Oil Sands Truth: Shut Down the Tar Sands

Water Wasted in Vast Amounts; Albertan Government Placates with Panel

The schemes around water need a scrutiny that does not trust in panels. With the slow-privatization of water underway with the selling of "water access rights" to farmers in southern Alberta, soon there will be a situation where perhaps GATT could kick in, and no purchaser can be discriminated against. In other words, on the current trends pathway we are headed to making it illegal to regulate how much water gets wasted. This has already poisoned the waterways, animals and fish and seriously harmed the diets of people from downstream of the tarpit plants-- the more traditional the diets for those who live with the land in communities like Fort Chipewyan, the worse the health.


Water Wasted in Vast Amounts; Albertan Government Placates with Panel

Fri, April 6, 2007

Alberta needs to stop dumping untreated waste water into rivers and come up with better ways to conserve water in the oilpatch, says water expert David Schindler, the newly appointed chairman of a task force looking for ways to conserve the province's water resources for the future.


The longtime water researcher and 11 other experts will guide initiatives for the government's Water Research Institute, a $30-million think-tank promised by the provincial Tories last November. "Our advisory board will help industry and government determine the best ways to make things better, but it will take a long time."


The initiative is designed to curb the effect that industry and a rising population are having on Alberta's lakes, the health of which Schindler says serves as a barometer for the rest of Canada's fresh water supplies.

"The combination of lack of water and rapid population growth pretty much makes us ground zero for water problems," he said.

Solutions such as no longer allowing small towns to empty sewage lagoons into rivers are an obvious start, but other innovations like more efficient use of water in the tarsands require more research.

"The Athabasca river and the oilsands are of primary concern," Schindler said.


Another major problem Alberta faces is the manure leaching into waterways from the province's six million cattle.

The advisory panel is expected to begin signing offf on industry and public proposals to conserve water by this time next year.

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