A new Climate Justice Project study from the BC office of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives warns that “BC’s water and hydroelectric resources are at risk of being depleted by industrial users, thanks to lax reporting requirements and extremely low water prices”. The study identifies gaping holes in key information relating to the water that major industries use. For example, of the READ MORE
Homeowners in Ontario could soon finance efficiency retrofits and solar panel installations through an additional charge on their property taxes, but only if the province makes good on regulatory changes it proposed last month. Toronto councillor Mike Layton said proposed changes to provincial legislation would allow municipalities to enter into agreements with individual property owners READ MORE
Regional District of Nanaimo is now providing incentives to residents interested in reducing their energy usage and emissions, and protecting water. Nanaimo also renewed its Green Building Incentive Program to encourage residents to invest in energy efficiency, emission reductions and green building practices. Read more at the Municipal Information Network .
Canada-Europe Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) is generating serious questions and concerns from local governments across Canada. Municipalities, local government associations and school boards have passed resolutions expressing concern about the CETA’s potential impact local public services and decision making which could undermine public control key municipal services. Read more from the Columbia READ MORE
Atlantic Canada mayors expressed concerns last week about the impact of CETA on local procurement and are calling for water services to be exempted from trade negotiations. The mayors are concerned that municipalities have been excluded from CETA negotiations and want a voice in all future talks. To read the media release from the Atlantic Canada mayors READ MORE
A briefing note on recently leaked CETA documents shows that Canada and the provinces are failing to protect drinking water and wastewater services from trade rules that would encourage and lock in privatization. In contrast, the EU’s CETA offer specifically protects it’s own water and wastewater services. To read the full report from the Council READ MORE
After complaints about the water started to flood in from residents of Pavilion, Wyoming, the EPA decided to do some testing. Results showed “that ground water in the Pavilion aquifer contain[ed] methane, benzene, other petroleum hydrocarbons and other chemical compounds.” The toxic chemicals are suspected to be the result of nearby fracking. The long list READ MORE
Using well documented research to back up his claim, Al Gore is noting the direct link between the large algae blooms and low water levels of the Great Lakes as a direct result of climate change. He is urging governments to address the issue, noting that both the environmental and economic fallout from continued decline READ MORE
}At the Union of BC Municipalities conference, municipal leaders passed the Blue Communities resolution, “the resolution asks for the federal government to provide funding for public water infrastructure and delivery projects and “unhook” funding for water infrastructure and maintenance projects from public-private partnerships (P3s).” Most BC municipalities have publicly owned water facilities and leaders want READ MORE
BC municipalities are becoming increasingly concerned about CETA negotiations that are taking place behind closed doors. It appears that the trade agreement between Canada and the European Union would give limit the right to procure local goods and services and would give large multinationals access to local water contracts. Squamish councillor Patricia Heintzman has pointed READ MORE
Manitoba may be the first Canadian province to start using recycled shower water to fill its ice rinks. The province is considering a pilot project to test the concept. The project would include the Dakota Centre, which houses two indoor rinks and three outdoor rinks. The Centre currently spends $35,000 on water annually. If the READ MORE
Bolivia’s Mother Earth Law will radically change the country’s approach to industry. The law gives legal rights to nature, “specifically the rights to life and regeneration, biodiversity, water, clean air, balance, and restoration,” and will require the government to “assess the ecological impact of all economic activity, to carry out ecological audits of all private READ MORE
Two years ago Ontario put into place a province-wide cosmetic pesticide ban, and since then concentration levels of 2,4-D, one of the most common pesticides on the market, have dropped by as much as 97% in tested streams. Read more at the CBC .
A report from the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) and Council for Canadians expresses concern over the proposed Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) currently being negotiated between Canada and the European Union. The report states that EU negotiators want Canadian municipal water utilities to be included in a chapter on public procurement, which READ MORE
The Tyee reports that the Federal Government has killed a report examining the environmental impacts of Alberta’s Tar Sands. According to the evidence presented by several reputable scientists, the industry is rapidly poisoning and depleting the Province’s water supply. Read the full story in The Tyee .
Researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago have concluded that green infrastructure is better suited to deal with storm water runoff that the traditional use of curbs and gutters, detention ponds and storm sewers. Green infrastructure incorporates permeable pavement, green roofs and constructed wetlands to reduce the flow of pollutants into sewers and ultimately READ MORE
Canadian Trade Lawyer Steve Shrybman presented a number of worrying scenarios at a dialogue session hosted by the Centre for Civic Governance last Friday at the FCM. He pointed out that the “The European Union has made a pointed request that drinking water services be included in the trade agreement, opening the door for big READ MORE
Dawson Creek will soon begin construction on a new wastewater treatment plant that will enhance the quality of 400,00 cubic metres of sewage per day so that it is useable by the oil and gas industry. The cleaner wastewater can then be use by the oil and gas industry, thereby reducing water use and transportation READ MORE
The Scottish Government and Crown Estate have announced multi-million pound plans for wave and tidal energy projects. These projects are expected to provide power for up to 750 000 homes, create new businesses and jobs, and attract inward investment. Read the full story at the Edie Legal Resource Centre .
The BC Budget 2010/11 allocates $69 million for justice and policing operations, but ignores the collapse of environmental law enforcement across the province. Past and recent cuts to the Ministry of Environment have reduced the capacity of Conservation Officers to enforce environmental laws and protect BC’s air, water and wildlife. Read the full story at READ MORE
Simcoe County councillors voted in favor os a 1-year moratorium on the development of the Site 41 landfill in Tiny Township, northwest of Barrie, Ontario. Activits in opposition of the development feared that it would contaminate an underground reservoir that provides drinking water. Tiny Township mayor Peggy Breckenridge says the next step will be to READ MORE
The province of Ontario made its final approval for the Site 41 landfill only one day after passing the Clean Water Act, which some see as hypocritical. Landfills are notorious polluters, and have the pose potential risks to the surrounding environment and water systems. Proponents of the Site 41 plan maintain that this landfill operation READ MORE
WATERLIFE is an epic documentary showcasing the journey of water from the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean. The journey highlights the biological problems rampant in this water system, and shows how close it is to an ecological disaster. The film boasts stunning imagery, interesting characters, and an extensive musical soundtrack. Get more information at READ MORE
The Community Lifestyles Campagin targets the household and community level, and aims at establishing “EcoTeams” to work through the “EcoTeam Workbook”. EcoTeams are give the opportunity to become informed on topics such as waste reduction, energy efficiency and empowerment, and gain the tools necessary to act as sustainable community leaders. Read more about the campaign READ MORE
Water Centric Planning Community of Interest A communication vehicle for planning with a view to water in British Columbia This Water-Centric Planning Community-of-Interest is the web-delivery vehicle for informing stakeholders in British Columbia about the latest advancements in the state-of-the-art when planning with a view to water—whether for a single site or for the entire province. http://waterbucket.ca/
The Program on Water Governance (PoWG) conducts basic research on water management, engages the wider community in outreach and education on water issues, and facilitates dialogue on water governance between universities, communities, government, NGOs and the private sector. The PoWG is co-hosted by the Department of Geography and the Institute of Resources, Environment and Sustainability at UBC.
Half of B.C.’s most threatened rivers are at risk from “green energy projects” according to a report released from the Outdoor Recreation Council of B.C. In the absense of comprehensive provincial strategies, private run-of-river power proposals and urban and industrial development are threatening the health and biological integrity of sensitive river ecosystems. Read report here . READ MORE
An internal report by Environment Canada, accessed through the Access to Information Act, reveals that Canada’s water supply is in need of further study and protection. While Canada holds one fifth of the world’s water supply, only seven per cent of it is renewable. Despite the assurance that Canada’s water supply "is not for sale," READ MORE
After having banned bottled water sales at the City Hall cafeteria, London city council is now considering extending the ban to all city property. Before the ban would take effect, the city would ensure that there is a supply of tap water at all city sites and is developing new fountains with longer necks to READ MORE
Vancouver councillor Tim Stevenson has put forward a motion to ban bottled water in city facilities. In the motion, Stevenson cites compelling reasons why bottled water should not be available in city facilities, including the fact that 80% of waste from plastic bottles ends up in landfills and that bottled water is not required to READ MORE
Due to rapid growth in Langley that is causing tremendous strain on aquifers, Langley has developed a draft water management plan that is currently going through a public consultation process. The draft plan is the first comprehensive groundwater planning document in BC and aims at reducing water demand by 30% over the next decade. BC READ MORE
City council in London, Ontario has voted in principle to stop selling bottled water in city offices, cafeterias, and parks, in an effort to try to reduce waste. A December 2007 report revealed that many plastic bottles are not being recycled and are contributing to landfill waste. The city will promote alternatives to bottled water READ MORE
The Polis Project on Ecological Governance is an initiative of the University of Victoria which aims to understand the structure and dynamics of urban water use. The project includes several objectives relevant to local government, including developing innovative governance options that promote sustainable water management, developing water law and policy decision-making tools, and examining urban and emerging water issues in Canada. READ MORE