University of Lethbridge Newsroom - August 15th

A University of Lethbridge geography researcher is suggesting that flood mitigation and future planning processes involve people in the communities most affected – to help cities and towns look ahead and reduce some of the challenges faced across the province by recent flooding. 

Dr. Tom Johnston, who studies human dimensions of natural hazards, said that as much as the recently-announced flood mitigation plan and other measures, such as an expert panel on flood issues, are important and timely steps forward, the processes by which people and the environment engage is what concerns him as flood reduction planning begins. 

“With many thousands of people displaced over a short period of time, entire communities affected by flooding and the dramatic change that has brought to how people live, work and interact with each other, the critical

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Okotoks Western Wheel - August 21st

A little less remains of the banks of the Fish Creek and many other rivers and streams in the foothills after June’s floods eroded and ate away land along their courses. The situation has become a threat to homes, business and infrastructure across the foothills.

It’s a problem the Meota Gas Co-op is facing after a section of the bank along Fish Creek washed away near Priddis Valley Road, where gas line used by the Meota Gas Co-operative is located.

The co-op and MD of Foothills are looking at ways to beef up what remains of the creek banks to prevent further erosion. ... Click here to continue reading.

Globe and Mail - August 21st

While the unconventional gas industry is working to manage the water it uses in fracking, Gasfrac Energy Services Inc. thinks it has a better solution.

A propane solution.

Gasfrac, based in Calgary and Houston, uses a propane-based gel in its operations, instead of injecting water into the underground cracks that make up a fracking operation. ... Click here to continue reading.

Calgary Herald - August 20th

Two months after Cougar Creek became a raging river and damaged dozens of homes in Canmore, the town has brought in a series of experts to come up with ways to prevent future problems.

Several mountain creeks flow through Canmore into the Bow River.

During the floods in June, the normally tranquil Cougar Creek turned into a raging river and damaged dozens of homes. ... Click here to continue reading.

Edmonton Journal - August 5th

Rules from the province that will ban new construction in flood-prone areas are raising questions about the impact on a major redevelopment planned for Fort McMurray’s downtown.

Last year, the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo approved the ambitious plan to revamp the city centre, including plans for a new civic centre, a downtown arena, a public square and more highrises to accommodate both business and residential growth.

But as the municipality prepares to launch the first phase, it is uncertain what Alberta’s new rules for floodways and flood fringes will mean for this oilsands city that’s bordered downtown by three rivers — the massive Athabasca, the Clearwater and the smaller Hangingstone. A fourth river, the Horse, skirts the Abasand Heights neighbourhood. ... Click here to continue reading.

Grande Prairie Daily Herald-Tribune - August 19th

 

An assessment of Grande Prairie’s riparian zones is currently underway. Crews from the Alberta Riparian Habitat Management Society (Cows and Fish) will work along the edge of the stream banks and floodplains of Bear Creek, and the shores of Crystal Lake within the boundaries of City owned land, to complete a study on the heath of the terrain.

 

The assessment will give council and administration a better idea of proper preservation of the natural environment. The evaluation of wetland quality is the next phase outlined in the Mapping of Environmental Reserve plan, found under the 2010 Municipal Sustainability Plan.

 

“Riparian areas are very important because they act as a filtering system,” said Michelle Gairdner, the City’s Environmental Stewardship manager. ... Click here to continue reading.

 

Edmonton Journal - August 19th

 

The bright, smelly scum that crept across Pigeon Lake in 2006 was a “wake-up call” for Bob Gibbs.

The Edmonton cottager had spotted blue-green algae blooms before in his 30 years on the lake, but the 2006 appearance was so severe that residents such as Gibbs took action.

For Gibbs, that meant getting rid of his two-stroke boat, having his cottage assessed for how to make it more “lake friendly” and joining the local watershed association. ... Click here to continue reading.

Calgary Herald - August 19th

 

Calgary’s chief building inspector says 25 homeowners have applied to have their houses torn down in the wake of the floods, and seven demolition permits have already been granted.

As Calgarians continue to assess how badly their residences were hit by the flood water, several have decided not to rebuild, said Marco Civitarese.

“There’s lots of reasons why owners have come in saying why they want to demolish, some for the simple fact of redeveloping, some for the simple fact of cost implications and some that just felt it might be worth more torn down,” he said. ... Click here to continue reading.

Alberta Government - August 16th

 

In response to input from Albertans, the Redford government has adjusted recent policies on land titles and minimum individual flood mitigation measures.

 

“Since we introduced our flood mitigation program to protect homeowners from future floods a few weeks ago, some common questions have been raised,” said Rick Fraser, Associate Minister of Regional Recovery and Reconstruction. “We’ve heard Albertans loud and clear and have taken their feedback to adjust the policy.”...Click here to continue reading.

CBC News - August 16th 

 

A public health team at the University of Alberta is asking for the public’s help to figure out why an infection known as swimmer's itch is spreading across the province. Patrick Hanington and his researchers have found that snails responsible for transmitting the condition are in 65 Canadian lakes, with one-third in Alberta... Click here to continue reading.

Climate Change and Emissions Management (CCEMC) Corporation

WEBSITE: ccemc.ca
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PHONE: 780-417-1920
The CCEMC is an independent organization that supports and builds on the strategic direction established in Alberta’s 2008 Climate Change Strategy. It also recognizes the direction set
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Vulcan Advocate - August 15th

 

Blue-green algae are currently present in the waters of Travers Reservoir, located southeast of Vulcan. Residents living near the shores of this reservoir, as well as visitors to this reservoir, are advised to take the following precautions:

 

DO NOT DRINK WATER from or allow your pets to drink water from this reservoir. Boiling contaminated water does not remove toxins from the water. Provide an alternative source of drinking water for pets and livestock.

 

DO NOT SWIM OR WADE or allow your pets to swim or wade in this reservoir.

 

AVOID CONTACT with blue-green algae along the shoreline. ...Click here to continue reading.

Edmonton Journal - August 14th

 

The Alberta Energy Regulator is investigating an incident near High Level in which a metal lid blew off a large storage tank and oily water sprayed over an area the size of a football field at a natural gas production facility.

 

AER investigators arrived Wednesday on the remote site, seven days after the company, Calgary-based DeeThree Exploration, reported the incident, said Bob Curran, spokesman for the regulator. The site is accessible only by helicopter. Thousands of similar storage tanks are found at oil and gas production facilities across the province, Curran said...Click here to continue reading.

Strathmore Standard - August 14th 

 

It’s been close to two months since Southern Alberta experienced record level floodwaters that destroyed homes and changed the landscape of communities.

 

Through continued efforts, Siksika Nation, one of the hardest hit areas, is on its way to recovery. Currently, temporary housing’s set up kiddie corner to the Deerfoot Sportsplex... Click here to continue reading.

Scientific American - August 13th 

 

Here is what you need to know about the radioactive water leaking from Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant into the Pacific Ocean.

 

Scientists on both sides of the Pacific have measured changing levels of radioactivity in fish and other ocean life since the Martch 2011 earthquake and tsunami triggered a nuclear meltdown at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant... Click here to continue reading.

The Province - August 14th

 

The price of a litre of bottled water in B.C. is often higher than a litre of gasoline. However, the price paid by the world’s largest bottled water company for taking 265 million litres of fresh water every year from a well in the Fraser Valley — not a cent.

 

Because of B.C.’s lack of groundwater regulation, Nestlé Waters Canada — a division of the multi-billion-dollar Switzerland-based Nestlé Group, the world’s largest food company — is not required to measure, report, or pay a penny for the millions of litres of water it draws from Hope and then sells across Western Canada... Click here to continue reading.

The Guardian - August 11th

 

Beverly McGuire saw the warning signs before the town well went dry: sand in the toilet bowl, the sputter of air in the tap, a pump working overtime to no effect. But it still did not prepare her for the night last month when she turned on the tap and discovered the tiny town where she had made her home for 35 years was out of water.

 

"The day that we ran out of water I turned on my faucet and nothing was there and at that moment I knew the whole of Barnhart was down the tubes," she said, blinking back tears. "I went: 'dear God help us. That was the first thought that came to mind." ...Click here to read more.

CBC News - August 10th

 

The province pledged millions on Friday to fix river and creek beds damaged by June's flooding – but many residents say that amount will barely scratch the surface of what's needed.

 

The money will be divided up across several towns and cities, including along the Bow River in Calgary and hard-hit Cougar Creek in Canmore. What hasn't been determined yet is how much money will be going to each community...Click here to continue reading.

Edmonton Journal - August 12th

 

Expect major delays on your morning commute Monday after flash flooding overnight prompted the total closure of traffic westbound on Yellowhead Trail at St. Albert Trail.

 

Westbound traffic is being diverted up the St. Albert Trail off-ramp and back down the on-ramp on the opposite side until further notice, the city said in a news release. Given morning rush-hour volumes, it’s expected that there will be major delays, so motorists are urged to find alternate routes...Click here to continue reading.

Fort McMurray Today - August 12th

 

Dressed in a bright blue jumpsuit, a hard hat and safety glasses, an embarrassed and apologetic Steve Laut, president of Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., stood before reporters as work crews scooped bitumen from the surface of a pond behind him on Thursday afternoon.

 

For the past 11 weeks, bitumen has been bubbling to the surface at an uncontrollable rate in four different areas around the Cold Lake region. The pools of bitumen forming throughout the region has killed wildlife and polluted traditional land held culturally significant by several Metis and First Nations communities, as well as the Canadian Force’s Cold Lake Air Weapons Range... Click here to continue reading.

Calgary Herald - August 12th

 

Mould is crawling up Dianne Dixon’s home. It’s in her basement, moving closer to the main floor every day. It’s outside near her front door, looking like a spot of fading black spray paint. Dixon still lives here.

 

The house, devastated by June’s flooding, is on the Stoney Nakoda First Nation. Without any options save for a few temporary living spaces, Dixon and her husband have been left to fend for themselves... Click here to continue reading.

CBC News - August 9th

 

Scientists from the Royal Alberta Museum are in Calgary to examine bison remains that were unearthed at the banks of the Bow River in June’s flooding. The bones, discovered by a Calgarian after the floodwaters receded, could be 2,000 years old, according to archaeologist Bob Dawe and paleontologist Chris Jass.

 

"I will probably end up taking a couple of specimens back with me just in case at some point we want to get a radio carbon date down the road,” he said ...Click here to to continue reading.

Cold Lake Sun - July 30th

 

Members of the Cold Lake First Nations (CLFN) rallied outside of Canadian Natural Resources Limited’s (CNRL) head office in Calgary.  Their message was direct on July 25: Community leaders from Cold Lake, Beaver Lake Cree and Metis Nation should have direct and immeditate access to the Primrose South spill site to hold their own assessments of the spill.

“We are asking for action on many levels,” Jesse Cardinal, of CLFN said in a speech outside of CNRL. "To honour the First Nation people and the land we are on.  It is 10 weeks that an oil well blowout on the CNRL Primrose project has been spilling.  And 10 weeks later the neighbouring affected communities have not been given access to the site.” ...Click here to continue reading.

CBC News - Aug. 8th 

House prices in Airdrie will likely be going up soon thanks to that city’s big southern neighbour. The city of Calgary is increasing the fees it charges Airdrie for water and sewer services.

As a result, new houses in Airdrie will likely cost as much as $2,000 to $3,000 more. "A two grand hit is a big hit,” said developer Kent Sillars, president of the Vesta Group of Companies. Sillars said his company will try to absorb the price hike in the short term... Click here to continue reading. 

CBC News - August 8th

 

Vancouver is basking in the hot and heady glow of a July with no rain – its first ever. Farmers in Windsor, Ont., have just experienced the wettest month on record and are worried about what it will mean for their crops.

 

Take a pulse of the weather across Canada so far this year, and it’s as variable as the country’s vast and changing landscape. But even in the shadow of the unprecedented Alberta floods and the record-breaking deluge that soaked Toronto, there’s no easy way to conclude what’s going on with the climate, says Environment Canada senior climatologist David Phillips... Click here to read more.