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Water Pollution in Canada

by | 23-04-2017 05:43 recommendations 0

Hello Tunza Eco Generation members and readers!

I am terribly sorry that it has taken me so long to write my first report, I had some personal matters that occurred last month, but I now am back and ready to fill you in on environmental issues in Canada!

As suggested in the title of this report, the topic I'll be covering this month is water pollution. Before I delve into the topic of water pollution in Canada, it?s crucial to first define what water pollution is. Water pollution occurs when toxic substances enter water bodies, which include lakes, rivers, oceans, etc. These toxic substances may get dissolved in the water, lie on the surfaces of water, or get deposited on the bed. This heavily affects the quality of the water.

WWF-Canada?s Watershed Reports investigate the different sources of pollution and the threat they pose to aquatic ecosystems. A watershed is an area of land that catches rain and snow, then drains or seeps them into marshes, streams, rivers, lakes, or groundwater. Of the 11 watersheds in Canada, 8 of them are classified as having high or very high pollution threat levels.

There are many sources of pollution in Canada, one of the largest sources being the pollution from the oil sands in Alberta. By 2020, with the oil sands expansion plan, climate pollution is expected to increase by 53 million tons of CO2 . With this brings increased acid rain from the oil sands which leads to further water contamination and damage to aquatic ecosystems. Wastewater, development, air pollution, and pesticide runoffs are among the other causes of water pollution in Canada. The Great Lakes, an important body of water that contains 20% of the world?s freshwater supply has been heavily affected by pollution. Decades of industrial waste have introduced toxic chemicals such as DDT and mercury into the lakes. These chemicals can remain in the environment for decades through being passed down the food chain. Furthermore, factors such as tributary dams (tributaries being small rivers or streams flowing into larger rivers and lakes) which stops the flow of nutrients and water into and between the Great Lakes, reduced ice cover, and phosphorus loading are among the largest sources of harm to the Great Lakes.

All these causes of water pollution damage ecosystems, disrupt the food chain, and can even affect human health. Long-term exposure to polluted water can have harmful effects on the nervous system and diseases like Hepatitis B can be contracted through eating poisoned seafood, to name a few.

What is being done to combat this problem?

Sources like the Watershed Reports give us insight into what is causing these watersheds to reach such high levels of pollution identifying these causes helps us to better understand how to specifically target them. Since 1989, Canada has invested 355 million dollars in restoring and protecting the Great Lakes water quality and ecosystem health. In the following link, https://www.ec.gc.ca/eau-water/default.asp?lang=En&n=E05A7F81-1, Environment Canada shares legislations, regulations, and policies to combat a variety of environmental problems, including water pollution.  For example, the Arctic Waters Pollution Prevention Act was enacted to prevent pollutions in the areas of Arctic waters. An annual initiative by the Vancouver Aquarium and WWF-Canada called the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup is a great way to reduce litter on the shores that might end up polluting the water.

Although water pollution is a prevalent problem in Canada, the outlook is hopeful as there are many passionate organizations and teams working hard to combat the causes of water pollution.

The oil sands in Alberta

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  • says :
    thanks for sharing
    Posted 06-02-2018 22:30

  • says :
    good report
    Posted 06-02-2018 22:29

Aaditya Singh

  • Aaditya Singh says :
    Thanks for your report Elliot. through this report I was introduced not only to the status of water pollution and corrective measures in Canada but also to a new term 'Oil Sands'.
    I am sure as a developed nation with a conscientious governance, Canada will be able to work wisely to control water pollution.
    Posted 14-05-2017 01:00

  • says :
    Hi Elliot! Thanks for sharing your first reports with us:)
    It was really interesting to read about situations in Canada. Among all the intersting facts, what caught my eyes is oil sands expansion plan. I'm curious about the mechnism that mining oil sands spoil the water. If you can write more details about it on a next post, that would be great!
    Thanks again for your article.
    Posted 25-04-2017 11:09

  • says :
    Elliot, thank you for your report. I could learn general information of a situation with water in Canada. It is amazing that Canada seems like not having a lot of trouble, or I better say the government is doing their very best jobs to clean up the water. The link you wrote sure tells us lots of information. I should go through the website for some time. Thank you!
    Posted 23-04-2017 15:59

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