Category Archives: Energy

Canada`s lack of drinking water standards: Fracking waste water being injected into old wells in northeastern B.C.

This is not safe at all. Does our government and elected leaders understand that our Human Rights are at risk? Water.ca reports “there are literally thousands of different water systems in British Columbia—more than 3,000 public and community water systems under provincial jurisdiction and 468 small First Nations water systems under federal jurisdiction. While water systems share some common features, individual water systems are designed in different ways and will face specific issues and challenges.”  Here is a ijerph-11-04634 (2) Drinking Water Quality Guidelines across Canadian Provinces 2014 that states more research is required due to the high degree of variability in drinking water management and oversight capacity between urban and rural areas. While research is recommended our water is being contaminated due to the lack of consistent drinking water standards across Canada. Add global warming and fracking to the mix and we have a recipe for disaster of unknown proportions. If you know of any other reports that should be archived, please forward it to me through a Comment below; I would be very grateful for your help. Sorry, I had quite a few problems getting this document to look and read correctly so I`ve given up. Please read it though. Thanks.

In this Action Plan for Safe Drinking Water in British Columbia  report dated 2002 it states:

There are more than 3,300 water systems in BC:
British Columbia’s Water Systems
There are more than 3,300 water systems in B.C. The 96 systems
operating in large municipalities serve close to 90 per cent of the
population. The remaining 10 per cent of the population is served
by a variety of public and private systems:
 • Small municipalities (57 systems);
 • Regional district service areas (97 systems);
 • Improvement districts (211 systems);
 • Private water utilities (185 systems);
 • Water users communities (118 systems);
 • First Nation reserves (468 systems);
 • Individual private wells and domestic licensees (est. 63,000);
 • Others including Crown Corporations, industrial operations,
 BC Parks and private campgrounds, mobile home parks,
 restaurants and service stations (estimated 2100 systems).
Approximately 2,000 systems have fewer than 15 connections

 

Based on the conflicting number of water systems reported below, I don’t believe the BC Government has any idea how many water systems we have in BC. If that is true, then how can they have control over the safety of our water?

In this report waterreport08_web BC Govt of Health report titled Progress on the Action Plan for Safe Drinking Water dated 2008 dated 2008 it states there are over 4,591 different water systems in BC and 945 on Vancouver Island.

In this reported drinking-water-report-2011 Progress on the Action Plan for Safe Drinking Water in BC 2011 dated 2011 states there are 4,550 water systems in BC and 746 on Vancouver Island.

 

I have been watching the boil water advisories in Powell River who installed a water treatment system a few years ago and still have too many boil water advisories for my comfort level. Why is that?

 

 

In this report dated 2004 titled Please Hold – A Report on Diminished Monitoring and Enforcement Capacity in the Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection it states:

“there are 320 human icons on this report’s front cover. Each
represents a public servant who lost his or her job with British Columbia’s
Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection over the past three years. Colour
changes signify job losses in a new job category. The large mass of 128
purple icons on the bottom half of the page, for example, corresponds to
the 128 Scientific Technical Officers whose jobs were lost. For a complete
breakdown of job losses by category see page eight of this report.”

The above report further states:

Viewed in isolation, the cutbacks to the Ministry of Water, Land and Air
Protection may seem dramatic. When recent history is considered, however,
they take on added gravity.

Drawing on payroll and budget data from the provincial government it is
possible to arrive at figures on just how many people and/or full-time
equivalent positions were dropped from the public payroll over the past
decade.

Two ministries where substantial cuts occurred were MWLAP’s predecessor,
the Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks (MELP), and the Ministry of
Forests (MOF). Payroll data shows that between the years 1991 and 1996
employment in both ministries rose considerably. But from 1996 through
2000 employment levels steadily dropped.4

The number of regular MOF employees fell nearly 17 per cent from 4,590 to
3,823. In MELP the cuts were deeper, amounting to an even 22 per cent,
with the number of regular employees falling steadily from 2,336 in 1996 to
1,823 by 2000.

It also has a table which I’ve cut & paste below and states:

Two ministries where substantial cuts occurred were MWLAP`s predecessor, the Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks (MELP), and the Ministry of Forests (MOF). … MELP was subsequently split into two ministries – MWLAP and the Ministry of Sustainable Resource Management or MSRM.

Cuts resulted in employment declines by:

MWLAP 29.8%

MSRM 50.4%

MOF 27.9%

DATE MWLAP MSRM MOF

July 2001 1,317 FTEs 1,519 FTEs 4,083 FTEs
(1st Liberal budget)
Feb. 2004 924 FTEs 754 FTEs 2,942 FTEs
(latest budget)
Total Lost 393 FTEs 765 FTEs 1,141 FTEs
Percentage Decline 29.8 % 50.4 % 27.9 %

I strongly recommend reading the whole report to understand how these cuts are going to affect us with respect to fracking in BC.

 

 

Here is another report from our Ombudsman dated 2008 that is well worth reading too.

 

Acknowledgements:
http://www.wsabc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/Ombudsmans-Report-on-Drinking-Water.pdf
http://www.health.gov.bc.ca/pho/pdf/waterreport08_web.pdf
http://www.water.ca/wkd-guide-drink-water-1.asp#bc
http://www.health.gov.bc.ca/cpa/publications/safe_drinking_printcopy.pdf
http://www.vancouversun.com/health/Fracking+waste+water+being+injected+into+wells+northeastern/9942146/story.html
http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/
ijerph-11-04634 (2) Drinking Water Quality Guidelines across Canadian Provinces 2014
waterreport08_web BC Govt of Health report titled Progress on the Action Plan for Safe Drinking Water dated 2008

drinking-water-report-2011 Progress on the Action Plan for Safe Drinking Water in BC 2011

Warning To Gulf Volunteers: Almost Every Cleanup Worker From The 1989 Exxon Valdez Disaster Is Now Dead

This is like signing up for a war. Would you volunteer to help? Click here to read this article.

Germany’s 10 Huge Lessons About Solar Energy

Check this out from Germany who have embraced solar energy. Why can’t we? This is a must read. Click here for the full article or read an excerpt below.

 

http://climatecrocks.com/2013/02/11/germanys-10-huge-lessons-about-solar-energy/

 

Electricity suppliers get their electricity on the grid through a bidding process. The suppliers that can sell their electricity to the grid for cheapest win. Because the costs of solar and wind power plants are essentially just in the process of building them (the fuel costs are $0 and the maintenance costs are negligible), they can outbid pretty much every other source of power. As a result, 1) they win the bids when they produce electricity; 2) they drive down the price of wholesale electricity.

Because solar power is often produced when electricity demand is the greatest (and electricity is, thus, the least available and most expensive), it brings down the price of electricity even more than wind.

 

 

Canadian Fracking Lacks Credible Groundwater Monitoring: Expert

Between Environmental Officers being let go and Scientists still working afraid to speak out how are we to know what is happening to our groundwater except for individuals like Jessica Ernst standing up for us to speak out on our behalf. She doesn’t need us, we need her. Click here for the source of the article and stand behind and support Jessica Ernst if you can. Thanks.

 

 

The Alberta Energy Regulator has also reported the contamination of a shallow aquifer by fracking fluids in Grand Prairie in 2012.

Industry, government and media “mantras” of fracking as problem-free industry stem from a near total absence of good science and proper groundwater monitoring across North America, Cherry said.

“I found no cases where rigorous groundwater monitoring has been done at any fracking pad. Exactly zero, not a single one. Anywhere, ever,” Cherry said during his recent Toronto talk.

‘International delinquents’

Cherry also said that dismissive comments by Rich Coleman, British Columbia’s minister of Natural Gas Development, about water concerns and fracking weakened the industry’s social licence.

Last year, Coleman called a Vancouver Province editorial on the water impacts of shale gas fracking by geologist David Hughes and journalist Ben Parfitt as “unfounded and inaccurate.”

Cherry called such comments by a politician irresponsible. “As an expert, I know that British Columbia has invested very little money in the type of research and monitoring that it would need to make statements about shale gas being safe.”

An effective groundwater monitoring system, as first set out by Vancouver engineer Frank Patton in 1998, places measuring devices into specifically-designed wells that sample and track the movement of water contaminants over time and at various depths from a variety of locations. Not even the oilsands has set up such a basic system, said Cherry.

Given that industry spends millions of dollars on the fracking of unconventional deposits and often billions in certain regions, it is imperative that government funds basic research to protect groundwater and the atmosphere, he said.

Asked why government was reluctant to monitor a public resource as valuable as groundwater, the hydrologist replied that it costs money to monitor past societal mistakes. “Groundwater pollution develops slowly over years and decades. If there is anything that government can shrug off to the future, it’s groundwater.”  [Tyee]

 

Shale Gas Supply to the Greater Toronto Area

Fracking is not all its cracked up to be. Click here to read an assessment by David Hughes. If fracking is coming to your area, do a water analysis in order to establish a baseline.

 

Early warning of climate tipping points

Interesting document with graphics. Click here for the entire article and please share; I`m sure someone could definitely use this information. Thanks.

Asia: Project Surya – Fighting Climate Change Now

This was on Knowledge Network TV tonight and is the first I’ve heard about it.  Click here to learn more or read an excerpt below.

 

Protecting Water and Food Security

The Glaciers of the Himalayas – Asia’s Water Fountain

BC emissions threaten supplies of water and food for up to 4 billion people worldwide

The Himalayan mountain range has the world’s largest concentration of glaciers outside of the polar ice caps (33,000 km2).  These glaciers feed virtually all of Asia’s major rivers: The Ganges, Indus, Brahmaputra, Mekong, Yangtze and Huang Ho rivers all originate in the Himalayas.  The populations of South and East Asian nations thus rely heavily on these glaciers for their water.  This is why some call the Himalayan glaciers the “water fountain of Asia.”

Glacial Retreat: A Threat to Security

Glacial retreat is being accelerated by global warming.  Moreover, black carbon (BC) emissions that enter the atmosphere drop back to earth after a few months, and when that BC lands on glaciers, it darkens them, attracting sunlight and further exacerbating melting.

Progressive retreat of the Gangotri Himalayan glacier 1780-2001

Glacial lakes formed by retreat of glaciers in Bhutan

If that were to happen, the water and food security of up to two-thirds of the world’s population would be imperiled.