A large swath of warm water spanning thousands of kilometres from the Bering Sea to Mexico, nicknamed by scientists as “the Blob,” has returned to the West Coast, threatening marine life and fisheries. The Blob was christened in 2014, after a similar natural event that spanned two years devastated the salmon industry, damaged ecosystems and disrupted wildlife like whales, sea lions and crabs. “This is a massive pool… of warm water that’s in the Pacific, that is thousands of kilometres huge,” said senior climatologist for Environment Canada David Phillips on CTV’s Your Morning Tuesday. “This one stretches from the Bering Strait, the Bering Sea, right through the Gulf of Alaska, right through to California, British Columbia, and down to Mexico.”
Once a month, Susan Chipman drives to a mountainside spring that burbles from the ground in North Vancouver and ﬁlls four 20-litre containers with water to use for drinking and cooking. When full, each container weighs 20 kg. Chipman lives on the top floor of a three-storey walk-up apartment in Vancouver. Her building has running water, of course, supplied and sourced by Metro Vancouver from protected reservoirs even higher up in the North Shore Mountains. But it lacks an elevator. So, she hauls her water jugs up the stairs, one in each hand for balance. “It’s a bit of a chore in the true sense of the word, but it’s worth it, I think.” Chipman says she was hooked from the ﬁrst sip. She tasted it and thought, “OK, this is real water.”
Less than two years after switching Saint John's west side to a new drinking water system, the city is now diverting many of those same neighbourhoods to a new water source. The areas affected include Saint John's lower west side, Milford, Randolph, Fundy Heights, Duck Cove and Sand Cove. They are to begin receiving surface water from the Loch Lomond Treatment plant on the city's east side by the end of the year. At the same time the city has cancelled its contract with the engineering firm that was instrumental in the creation of the west side well field water system and hired a law firm to pursue the company, BGC Engineering, for costs.