Archive for Water Quality

Growing calls to fix First Nations water crisis

February 9, CTV News:

Members of David Suzuki Foundation, Council of Canadians and Amnesty International release a report on the First Nations water crisis. Watch the press release.

Red River Basin Municipalities Talk Climate Change

Municipal leaders from across the southern Red River Valley gathered in Morris this week for the Third Annual Red River Basin Commission South Chapter Fundraiser Dinner.

This year’s theme, Climate Adaptation – With An Agricultural Perspective, featured Manitoba municipal relations minister Eileen Clarke and Dr. Hank Venema from the Prairie Climate Centre as the guest speakers.

South Chapter board chair Don Wiebe says the issue of climate change is a timely one having come through one of the wetter summers on record.

“With the extreme moisture we experienced this year and given that our weather patterns are changing, we were looking for information on what to expect in the years to come,” said Wiebe. “Dr. Venema talked about the challenges that municipalities will face with respect to planning, policy, infrastructure and economic activity.”

Municipal leaders were also told that climate change can create opportunities for them when it comes to dealing with issues like drought. Read more. 

Ripple Effect: The Red River, what’s in the water and how safe is it?

Long before Winnipeg had ever been incorporated as a city, its largest river defined and shaped the landscape.

The Red River has, for generations, been at the cultural and economic heart of Winnipeg. Archaeological evidence of human life, dating back over 6,000 years has been found on the riverbanks. It played a vital role for Manitoba’s indigenous peoples for trade, fishing and transportation.

Today, the Red River continues to be used for activities in every season; from boating in the summer to ice skating in the winter.

But Winnipeggers have a complicated relationship with the river too. The popular perception of the Red is one of pollution; full of raw sewage, junk and at times, dead bodies.

In a recent poll conducted by Global News Winnipeg, 91 per cent of respondents said they would not swim in the waters of the Red River. Seventy-six per cent said they would not consume fish caught in it.

There is some truth to the perception – the City of Winnipeg’s Water and Waste Department has recorded nearly 200 million litres of raw sewage leaking into the river in the past decade. Read more. 

Reduce, reuse, re-sewage: City moving forward with biosolids plan

A long-awaited city plan to find new uses for treated sewage has now been approved.

The city submitted its Biosolids Master Plan for provincial approval back in September 2014 and received the go-ahead this spring, said Coun. Brian Mayes, chair of the city’s water and waste committee.

So-called “biosolids” are treated sewage sludge that can be used as a fertilizer, composted, or even transformed for energy production.

Mayes (St. Vital) said the approval means the city can now fine-tune plans to reuse the sludge instead of burying it in the landfill.

“Let’s try and keep it out of the landfill, do something environmentally friendly with it and, if there’s something of value to be gleaned from it, so much the better,” said Mayes. Read more