It is becoming an increasingly common story - Another city is running out of drinking water. Chennai, India, the country's sixth-largest metropolis with 4.65 million people, is facing a dire water shortage. The coastal metropolis is the world's first major city to be facing a severe water shortage, but several large cities around the world may soon face a similar crisis. The four reservoirs supplying the region have dried up, leaving small potholes filled with muddy stagnant puddles of dirty water.
Fifty-five metal barrels, left for decades to deteriorate at the bottom of the Humber Canal, are seeing the light of day this week as Corner Brook Pulp and Paper undertakes a big cleanup. The debris predates the mill's current ownership under Kruger, but the company estimates they've been decaying since about the 1950s, although their presence went undetected until residents raised red flags two years ago. The 11-kilometre canal supplies the Deer Lake Powerhouse, which in turn generates electricity for the mill, and also does double duty as the town of Deer Lake's water supply.
Residents of a small Saskatchewan town can drink the water coming out of their taps for the first time in nearly nine years thanks to a new water treatment plant. Craik, population 400, has been facing a boil water advisory since August 2010, when the province found its old plant didn’t meet minimum disinfection standards. “Sometimes it was yellow and sometimes it was brown and sometimes there was dirt in it,” one resident recalled.
A larval-stage zebra mussel has been found in water from Ontario's Shoal Lake, which is connected to Lake of the Woods and is the source of Winnipeg's drinking water. A single intact veliger, the microscopic larva of a zebra mussel, was found in one of six water samples taken from the lake, according to a news release issued jointly on Monday by the provinces of Manitoba and Ontario.
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.
The Liard First Nation in Yukon is testing a new method of obtaining clean water — pulling it out of the air. An atmospheric water generator installed in Watson Lake is gathering moisture from the air like a dehumidifier, then purifying it for drinking by using UV light. When working properly, the machine can generate 30 litres a day, which is enough for a family's daily needs.
The future of a Nova Scotia pulp mill remained uncertain Friday as the province asked for more work on its contentious proposal to pipe 85 million litres of its treated wastewater into the Northumberland Strait. The Northern Pulp paper mill has become a flashpoint, with its plan to pump waste into rich fishing grounds pitting forest industry workers against fishermen, environmentalists and even the P.E.I. government — which opposes the plan due to concerns over the impact on lobster harvesting.
A decades-old pipe that carries Yellowknife's drinking water is going to be replaced in a project funded by the federal and municipal governments. Wednesday's announcement comes more than a year after a consultant's report laid out two options: use a less expensive pipe connecting to a closer water supply or replace the current pipe for nearly $15 million more.
A proposed open-pit mine near a pristine water source in northern Quebec will get a full public review, Quebec's environment minister announced last week. But around 200 people still protested this weekend in Amos, 600 kilometres north of Montreal, saying they intend to make sure the provincial government keeps its promise.
A new study is taking the fight against microfibres in the Great Lakes back to the source: washing machines. The tiny particles of plastic are shed by synthetic fabrics like nylon and fleece when they're washed, slipping through water treatment plants and into the lakes. To stem the flow, researchers will install about 100 special filters on washing machines in Parry Sound, Ont. to see if they reduce the amount of plastic particles that show up at the town's water treatment plant.
Forest fires could also have an effect on drinking water if materials that pose a health concern make their way into a groundwater supply, according to a team of researchers in Alberta that is studying the issue. While not all forest fires have a large impact on drinking water, the matter is one that calls for further examination, said Monica Emelko, who is part of the research team for the Southern Rockies Watershed Project.