Industrial Water Consumption

Irrigation and river diversion for industrial use

How to Kill a Heritage River

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When John Beaton first heard about Opti-Nexen's proposals to withdraw 17,000 cubic meters of water a day from the fabled Clearwater River last year, the oil sands mechanic just shook his head.

"That's a Heritage River. The government will never allow it," thought the 41-year-old Fort McMurray resident. Beaton and his wife even signed a petition against the scheme along with nearly 2,000 other residents.

To the Beatons and their two daughters Alysa and Kaela the river is one of the region's greatest treasures and best kept secrets. During the summer folks simply drive downtown, put in their boats and within minutes quickly enter "a whole another world."... Read more »

Water rights could be up for sale, group says

As people around the globe celebrated World Water Day March 22 — which advocates for the sustainable management of freshwater resources — residents and environmental organizations in Alberta are concerned the provincial government may be heading towards a water market system.

“No longer will water be for the public good,” said Kevin Force, water educator with the Sierra Club.

“It will become private property.”

However, a spokeswoman for Alberta Environment said concerns are unsubstantiated.

“The government has no intention to privatize or sell our water,” said Carrie Sancartier.

At a March 15 presentation in Calgary, Force said a review announced by the province in 2008 is presently considering changes to the current water allocation system in Alberta.... Read more »

Edmonton filmmaker addresses precious water resources

EDMONTON - David Lavallee spent 15 years guiding hikes in the Columbia Icefields but didn’t give much thought to what happened to the water that melted off the glaciers.

Then one day he was standing on the Athabasca glacier with glaciologist Shawn Marshall. Marshall talked about how the river ran to the tarsands where a huge amount of the water was used by the industry and ended up in toxic tailings ponds, which were growing exponentially.

“I was like, ‘hmm, interesting. How come I don’t know anything about this?’ I was born and raised in Edmonton. I’d always heard about the oilsands as a kid, but they were just this small project up there. Now all of a sudden they just completely took off and now we’re the caretakers of the second biggest deposit of oil on the planet.”... Read more »

Carson takes leave of absence from oilsands advisory panel

Bruce Carson has taken a leave of absence but did not resign from a provincial government advisory panel for Alberta’s oilsands in light of an RCMP investigation into the business dealings of the former senior advisor to Prime Minister Stephen Harper.


“Mr. Carson contacted Alberta Environment and said he would be comfortable with any decisions the minister made in regards to Mr. Carson’s participation on our panel,” said ministry spokeswoman Erin Carrier.

Environment Minister Rob Renner on Thursday “took (Carson) up on his offer of a leave of absence on the Alberta advisory panel. As events unfold, Mr. Carson’s further participation on the panel will be re-evaluated,” she said.... Read more »

RELEASE: Groups call for immediate removal of Bruce Carson from Alberta panel

18 March 20111 (Edmonton) — Following the launch of an RCMP investigation into Stephen Harper’s former senior policy advisor Bruce Carson, Alberta environmental and Indigenous groups are calling for the immediate and permanent removal of Carson from the provincial tar sands water monitoring panel.


Carson, who was appointed to the water panel in February by Alberta Environment Minister Rob Renner, is being investigated for allegations of influence pedaling related to lobbying the Indian Affairs Department to land contracts on First Nations territory potentially worth millions of dollars for an Ottawa-based water company that employed his fiancé. Carson, whose offer to resign yesterday was declined by Minister Renner is taking a leave of absence. The groups are calling on Minister Renner to permanently remove Carson from the panel.

 ... Read more »

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