid lead crisis

PUBLISHED: 12 October 2021

The Guardian

Residents of a majority-Black city in Michigan have been advised by the state not to use tap water for drinking, bathing, or cooking “out of an abundance of caution” owing to lead contamination. For at least three years, residents of Benton Harbor, Michigan, have been suffering from lead-contaminated water with what experts describe as insufficient intervention from state and local officials. Click here to continue reading

$1 device developed in Halifax that helps detect COVID-19 in sewers drawing global interest

PUBLISHED: 12 October 2021

CBC News

A $1 device developed at Dalhousie University in Halifax that can detect COVID-19 in wastewater has been shipped across Canada and around the world to help researchers and public health in the battle against the deadly respiratory illness. The device is a small, spherical cage that contains an absorbent pad to collect samples from sewer systems. The specimens are then analyzed to determine whether COVID-19 is present in the wastewater. Click here to continue reading

Compare and Contrast: Flash floods kill 4 in Alabama as slow-moving weather front drenches state

PUBLISHED: 08 October 2021

CBC News

Terrified drivers climbed out of swamped cars and muddy floodwater flowed through neighbourhoods after a stalled weather front drenched Alabama for hours, leaving entire communities under water Thursday and killing at least four people, with more storms to come. Click here to continue reading

Drought affects supply of grass-fed beef

PUBLISHED: 08 October 2021

Western Producer

The impacts of this year’s drought continue to affect all ranchers, but the strain on pastures is having a particular effect on grass-fed beef producers. Producers face issues sourcing grass-fed beef, a job that hasn’t gotten any easier this year as options for grass-fed cattle are more limited due to the lack of feed. Click here to continue reading

Compare and Contrast: Lake District sewage could leave Windermere ‘ecologically dead’

PUBLISHED: 08 October 2021

The Guardian

Windermere could become “ecologically dead” because of the amount of sewage being pumped into its waters, campaigners have warned. Pictures show algal blooms across the surface of the lake. Campaigners say there is also evidence of dead fish and invertebrates, indicating the waters are not healthy. Click here to continue reading

Compare and Contrast: Some oil from California spill breaks up in ocean currents

PUBLISHED: 07 October 2021

Red Deer Advocate

Some of the crude oil that spilled from a pipeline into the waters off Southern California has been breaking up naturally in ocean currents, a Coast Guard official said Wednesday as authorities sought to determine the scope of the damage. Some of the oil has been pushed to the south by currents. Storms earlier in the week may also have helped disperse the oil, which could make it more challenging to skim as it spreads out. Click here to continue reading

Compare and Contrast: ‘The water used to be up to your armpits’: birds starve as Turkey’s lakes dry up

PUBLISHED: 07 October 2021

The Guardian

If we stood in this spot a few years ago, the water would be up to your armpits,” says vet Isa Agit, standing on sun-hardened and cracked mud that used to be part of a lake in eastern Turkey, with his hands firmly wrapped around a long-legged buzzard. “That’s the last of the flamingos over there,” he adds, pointing to what is left of the lake in the village of Enginsu – a patch of water just visible in the distance. Click here to continue reading

‘Keep the Earth fresh’: Young eco-warriors clean up litter on Calgary’s Bow River

PUBLISHED: 07 October 2021

CBC News

A group of volunteers is taking litter into their own hands by cleaning up trash around Calgary’s Peace Bridge as well as other popular river edges each week. It all started with Angelina Hajji, a third year student at University of Calgary, who noticed an increase of pollution, like face masks and gloves, around her neighborhood in February. Click here to continue reading

Compare and Contrast: Summer storms flooded U.S. subways, causing a climate-change wake-up call

PUBLISHED: 07 October 2021

Canada’s National Observer

Nearly a decade after Superstorm Sandy spurred billions of dollars in investment in coastal flooding protection up and down the East Coast — some of which remains unfinished — Hurricane Ida and other storms this summer provided a stark reminder that more needs to be done — and quickly — as climate change brings stronger, more unpredictable weather to a region with some of the nation’s oldest and busiest transit systems, say transit experts and officials. Click here to continue reading

Sylvan Lake water level within normal range

PUBLISHED: 06 October 2021

Red Deer Advocate

A Sylvan Lake resident recently questioned water level fluctuations in the lake. An Alberta Environment Parks (AEP) Regional Hydrologist has confirmed lake water level is normal and is no matter of concern. Lake levels normally drop throughout the summer from evaporative losses. In spite of the dry conditions, this year’s water levels are within their normal range and well within natural variability. Click here to continue reading

Compare and Contrast: NSW government faces crucial court challenge to Murray-Darling water plan

PUBLISHED: 06 October 2021

The Guardian

A groundbreaking case has been filed against the New South Wales government seeking to invalidate an important water sharing plan in the Murray-Darling basin, on the grounds that decision-makers have failed to properly consider climate change. The case, which is the first of its kind in the world, will be watched closely by countries also trying to grapple with allocating scarce water resources between agriculture and the environment. Click here to continue reading

Many Canadians live in climate risk areas and don’t know it: report

PUBLISHED: 05 October 2021

CTV News

Canada’s outdated approach to assessing the risks of climate change means that many Canadians are currently living in areas considered at risk of climate-related flooding and wildfires without knowing it, says a new report from the Canadian Institute for Climate Choices. Click here to continue reading

Compare and Contrast: 14% of world’s coral lost in less than a decade, study shows

PUBLISHED: 05 October 2021

The Guardian

About 14% of the world’s coral has been lost in less than a decade, a study of the health of coral reefs has found. In the largest analysis of coral reef health ever undertaken, scientists found that between 2009 and 2018 the world lost about 11,700 sq km of coral – the equivalent of more than all the living coral in Australia. Click here to continue reading

Compare and Contrast: Ship’s anchor among possible causes of California oil spill

PUBLISHED: 05 October 2021

Red Deer Advocate

Officials investigating one of California’s largest oil spills are looking into whether a ship’s anchor may have struck a pipeline on the ocean floor, causing a major leak of crude into coastal waters and fouling beaches. Now, company divers have been inspecting the area of the suspected leak to learn more. Click here to continue reading