Category Archives: Water Supply

Water Safety Plans as a Tool for Arctic Communities

Lane K, Stoddart AK, Gagnon GA. Water safety plans as a tool for drinking water regulatory frameworks in Arctic communities. Environmental science and pollution research international. 2017 Jul 14. doi: 10.1007/s11356-017-9618-9.

Arctic communities often face drinking water supply challenges that are unique to their location. Consequently, conventional drinking water regulatory strategies often do not meet the needs of these communities. A literature review of Arctic jurisdictions was conducted to evaluate the current water management approaches and how these techniques could be applied to the territory of Nunavut in Canada. The countries included are all members of the Arctic Council and other Canadian jurisdictions considered important to the understanding of water management for Northern Canadian communities. The communities in Nunavut face many challenges in delivering safe water to customers due to remoteness, small community size and therefore staffing constraints, lack of guidelines and monitoring procedures specific to Nunavut, and water treatment and distribution systems that are vastly different than those used in southern communities. Water safety plans were explored as an alternative to water quality regulations as recent case studies have demonstrated the utility of this risk management tool, especially in the context of small communities. Iceland and Alberta both currently have regulated water safety plans (WSPs) and were examined to understand shortcomings and benefits if WSPs were to be applied as a possible strategy in Nunavut. Finally, this study discusses specific considerations that are necessary should a WSP approach be applied in Nunavut.

Rainwater Harvesting in a Subarctic Community

Mercer N, Hanrahan M. Straight from the heavens into your bucket”: domestic rainwater harvesting as a measure to improve water security in a subarctic indigenous communityInternational journal of circumpolar health. 2017;76(1):1312223. doi: 10.1080/22423982.2017.1312223

BACKGROUND: Black Tickle-Domino is an extremely water-insecure remote Inuit community in the Canadian subarctic that lacks piped-water. Drinking water consumption in the community is less than a third of the Canadian national average. Water insecurity in the community contributes to adverse health, economic, and social effects and requires urgent action.

OBJECTIVES: To test the ability of domestic rainwater harvesting (DRWH) for the first time in the subarctic with the goal of improving water access and use in the community.

DESIGN: This project utilised quantitative weekly reporting of water collection and use, as well as focus group discussions. DRWH units were installed at seven water-insecure households chosen by the local government. Results were measured over a 6-week period in 2016.

RESULTS: Participants harvested 19.07 gallons of rainwater per week. General purpose water consumption increased by 17% and water retrieval efforts declined by 40.92%. Households saved $12.70 CDN per week. Participants reported perceived improvements to psychological health. Because no potable water was collected, drinking water consumption did not increase. The study identified additional water-insecurity impacts.

CONCLUSION: DRWH cannot supply drinking water without proper treatment and filtration; however, it can be a partial remedy to water insecurity in the subarctic. DRWH is appropriately scaled, inexpensive, and participants identified several significant benefits.

California Drought Moves Through the Central Valley

“The U.S. Bureau of Land Management has allocated100 percent water deliveries to Central Valley water districts for the first time in a decade, as the 80-degree weather this weekend causes risk of rapid snowmelt flooding.” click here

More Evidence that the California Drought is Continuing

“California’s Northern Sierras have set an all-time record of 89.7 inches of precipitation for the 2016-7 year, as new storms are about to push the record higher.” click here

California Snow is Melting: Save Our Precious Water!

“Oroville Dam’s spillway was forced to reopen at maximum flow as over 50,000 cubic feet per second of water careened into the lake and weather scientists warned of an impending 7 to 10-day heatwave that could cause flooding from an accelerated snowmelt.” click here

California Floods, Drought Linked to Atmospheric Waves

“This wave pattern is a global dynamic system that sometimes makes droughts or floods in California more likely to occur,” said NCAR scientist Haiyan Teng, lead author of the California paper. “As we learn more, this may eventually open a new window to long-term predictability.” click here

California Still Has a Permanent Drought (But it’s Not Water)

The drought in California is not water (see below). But there is a severe drought of common sense in the California state legislature Democrats who seem to be determined to run the state into the ground.