Moncton plans to spend $6 million this winter to upgrade its water treatment plant, the first phase of a plan to deal with cyanobacteria in the municipal water supply. Cyanobacteria was found in 2017 in the Turtle Creek watershed, the drinking water source for Moncton, Dieppe and Riverview. Cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, can form blooms and produce toxins harmful to humans and animals. The water remains safe to drink and the multimillion dollar upgrades are meant to keep it that way.
The taps to Winnipeg's drinking water were first turned on in April 1919, but as the city celebrated its engineering feat and raised glasses of that clear liquid, another community's fortunes suddenly turned dark. Construction of a new aqueduct plunged Shoal Lake 40 into a forced isolation that it is only now emerging from, 100 years after Winnipeg's politicians locked their sights on the water that cradles the First Nation at the Manitoba–Ontario border. "The price that our community has paid for one community to benefit from that resource, it's just mind-boggling," said Shoal Lake 40 Chief Erwin Redsky.
As Calgary dealt with a particularly frigid winter and a series of stubbornly frozen water lines, it turned for advice to a place that's used to dealing with such things.
"Winnipeg has probably a lot more expertise in this area than we do, because it's something they experience fairly routinely," said Chris Huston, the manager of drinking water distribution with the City of Calgary.
There were nearly 300 cases of frozen water-service lines this winter in Calgary, Huston said, and dozens remain frozen even now, despite the arrival of spring.