I was recently asked to submit a response to WEF's WE&T magazine asking me about, “how people are tackling water issues around the globe locally, and …innovative initiatives is your region undertaking to handle those issues?” Our membership is so varied, and our challenges so numerous, I couldn’t focus on any specific issue, so here is what I submitted from CWWA:
This collaborative online workshop will seek to define resilience and what it could mean for water system performance. Participants will learn about, and share, their best practices and measures for adapting to climate change and enhancing system resiliency across the water sector. An overview of contemporary perspectives on water resilience will be provided by key industry speakers.
COVID-19 and the resulting disruption to the norms of society in an attempt to control the pandemic have significantly altered the usual patterns of water consumption. This time offers a unique opportunity to assess the sensitivity of a utility’s water rate structure to changes in market demands, challenge assumed consumer behaviour, and evaluate its financial sustainability. Over the course of January 2020 through to the end of June 2020, the City of London, like many municipalities across the nation, diligently monitored water demand in an attempt to understand its impacts on operations and finances.
A maximum acceptable concentration (MaC) of 0.11 mg/L (110 μg/L) is proposed for dicamba in drinking water. Dicamba is a selective systemic herbicide registered for use on lawn and turf,as well as on industrial and agricultural sites. In 2016 (the most recent year for which data are available), more than 100,000 kg of dicamba (as an active ingredient) was sold in Canada. Low levels of dicamba have been found in source and treated drinking water in a few Canadian provinces through targeted monitoring programs in agricultural areas where dicamba is being applied. although dicamba is used on food crops, it is rarely detected in foods. The proposed guideline is protective against health effects from exposure to dicamba in drinking water over a lifetime.
CWWA’s Drinking Water Quality Committee is reviewing the document and will submit comments if there are concerns with the proposed MAC.
Having just competed first reading this Bill proposes to enacts the Climate Crisis Health action plan act, 2020 which would require the Minister of Health to consider climate change in many aspects of health care decision making and planning.
A new regulatory proposal was posted by Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and parks on October 6, 2020. Comment deadline: Nov. 20, 2020 The proposed amendments would make modifications to Environmental activity and sector registry requirements to exempt low risk short-term water taking, such as pumping tests and construction site de-watering activities and move them to “a more flexible approval process”.
This revised Bill introduces measures to allow the acceleration of infrastructure projects while conferring on the autorité des marches publics (the authority) a greater role in monitoring the public contracts arising from those projects. an infrastructure project may benefit from one or more of the following measures: (1) a simplified expropriation procedure; (2) the possibility of undertaking work on part of the domain of the state before the required rights are obtained; (3) the adaptation of certain processes applicable under the EQa, in particular those relating to the obligation to obtain a ministerial authorization to carry on activities and those applicable to the environmental impact assessment and review procedure; and (4) an exemption from the application of the act respecting land use planning and development for government interventions as well as simplifications to the procedure for obtaining a municipal authorization.
On October 20, 2020, the province posted “a path Towards net Zero (2040) proposed Framework” – a discussion document outlining potential priorities for a long-term vision towards net Zero GHG emissions for PEI.
The Ontario government is providing municipalities with $500 million through the Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund (OMPF). The province is maintaining the overall structure of the fund, keeping a commitment made at the Association of Municipalities of Ontario Annual Conference in August 2020. Municipalities were informed of their specific 2021 funding allocations on October 29, 2020, which will provide much needed stability and support. The OMPF is the province's main general assistance grant, used to support the local priorities and specific needs of 389 municipalities, with a special emphasis on northern and rural communities.
The Newfoundland and Labrador Town of Baie Verte has been ordered to pay a $50,000 fine after pleading guilty to discharges of highly-chlorinated water into a local river.
Officials from EPA recently announced a number of projects selected to receive nearly $40 million in grant funding under the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act (WIIN), signed into law in 2016. These first-ever selections under the WIIN Act will assist disadvantaged communities and schools in removing sources of lead in drinking water.
The Global Water Futures (GWF) program, led by the University of Saskatchewan (USask), is investing $2.5-million in 12 projects that will advance water security across Canada.
Although substances like lead and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) seem to receive the bulk of media attention, a longer-standing drinking water contaminant affects more people across the country and there’s reason to believe it’s poised to spread even further in the near future
More than $107.5 million has been announced by government officials to complete eight water infrastructure projects in northern and southern Alberta as approved through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP).
Washington Post - Opinion/Commentary
Flint, Michigan, and Newark, New Jersey, have been high-profile failures of localities to deliver safe, clean water to residents. But the lack of tap water safety in America may actually be underappreciated. In October, there were 77 boil water advisories issued in the United States. That annualizes to about 1,000 a year.
The Region of Waterloo is asking businesses to consider closing excess parking areas this winter to reduce winter salt use and the amount of chloride found in drinking water.
During the pandemic, many staff are working at home and businesses may not require as much space for parking. Closing these areas can help the business reduce their winter maintenance costs and the amount of salt and ice melter spread on the ground.
Founded in Ottawa in 1955, J. L. Richards & Associates Limited (JLR) is a Platinum Canadian Best Managed company that provides high-quality engineering, architecture, and planning services to clients in both the private and public sectors. With regional offices in Kingston (1971), Sudbury (1974), Timmins (2001), North Bay (2005), Hawkesbury (2012), and Guelph (2013), JLR is perfectly situated to take on a wide variety of projects and deliver them on time and on budget.