In Canada's largest city, raw sewage flows into Lake Ontario so often, Toronto tells people they should never swim off the city's beaches for least two days after it rains. Across the country in Mission, B.C., a three-decade-old pipe that carries sewage under the Fraser River to a treatment plant in Abbotsford is so loaded operators can't even slip a camera inside it to look for damage. If that pipe bursts, it will dump 11 million litres of putrid water from area homes and businesses into a critical salmon habitat every day it isn't fixed.
The Columbia River Treaty, an international agreement governing the flow of water between British Columbia and six U.S. states, will be 55 years old this year. It has not aged well. The river springs from the Columbia Icefield in the Rocky Mountains of B.C. and winds 1,930 kilometres through the Northwestern United States – Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Nevada and Wyoming. No other river in North America spills more water into the Pacific Ocean.
Climate change is a deciding factor in record high water levels in the Great Lakes being higher than ever before, a University of Waterloo professor told CTV’s Your Morning on Wednesday. According to government statistics, July water levels for the bodies of water between Canada and the U.S. were at record highs. And this can lead to faster erosion of the coastline and flooding. The flooding this spring and summer along the northern shores of Lake Ontario, the Toronto Islands and some Toronto-area beaches has been particularly troublesome for homeowners and businesses.
An Indigenous-led group plans to offer to buy a majority stake in the Trans Mountain oil pipeline from the Canadian government this week or next, a deal that could help Prime Minister Justin Trudeau mitigate election-year criticism from environmentalists. The group, called Project Reconciliation, aims to submit the $6.9 billion offer as early as Friday, managing director Stephen Mason told Reuters, and start negotiations with Ottawa two weeks later. Project Reconciliation said the investment will alleviate First Nations poverty, a watershed for Indigenous people who have historically watched Canada’s resources enrich others.
Rising water levels in the St. Lawrence Seaway could cost the economy more than $1 billion, shippers and port operators say. A new study from the Chamber of Marine Commerce warns that opening the floodgates further at a dam in Cornwall, Ont., would wash away between $1 billion and $1.75 billion in revenue for businesses on both sides of the border. A board of control recently increased the flow at the Moses Saunders Dam — the only control point on the St. Lawrence Seaway, which includes the Great Lakes — to allow 10,400 cubic metres of water per second out of Lake Ontario.
As an insurer, Intact obviously has its own data and maps. Based on that, the company assumes as many as five per cent of those newly at-risk properties will be simply uninsurable. Brindamour warns that "if you're in a zone that gets flooded repeatedly, or where the odds of being flooded has increased meaningfully, it'll be hard to find insurance from private capital."
Vancouver is known for rain and snow-capped mountains, both of which supply the city's water reservoirs. But as climate change continues to alter weather patterns and reduce rainfall, the supply will dwindle and Uytae Lee is thirsty for action to be taken now. Metro Vancouver is also predicting another one million people will arrive in the region by 2050 and predicts a water "supply gap" by 2030.
Wildfire season is getting longer in Alberta every year with climate change, scorching land and polluting the air with thick smoke. But, the City of Calgary is studying another, perhaps less obvious, impact of wildfires — drinking water contamination. There haven't been any major fires in the Bow and Elbow river watersheds, upstream of the City of Calgary, for years. But, there are fears a major fire west of the city could wash burned material into the rivers, impacting the drinking water supply for the city's 1.4 million residents.
Ontario's government is working to protect what matters most by identifying priorities for action to help protect the water quality and ecosystems of the Great Lakes and other waterways as part of its commitment in the Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan. Today, Rod Phillips, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks and Grand Council Chief Glen Hare co-chaired the Great Lakes Guardian Council, which includes leaders from across Ontario including municipalities, First Nations and Métis communities, environmental organizations, and the science community, to discuss challenges and opportunities around the Great Lakes.
The Okanagan Basin Water Board has approved more than $318,000 in funding to 17 projects that will help conserve and protect water in the valley while addressing the larger issues of climate change. Directors approved the Water Conservation and Quality Improvement grants at their last board meeting, April 2. Recipients have now been notified. In total, there were 31 applications with a total ask of $688,281.
NDP MP Tracey Ramsey grew up on the water's edge in Essex County — and her love for the water has her pushing for a national strategy to protect freshwater across the country. According to Ramsey, the freshwater policies that currently exist haven't been updated since 1987 — too long, in her opinion.
The Water Act, passed in the P.E.I. Legislature but not yet proclaimed, was one of the more divisive issues of the first leaders debate of the provincial election campaign.
More than 250 people packed into an auditorium at UPEI to listen to the leaders discuss environmental issues, at a forum organized by Island environmental groups.
Topics ranged from protecting soil quality, to watershed group funding, to increasing the number of protected areas on P.E.I., to promoting the Island's natural history.
More than 40 Indigenous communities in Canada have launched guardian programs, which employ local members to monitor ecosystems and protect sensitive areas and species. At a national gathering in Vancouver this week, guardians raised alarm about environmental degradation and climate change in their territories.
The 500 residents of La Motte, Que., don't have have a gas station or even a convenience store, but they do enjoy some of the best-tasting drinking water in North America. So when an Australian mining firm began seeking approval to build an open-air lithium mine just a stone's throw from the community's water source, reactions were decidedly mixed in the town, located 50 kilometres northwest of Val-d'Or.
Gwenn Flowers, a glaciologist, trudges back and forth across a vast glacier in southwest Yukon, pulling a radar device mounted on skis behind her. "We as Canadians are stewards of about a third of the world's mountain glaciers and ice caps, so this is our responsibility," Flowers says. The dramatic changes to the glaciers in the Yukon are an early warning of what climate change could mean for the rest of the planet, researchers say. And Flowers sees lots of reason for concern reflected in the state of the ice.
Experts from around the world are in Saskatoon to discuss managing water for sustainable agriculture in the face of climate change. The 2018 annual conference of the International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage is being supported by the Government of Canada through a $15,000 investment from Western Economic Diversification Canada's Western Diversification Program.