Water, water, and more water news.

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Water, water, and more water news.

for all things water related.


along with the NEB controling the Fraser River water shed, an area covering thousands of miles, we now have this heavily biased BC Water law.

As Ian Stephen waded through hundreds of pages of regulations and legislation attached to B.C.'s updated Water Sustainability Act, a single line struck him. 

Stephen and other critics say the new regulations include a "bizarre" grandfather exemption to thousands of existing industrial and commercial operators, locking in their licences to draw groundwater without consideration for impacts on connected rivers and lakes.

Stephen said it looked to him like a critical weakness in the Water Sustainability Act (WSA), which came into effect five weeks ago, updating B.C.'s century-old water legislation and, for the first time regulating groundwater and bringing 20,000 groundwater users into a licensing system.

"It was shocking to me to see that," said Stephen, a former electrician who now serves as campaign director of the WaterWealth Project. "It just seems so incredible they'd do that, but I doubted my interpretation of it, not being a lawyer."

He soon learned he wasn't alone in his shock. In recent weeks, a groundswell of concern has grown among legal experts and First Nations leaders, with one lawyer calling the exemptions a "recipe for disaster."

 'Bizarre' clause in new B.C. water legislation raises concerns

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The Essential Struggle

Popular resistance can turn water from a source of profits to a base for anticapitalist organizing.

The Flint crisis is the direct result of Governor Rick Snyder’s imposition of an emergency manager, who prioritized bond payments over local democracy and safety. Emergency management was also the culprit for the water catastrophe in neighboring Detroit, where the city shut off water services for about 40 percent of its residents in 2015 — many of whom were not even delinquent on their bills.

Meanwhile, last year in Baltimore the city threatened to shut off water for nearly 25,000 low-income residents who were behind on payments. Notably, Baltimore businesses, government offices, and nonprofits that were also in arrears did not receive shut-off notices.

Similar situations are fast becoming an international phenomenon — especially in indigenous communities.

The First Nations community of Shoal Lake near Winnipeg, Manitoba offers a glimpse of Flint’s possible future. Shoal Lake — like roughly two-thirds of First Nations reserves in Canada — is currently under a boil-water advisory (meaning that all water on the reserve must be boiled to kill E. coli before it can be drunk or otherwise used). Shoal Lake has been under the advisory for seventeen years, with no end in sight.

Shoal Lake residents are forced to live with dirty water despite the fact that the reserve taps the same water source used by the city of Winnipeg. But while Winnipeg has access to clean municipal water — made possible by a water treatment plant — Shoal Lake is not so lucky.

Instead, it is stranded on a man-made island (formed after a nearly century-old decision to flood a portion of traditional Ojibwa land to create an aqueduct for Winnipeg’s water system) with no way to get to the mainland except boat or a decrepit ferry. This leaves Shoal Lake residents, many of whom are impoverished, unable to even drive to a nearby town to purchase clean water or other basic supplies. The community has long demanded its own water treatment plant, but has been roundly ignored by the Canadian government....

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Energy East could put drinking water at risk for five million people, report warns

Just outside the northern Ontario community of Kenora in the Lake of the Woods district, Teika Newton can look out her front door and see two of the pristine bodies of water the region gains its name from.

But like many residents in the area, Newton is worried that an oil spill from the proposed Energy East pipeline could spoil that natural beauty forever.

It’s not an idle worry.


One pipeline rupture could contaminate drinking water for years to come

The report cites TransCanada’s record on pipeline ruptures and spills. The natural gas pipeline proposed for conversion - the very same one running through Newton’s property - has had 10 ruptures over the past 25 years.

The company’s Keystone pipeline leaked 71 times in its Canadian section in the first two years of operation.....

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..these cables were made public by wikileaks.

We’re running out of water, and the world’s powers are very worried

Secret conversations between American diplomats show how a growing water crisis in the Middle East destabilized the region, helping spark civil wars in Syria and Yemen, and how those water shortages are spreading to the United States.

Classified U.S. cables reviewed by Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting show a mounting concern by global political and business leaders that water shortages could spark unrest across the world, with dire consequences.

Many of the cables read like diary entries from an apocalyptic sci-fi novel.

“Water shortages have led desperate people to take desperate measures with equally desperate consequences,” according to a 2009 cable sent by U.S. Ambassador Stephen Seche in Yemen as water riots erupted across the country....

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Pennsylvania Community Defeats Nestlé's Attempt to Privatize Its Water


"For all of these reasons and others, and in mutual agreement with the landowner," Andreaus read, "Nestlé Waters is withdrawing its pending zoning permit application."

The room erupted in cheers and for the first time since Nestlé began meeting with community members about the project, the company received a standing ovation.

Since 2012, Nestlé Waters had been active in the small, rural community of Kunkletown, Pennsylvania, conducting water testing and laying the groundwork for a water extraction facility to be sited on private land. The company had proposed to pump 200,000 gallons of water per day from the local aquifer, put it in trucks and transfer it to an existing bottling facility near Allentown, about 20 miles away. It had planned to pump for 10 years with an option to continue pumping for an additional 15 years, leading to the removal of up to 1.8 billion gallons of water from the aquifer during the life of the wells.

This proposal did not sit well with residents of Kunkletown and nearby communities. Once they discovered Nestlé's plan, they mobilized quickly and efficiently. People began attending local government meetings and requesting planning and zoning documents. They feared a depletion of their water resources and balked at the notion that a corporation could make billions off a community resource many felt shouldn't be privatized.

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Anishinabek respond to Waukesha water decision

Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief Patrick Madahbee says he is greatly disappointed after the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Regional Body voted on June 21 to allow Waukesha, Wisconsin to divert water from Lake Michigan .

“This is the beginning of the water wars that we were warned about and this will open doors for other jurisdiction outside the Great Lakes Basin to tap into the waters,” says Grand Council Chief Madahbee. “First Nations on the Canadian side have not been consulted as per the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to which both Canada and the United States are signatory. Here we go again, just like the treaties, UNDRIP is being ignored.”

The City of Waukesha will withdraw 31 million litres daily from Lake Michigan. Waukesha is the first straddling community to request water under the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Sustainable Water Resources Agreement & Compact with exception standards between two Canadian Provinces and eight Governing States that ban diversions of water away from the Great Lakes....

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Water Keepers Journey: group on Indigenous canoe trek

A group of women from Wahnapitae First Nations is in the early stages of a 19-day ceremonial, Indigenous canoe trip from Sudbury to Sault Ste. Marie.

The Water Keepers Journey started at sunrise Sunday morning from Lake Wahnapitae.

The group plans to paddle 458 kilometres to Garden River First Nations, travelling between 20-30 kilometres per day.

"Indigenous peoples in general are just very in touch with the water and the lands and just nature in general, and it's very important for us that we ensure that it remains protected," said Dakota Recollet, spokesperson for the group.

Recollet said the first day on the water was extremely challenging because of the strong wind and choppy water.

The paddlers are heading to the Great Lakes Water Gathering, which will be held in Garden River First Nation between July 14-17.

The water gathering is an Indigenous led coalition of Indigenous and non-Indigenous people collaborating on ways to protect water....

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Everywhere all over the world we are witnessing the utter destruction of our waters. Pipelines, nuclear waste, fracking, plastics, toxins, invasive species and chemical run off. With climate change and the political actions that support this continued destruction, this can seem like a mountain impossible to climb. Even political will cannot reverse this process because it is the social conscience of the people that needs to change. We are seeing this change within people everywhere. Everywhere people are waking up and taking actions and speaking out for the waters.

Over 300 people met in council over four days in Garden River First Nation from July 14-17, 2016 at the Great Lakes Gathering to deliberate and pray for the waters of the Great Lakes. We met in circles of Men, Women, Two-spirit people, and Youth, and presented our ideas to the Elders Council. The Elders met, deliberated, and this is the direction they provided to all of us....

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Barcelona votes for public control of water

For the first time, a large majority of the Barcelona City Council supports ending the private management of water in our city. Barcelona En Comú believes that water is a human right, a basic service and a common good that should be under public, democratic control.

On Friday, November 25th, Barcelona En Comu presented a motion to take back direct public management of the water cycle, one of the main promises of our manifesto. This proposal was also one of the most popular among citizens in the participatory process carried out to define the Municipal Action Plan (the plan that guides city policy).

All the leftist groups of the Barcelona City Council voted in favor of the motion, meaning that the government can move forward with its plan to remunicipalize the water service in the metropolitan area. The water service is currently in the hands of the mixed society that controls distribution in the 23 municipalities of the Metropolitan Area of ​​Barcelona (AMB), of which Agbar is the majority shareholder. The council also approved a similar motion by the CUP Barcelona....


Thanks, epaulo, very important reports! I'll have to find the Barcelona one in Spanish or Catalan for a friend here. I love the Great Lakes Gathering image.

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..your most welcome lagatta.


epaulo13 wrote:

Barcelona votes for public control of water

For the first time, a large majority of the Barcelona City Council supports ending the private management of water in our city. Barcelona En Comú believes that water is a human right, a basic service and a common good that should be under public, democratic control.

On Friday, November 25th, Barcelona En Comu presented a motion to take back direct public management of the water cycle, one of the main promises of our manifesto. This proposal was also one of the most popular among citizens in the participatory process carried out to define the Municipal Action Plan (the plan that guides city policy).

All the leftist groups of the Barcelona City Council voted in favor of the motion, meaning that the government can move forward with its plan to remunicipalize the water service in the metropolitan area. The water service is currently in the hands of the mixed society that controls distribution in the 23 municipalities of the Metropolitan Area of ​​Barcelona (AMB), of which Agbar is the majority shareholder. The council also approved a similar motion by the CUP Barcelona....

We should look to this as a model for how to reverse the trend towards privatization. We keep getting the message that once a public service has been privatized there's no way back. Bullshit. It's trade agreements that are our biggest concern, where privatization will become legally protected and, if threatened, subject to legal action against the perceived threat.



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..this continues to be an extraordinary and important struggle.

Flint: As 2 Unelected Emergency Managers Are Charged over Water Poisoning, Will Gov. Snyder Be Next?


AMY GOODMAN: Earlier this month, the Senate signed off on a $170 million federal aid package for Flint. The number, the figure, $170 million, also is supposed to include money for a national health registry for children exposed to lead. So what’s happening with that money? And what about this registry? Do you have concerns?

NAYYIRAH SHARIFF: Right now, nothing has really happened. And with this federal money, it’s still going to be administered by the state. And so, the state, which is responsible for poisoning Flint residents—so, they could use this as an opportunity to force like coercive measures upon the city as a—as a quid pro quo to access this money.

AMY GOODMAN: Finally, Nayyirah Shariff, you just went from Flint to Standing Rock in North Dakota. We just have a minute, but why? What do you see is the connection between what’s happening in North Dakota and Flint?

NAYYIRAH SHARIFF: Well, we’re in this nascent stage of these water wars. And hopefully, what’s happening at Standing Rock—we have the same corporations and the same ideology that is pushing for DAPL. It’s the same ideology that created the emergency manager law, this thing for austerity and privatization and resource extraction for short-term gain, without the impact—without humanity being in that equation. And I felt like I needed to have my body on the ground there as a show of support.

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Landowner Loses Fight to Sue Regulator in Fracking Case

The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled Jessica Ernst can’t sue the powerful and controversial Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) over alleged violations of her Charter rights.

The split ruling Friday — five justices rejected her claim, with four supporting it — is a setback for the protection of groundwater and the rights of landowners dealing with provincial energy regulators, often funded or captured by industry interests, say many critics and lawyers.

The majority, led by Justice Thomas Cromwell, upheld an immunity clause passed by the legislature that protects the Alberta Energy Regulator from any Charter claims or lawsuits.

In 2007, Ernst, an oil patch environmental consultant, sued the Alberta government, Encana and the regulator for negligence over the contamination of local aquifers near her Rosebud home allegedly caused by the hydraulic fracturing of shallow gas wells in 2004....

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Things are getting serious with Cape Town’s water crisis

Researchers have sounded the alarm over Cape Town’s water situation and urged the city to ramp up its water conservation campaigns.

The municipality says its reservoirs are at 42.5% full but could drop to 20% in the next few months.

University of Cape Town Environmental and Geographical Sciences lecturer Kevin Winter told EWN that things are pretty serious.

“We can’t see any rain on the horizon. And right now, in terms of our dam storage levels, we’re probably approaching the ‘100 days left of storage’.”

When levels get to 20% things get serious difficult....

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Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR) Registry

[email protected]

Make your letter count!
Please add your own words and describe why this is important to you.


Unbottle water for Ontario’s communities! Submit your comments by January 31

On December 2, 2016, the Ontario government once again asked the public for input on its water laws, this time on potential new rules renewing bottled water permits.

At first glance, it looks impressive. But in fact what the government has proposed is just more of the same. Instead of saying ‘no’ to wasteful and unnecessary use of water, the government will make decisions based on studies provided by the corporations seeking permits.

The government doesn’t have the best decision-making record when it comes to protecting water from companies like Nestlé. Just ask the Township of Centre Wellington, who needed another well for their drinking water but had it bought out from under them by Nestlé.

Communities trying to save their water – with the help of the Council of Canadians – from bottled water plants, quarries and garbage dumps have complained that the government seems to rubber-stamp corporate permits with little regard for residents’ concerns.....


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..from democracy now headlines. eta: i remember debating with a couple folk re the cuts being made in flint in another thread. "where will the money come from if not the cuts" was the cry when the state was pleading poverty. well they found the money didn't they. 

Michigan to Pay Nearly $100 Million to Flint to Replace Water Lines

The State of Michigan has reached a deal with the city of Flint, with the state agreeing to pay nearly $100 million to replace water lines to thousands of homes whose water has been poisoned by lead.

Flint’s water crisis began in 2014, after the unelected, state-appointed emergency manager for the city of Flint changed the source of the drinking water to the Flint river in order to try to save money. The river water corroded Flint’s pipes, causing toxic lead to leech into the city’s drinking water.

Officials say Flint’s water is still unsafe to drink without a filter — and many residents remain wary of drinking the water at all.

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Two hours from Parliament Hill. No clean water

Sandra Diabo is a 60-year-old Mohawk grandmother and traditional medicine keeper. She has resided in Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg community, known as KZ, for 45 years.

The community is in Western Quebec, less than two hours away from Parliament Hill and Canada's capital region. And yet, when it comes to basic human rights such as access to clean drinking water, she says “it feels like a struggle every day of existence.” Even worse, she fears that those federal politicians who work down the highway don't seem to be listening.

The right to water has long been acknowledged as an essential human right by the United Nations. Yet, Chief Jean-Guy Whiteduck of Kitigan Zibi says that 40 per cent of his community (approximately 350 homes) lives without safe drinking water.


Advisories lifted but new ones developed

The 2017 budget claimed the government has lifted 18 long-term drinking water advisories in First Nations communities in 2016 and that they are on track to eliminate all by March 2021.

But CBC has debunked this alleged accomplishment by pointing out that though 18 advisories were indeed lifted, 12 new advisories have developed.

A solution proposed by the Assembly of First Nations is to move toward long-term, predictable and sustainable funding models for First Nation water and sanitation systems, driven directly by First Nations themselves at the community level.

That means with full consent and engagement - as opposed to superficial, paternalistic approaches that some Indigenous peoples have suggested the Trudeau Liberals are guilty of.



Gilles Duceppe did a lot to denounce the conditions that First Nation and others endure in that area. It is scandalous that such conditions can still exist, so close to the seat of power. 

I'm thinking of starting a new thread about flooding in southern and western Québec and eastern Ontario - there are other places also experiencing high water, but those are the ones I hear most about where I live. Should I do that in this thread, or start a new one? It would still go in this board, as it would concern parts of Québec and Ontario... http://www.nationalobserver.com/2017/05/08/news/here-are-climate-science...


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..not my thread though i post here a lot lagatta. having said that it may be better to create a new thread and have an expanded discussion on flooding.

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Groups across Canada urge Trudeau government to protect 100% of lakes and rivers

Leading environmental organizations, Indigenous nations and prominent people in Canada are calling on Prime Minister Trudeau and the federal government to restore protection for 99% of all lakes and rivers in Canada. Five years ago today, the former government removed protections from all but 97 lakes, 62 rivers and three oceans under the Navigable Waters Protection Act, now named the Navigation Protection Act (NPA).

Following commitments to “restore lost protections and incorporate modern safeguards” in the Navigation Protection Act and other environmental laws, the government launched a consultation process and assigned a Parliamentary Committee to review this important law.

“The changes made five years ago today weakened Canada’s environmental laws and were an assault on our democracy,” says David Suzuki, a prominent environmentalist and signatory to the letter. “Now that the environmental law reviews have concluded, the Trudeau government is at a crossroads. We need the government to lead us into a sustainable future that protects all lakes and rivers and people’s right to navigate them.”

The changes to the NPA also absolved Transport Canada’s responsibility to review pipeline projects for their impacts on waterways, including projects like Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline and Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline, which runs from Hardisty, AB to the shores of Lake Superior.

“Indigenous nations have made clear that the former Harper government failed to obtain free, prior and informed consent on the NPA. Prime Minister Trudeau has repeated his promise to establish nation-to-nation relationships with Indigenous nations, and recognizing Indigenous authority and jurisdiction over lakes and rivers is a key step to this process,” says Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs. “Protecting water matters not only to Indigenous peoples but to everyone living on these lands.”

.“Protecting every lake and every river is critical to Canada implementing the United Nations-recognized human rights to water and sanitation,” says Maude Barlow, Honorary Chairperson of the Council of Canadians. “This year New Zealand and India took bold steps to protect two rivers by designating them legal entities. It is this blue future that we must work towards that recognize not only human rights, but the rights of nature too.”....

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In the Netherlands, water policies are protected from politics for the common good

Here’s how the country is working on the problem: Fortunately, the Dutch have created water policies that ensure that communities are safe and resilient despite changing conditions. They have done this by taking the mandate of water management out of central government control and putting it instead in the hands of “Waterschappen” — regional water governments around the country.

In each municipality, the board members who will lead these governments are elected every four years. These organizations then determine what their bioregion’s water-management needs are, covering water levels, sewage treatment, infrastructure management, water quality control, and aquatic ecosystem health. Based on the projects that must be completed, they calculate how much they will need to perform what is required of them. The water governments are supervised by the higher government (the province) to ensure that mandates are met, wage increases are fair, and project costs are reasonable. Once their budgets are approved, the public is taxed according to property ownership, with the reasoning that water management is helping to protect land and properties, and those who own more should pay more.


  • By separating water management from the central and regional governments, the Dutch protect their relationship with water from party politics. Their work with water doesn’t have to compete for a piece of the pie with education, arts, and health services and isn’t at risk if a government implements austerity measures or increases military spending.
  • This model has been so successful at helping them have a healthy and flourishing relationship with water that they were deemed “a global reference” by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and are advising governments around the world, including Myanmar and Indonesia, which are facing similar challenges.
  • This case of localizing power, catering to bioregional needs, and caring for important work has a lot to teach us about our relationships with the commons and the natural world in general, as well as about how to create political processes to meet our complex, critical, and changing needs.
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Ojibwe Grandmother has walked 17,000 km to raise consciousness about water

A First Nations elder who has "walked the equivalent of half the earth's circumference" to build awareness about pollution, laws, fracking, and the selling of the water, is being honoured today in Toronto.

Josephine Mandamin received the Lieutenant Governor's Ontario Heritage Award for Excellence in Conservation at a ceremony held at Queen's Park.

Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief Patrick Madahbee said Mandamin, who hails from Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory [also known as Wikwemikong First Nation], has walked the shorelines of five Great Lakes as well as in all four directions of Turtle Island.

"She takes care of the Lifeblood of Mother Earth – water."

Mandamin herself said she "will go to any lengths to and direction to carry the water to the people."

"As women, we are carriers of the water. We carry life for the people," she stated in a news release.

"So when we carry that water, we are telling people that we will go any lengths for the water. We'll probably even give our lives for the water if we have to.".....


On Contact: Poisoned Drinking Water With Seth Siegel (and vid)


"Chris Hedges talks to author Seth Siegel about his new book Troubled Water: What's Wrong With What We Drink. The poisoning of our [US] public water supply..."


Millions of Americans think they are safe from flood waters. They aren't.


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OPG ends plan to bury nuclear waste near the Lake Huron shoreline

A politically fraught plan to store hazardous nuclear waste deep underground near the Lake Huron shoreline has been formally put to rest more than 15 years after it was first proposed.

In a recent letter to the federal environment minister, Ontario's publicly owned power generator said it no longer wished to proceed with the multibillion-dollar project.

"We do not intend to carry out the project and have asked that the application for a site preparation and construction licence be withdrawn," the letter from Ontario Power Generation states. "Similarly, OPG requests the minister to cancel the environmental assessment for the project."

In response, federal Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson said he accepted the request, and had terminated the ongoing assessment.....


Speaking of excess water:


Severe rainfall Sunday night forced the rural municipality of Oakview, located northwest of Brandon, to declare a state of emergency Monday. Meanwhile, officials in some communities within the rural municipality, such as Cardale and Rapid City, are asking residents to stay home if possible because of road damage.

Some vehicles parked in Brandon were left in water metres high after about 140 millimetres of rainfall, according to meteorologist Brad Vrolijk — and 153 millimetres fell in the Minnedosa area.


Sunday's storm "set a lot of records," says Jeff Plas, a stormchaser in Brandon.

At one point, Sunday's storm was the storm with the highest altitude on the planet, reaching nearly 18,300 metres in altitude, Plas said.

"That's unprecedented."

Both Plas and his partner Mandi Grayston were concerned about the collateral damage the storm would cause, but "I don't think we even really fathomed what was going to come," said Grayston

Grayston had never witnessed a hurricane, but said the weather she saw Sunday night is what she imagines one would be like.

How is a resident in a city surrounded by land on all sides for hundreds of kilometers able to compare that storm to a hurricane? Must have been quite a rainstorm.