Archive

“Water worlds” and nutrient management policies: recent isotope hydrology studies may have significant policy implications 2/18/2011   Jeffrey McDonell, a hydrologist from Oregon State University and this year’s Birdsall Dreiss Distinguished Lecturer, was recently in Alberta presenting on recent research in isotope hydrology.   It quickly became apparent...

We need an independent environmental protection and monitoring agency with teeth 1/13/2011   Given all of the recent reports on the Oilsands released late last year, including the Royal Society report (RSC), the Liberal report, the NDP report, the report released through the Pembina Institute on behalf of various environmental groups, and the...

Updates 1/18/2011   Here are some updates on previous blog posts compiled by Laura Bowman, Staff Counsel at the ELC.   The David Suzuki v. Minister of Fisheries and Oceans (Killer Whale protection) case is being appealed to the Federal Court of Appeal.   The Eastern Irrigation District approval for change of purpose is under appeal to...

RSC Report: Science, regulation and the precautionary principle 12/18/2010   Earlier this week the Royal Society of Canada (RSC) released a lengthy report on the state of oilsands science and regulation in Alberta.  The report rightly notes the lack of data on such important issues as water quality, air...

Killer whale judgment released – Canada still has responsible government 12/10/2010   The Federal Court released a very important decision earlier this week on the Northern and Southern Resident Killer Whales and the protection of their habitat under federal Species At Risk Act (SARA). The Southern Resident Killer Whales are...

Update: Irrigation District allowed to sell its water 11/29/2010   As of November 18, 2010, Alberta environment has approved the Eastern Irrigation District’s application to change the purpose of its water licence from irrigation only to a variety of purposes.  The purposes added include municipal, agricultural, commercial, industrial, habitat “enhancement”,...

How a change of plans can jeopardize environmental goals: The trouble with results-based environmental management 11/10/2010   Published in Alberta Oil Magazine, November 2010  By Jason Unger, Staff Counsel, Environmental Law Centre   An application has recently been made to Alberta Environment to divert water from the Clearwater River, a Canadian Heritage...

Everyone DUCK! 10/29/2010   The notion that tailings pond duck deaths should be trivialized because of how many birds die through other means is getting under my skin. (On occasion I read comments associated with online media, which I have to admit is the source of this frustration.)   Duck...

Implementation of Watershed Plans: Approaches, issues and recommendations (Slides) 10/28/2010   Watershed Planning and Advisory Councils (WPACs) are at various stages of creating and implementing water and watershed management plans. There are numerous questions about how implementation of watershed plans is best achieved and what policies may be...

International Year of Biodiversity closes on a depressing note 10/21/2010   The 193 UN parties to the 1993 Convention on Biodiversity (CBD) are meeting in Japan this month, including Canada. This coincides with the release of the United Nations Environment Programme, Environmental Law Division report entitled Ethics, Justice and...

Water markets and winning the lottery 10/15/2010   As it is Blog Action Day regarding water…What is the “water lottery”? It’s a phrase I will use to describe the current system in which senior water licence holders are enriched by transferring a part or all of their water licence...