Right to Water
At a time of unprecedented urgency with the global and local water crises, Edmonton will mark World Water Day with a week of events on the most pressing issues surrounding this fundamental necessity of all life.
All events are free and open to the public, and will address a range of issues, including water markets and the risk they pose by commodifying Alberta’s water rather than protecting it in the public interest; Bill S-11 and the threat to First Nations’ sovereignty and Indigenous rights to water; and the conflict embodied in the tar sands between our lust for energy and the need for clean water and healthy ecosystems on which our survival depends. The week includes film screenings, talks, public displays, celebrations and music. Some highlights are:
Tuesday, March 22 (World Water Day), 7:00 pm - The Public Trust Doctrine and the Future of Water in Alberta... Read more »
CALGARY — A new government-commissioned report examining conflicting water quality data from the oilsands says the current monitoring system is inadequate and that environmental impacts from industrial development in the region are largely unknown.
Alberta Environment Minister Rob Renner appointed the six-member water monitoring data review committee last fall to try to resolve the conflicting water quality information found between government scientists and University of Alberta ecologist David Schindler and his colleagues.
Schindler's reports argue the oilsands industry is contaminating the environment, while the province and the industry funded Regional Aquatics Monitoring Program (RAMP) have insisted their science does not support his conclusions.... Read more »
A scientific panel has backed research that indicates oil sands development is releasing contaminants into northern Alberta watersheds.
The panel also concludes that government monitoring programs weren’t even trying to determine if the industry was polluting the Athabasca River.
Alberta Environment Minister Rob Renner said the results from the panel’s review will be used in an ongoing redesign of how the province keeps track of industry’s impact on land and water.
But one of the University of Alberta scientists whose study led to the panel said it’s probably already too late to get a true picture of how energy development has affected the region.
“It’s nearly impossible at this point,” David Schindler said Wednesday after the panel’s findings were released by the Environment Department.... Read more »
A groundswell of support is rising from environmental groups in southern Alberta, who are calling for a moratorium against fracking on the Blood Reserve.
Tom Cain, of Greensence in Lethbridge, said Friday the unprecedented collaboration comes from mutual concern for the health of the water, which becomes Lethbridge drinking water after it leaves the reserve.
Cain said Bonnie May of the Council of Canadians has been door-knocking with a petition aimed at Environment Minister Rob Renner (and others), and has met with a high level of support.
"Citizens of Lethbridge, if they're given some information, are willing to support people on the reserve," said Cain.
"And she's finding eight out of 10 people at the door are saying they want to sign the petition.
"That's a high percentage."... Read more »