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Water Quality in Alberta
Nature provides our water supply from rain fall, the snow pack, mineral deposits, rock beds, evaporation etc, the fact of the matter is that, THERE IS NO NEW WATER being made. The water we use today has been around since the beginning of time. We simply use the same water over and over, and water is a solvent, rain is nature's washing machine therefore it dissolves and carries impurities on it's journey. As rain falls it nourishes and cleans the earth, then it's filtered though the eco system, it evaporates, collects and returns again as rain. Because water is a solvent it tries to clean up air pollution, and anything spilled on the ground or into rivers, streams, lakes etc.
In Alberta we have a unique set of challenges with our water supply, not the least of which is that we are perforating the earth to extract hydrocarbons, and the drills penetrate through aquifers. More often than not, when oil wells are drilled near water wells, water quality rapidly diminishes. Some Albertans are able to turn on their tap water and light a fire from the gas that comes out of their water taps. In some cases Albertans are drinking excessively contaminated water, only because they have not distinguished the decline in their water quality. In some cases a water technician can smell hydrogen sulphide in the water upon first entering a home, many homeowners become desensitized to that infamous rotten egg smell, and are not aware of the levels of contamination in their water. Although these cases are relatively rare, all Albertans are contending with high total dissolved solids (TDS), some very hard, some very soft (salt-water), others with iron, iron bacteria, hydrogen sulphide, chlorine or chloramination. In the Penhold and Lacombe areas sodium concentrated wells have produced salt concentrations 10 times higher than government maximum guidelines, in other areas TDS is found to exceed twice the maximum guideline. In Red Deer a resident refers to her water as being
stating that her water is coming right off the adjacent "pastures". She's referring of course to neighboring farms and ranches that use fertilizers and pesticides. Domestic animals are given their own chemical/pharmaceutical cocktails, which also ends up in our local drinking water supply. The City of Red Deer responds to the concern by bleaching the water with chlorine, adding ammonia and then distributing it for drinking water. The Red Deer Advocate noted that municipal water in Red Deer carries micro-doses of birth control pills and various pharmaceuticals including special medications for epileptics, is this something a person really wants to be drinking?
An excessive number of rivers and lakes in Alberta produce dioxin, furan and mercury poisoned fish, but of course the majority of our "government science" deems these toxins are ameliorated, we are told that such low concentrations are safe for humans? Really? This is nothing less than a gigantic put-off of responsibility and denial of an epidemic problem that continues to grow year after year. Sure, if anyone really wants to drink the water, then there's nothing more a reasonable person can do!
The list of contaminants that effects our water quality here in Alberta is extensive in addition to the oil industry contaminating aquifers, there is smog, carbon monoxide, farming chemicals (pesticides, fertilizers, insecticides, herbicides), lawn and garden chemicals, construction waste, runoff from highways, leaks and spills, mercury, iron, chlorine, ammonia, paints, oils, thinners, wastes, molds, human and animal waste etc. And remember, water is a solvent, it picks up a bit of everything it touches, which is why in the natural world nowadays...
THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS PURE WATER!
Everything that is in the air and in the soil, all return back to our water. Looking at a time line of Canada's Troubled waters one can see how our rivers and aquifers have succumbed to toxic waste. We should be amply warned when we discover that rivers from which we draw drinking water in Alberta contain poisoned fish, if the fish are poisoned what does that say about the water?
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Click on the following links for more info about Alberta's Water
National Water Crisis Forecast: David Schindler
For a list of poisoned fish in Alberta rivers click here:
Alberta has 7 main watersheds, click on the link for more information:
Five things you should know about Canada's position on the right to water:
The Council of Canadians: David Schindler
Making a difference:
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