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Mountain View Gazette - May 7
Provincial government officials will be conducting flood hazard mapping of the Red Deer River upstream of Sundre over the next year, Mountain View County councillors were told during last week’s policies and priorities committee meeting.
Peter Onyshko, a water resources engineer with Environment and Sustainable Resource Development, outlined plans to conduct the “McDougal Flats – Red Deer River Flood Hazard Study” starting immediately.
The study will see organizers gather data on areas that are at risk from flooding caused by excessive overbank river flow.The data will then be used to create hydraulic model maps representing the river. The maps can be used by the municipality in future land-use planning...Click here to read more.
Edmonton Journal - May 16, 2013
It’s time to say goodbye to one of the Edmonton’s great works of art, Peter Lewis’ Great Divide Waterfall on the High Level Bridge. It’s not just me saying this. Lewis, 64, is saying it.
Lewis certainly does not want to see hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars spent on fixing up the man-made waterfall so it can run this summer on the 100th anniversary of Edmonton’s landmark bridge, or millions more spent so the waterfall can operate for decades to come.
Instead, Lewis would like to see the $735,000 that city council has already budgeted on getting the waterfall up and running again put toward the new art project for the great bridge, lighting up the High Level with coloured, programmable LED lights... Continue reading here.
Calgary Herald - May 16, 2013
After 11 gruelling days and 300 kilometres of unforgiving Alberta highway, a jubilant but exhausted Spencer West crossed the finish line on his hands Thursday amid the cheers of Calgary schoolchildren.
It marked the end of an inspiring journey for West, who has no legs. He was born with a spinal defect that required a double amputation at the age of five.
Fresh from climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak, West embarked on the punishing trek down Hwy 2 from Edmonton to Calgary using his hands and a wheelchair to raise awareness and money for clean water initiatives.
“I’m tired. My arms are killing me and I’m ready for a few days of sleep,” a smiling West told reporters minutes after arriving at Mountain Park School... Click here to read more.
Financial Post - April 25, 2013
The term cyclic solvent process may not exactly roll of your tongue, but if successful the technology could dramatically cut the use of water on one of Canada’s largest oil sands sites.
Imperial Oil Ltd. is currently tinkering with a $100-million technology that could reduce expensive water usage at its 154,000-bpd Cold Lake, Alta. project.
By using solvents rather than steam to produce bitumen, the process eliminates the need for large amounts of energy and water and reduces direct greenhouse gas emissions by more than 90%, the company claims.
“CSP is a total game-changer,” said Eddie Lui, Imperial’s vice-president of oil sands development and research... Click here to read more.
Scientific Amerian - May 15, 2013
Around 20 percent of the snow cover in North America's greatest mountain range has been lost because of warmer springs in the last three decades.
Scientists from the American Geophysical Union and the U.S. Geological Survey report that they had established a pattern of snowfall in the northern and southern Rockies: when the snowpack was large in the northern Rockies, it might be correspondingly meager in the southern mountains and vice versa.
But since the 1980s, snowpack declines have occurred simultaneously along the entire length of the Rocky Mountains, with unusually severe declines in the north. Now research has begun to establish the cause. Researchers write in Geophysical Research Letters that, using monthly data collected from 1895 to 2011, they have teased apart different influences on the crucial April snowpack volume of winter temperatures, spring warming and overall precipitation... Continue reading.
Lacombe Globe - May 16, 2013
Lacombe County has given itself an environmental report card and the results are encouraging.
“Overall, we are not in dire straits,” said Blayne West, environmental coordinator. “We are in quite good health but we do have a couple of areas with room for improvement.”
In an effort to assess the environmental impact we have on our county, officials conducted their State of the Environment Report.
“The State of the Environment Report is a scientific and community perceptions kind of report,” said West. “Basically, we did some literature reviews on all the science that exists pertinent to Lacombe County, topics such as water, land cover, habitat and waste. We then compiled it into one report so we can have a snapshot of what we currently look like environmentally...” Continue reading.
Lacombe Globe - May 16, 2013
The ford between the City of Lacombe and Ms. Brookes Wallace seems to have turned into a gorge.
Since February, Wallace has been trying to appeal a $1,000 water bill she claims is unwarranted. The problem is, that after testing her water meter, city officials believe that the 364,000 litres did pass through Wallace’s meter and contacted her to settle the bill.
“They told me that was it,” said Wallace. “We are over. We’re done. There’s nothing else to discuss and to come in to make payment arrangements.”
While they were satisfied with the results of the testing, city officials will not be reinstalling the same water meter due to what they believe is an under calculation... Click here to read more.
CBC - May 16, 2013
Some Calgary dentists say the decision two years ago to take fluoride out of the water supply is proving to be a big mistake. Dr. Sarah Hulland, the head of the Alberta Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, says she has seen a deterioration of young patients’ teeth over the last two years.
"We actually have seen an increase in the severity of cavities we do see, and we see an increase in the rate that the cavities actually go from a small spot to a large, painful cavity in the tooth,” she said.
The move to take fluoride out of Calgary's water is playing a key role, Hulland said.
"It’s an entirely preventable disease and yet 30 per cent of children five years and under the age of five have rampant decay in their mouths,” she said... Click here to read more.
CBC Calgary - May 15, 2013
Dry, windy conditions are becoming costly for some southern Alberta cattle farmers. By this time of year seeds should be germinating and cattle should be out grazing.
Instead, Roy Newman, who grows canola and raises cattle in the Blackie area, southeast of Calgary, has had to dip into hay reserves.
"Right now we're still feeding our cattle like it's the middle of winter, because there's not enough grass to send them to pasture,” he said. “So, it's going into our hay reserves which we have for emergencies and it is dwindling fast." Newman said farmers in the area need rain soon so that seeds can germinate... Click here to read more.
The Globe & Mail - May 10, 2013
One of Canada’s largest oil-sands producers is building an algae-based processor at its Primrose South project in order to recycle greenhouse-gas emissions to produce biofuels and other products such as fertilizer for land reclamation.
Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (CNRL) is working with the National Research Council and Toronto-based Pond Biofuels Inc. on a $19-million pilot project aimed at proving the commercial viability of using industrial flue gases from its processing plant to feed algae in a “biorefinery” unit. Pond has already built two small demonstration models in Ontario at St. Mary’s Cement and a U.S. Steel Canada plant.
The federal government will contribute $9.5-million to the project, while CNRL will add $6.3-million and Pond will pony up $3.2-million...click here to read more.
Edmonton Journal - May 10, 2013
Sherwood Park is making plans to double in size, Edmonton has launched a new annexation bid to the south, and Sturgeon County is proposing a new urban area around the city of St. Albert.
Population projections for the capital region continue to climb, and it seems each municipality is busy laying plans to make sure it has room to catch as much of that growth as possible, to attract both homeowners and those coveted industrial tax dollars.
Last June, the Alberta Treasury Board predicted the capital region population would grow to between 1.8 million and 2.3 million people over the next 40 years. Even the lower figure was higher than estimates the Capital Region Board worked with when it wrote its growth plan in 2009... Click here to read more.