Tag Archive | Groundwater

Companies ordered to clean former sour gas site in Alberta

The Alberta Legislature

The Alberta government has ordered ConocoPhillips Canada Resources Corporation and Bonavista Energy Corporation to clean up the site of a former sour gas plant.

The government says ConocoPhillips Canada is the holder of the Environmental Protection and Enforcement Act approval for the reclamation of the Crossfield sour gas processing plant and is the surface lease holder.

It says Bonavista Energy Corporation obtained the Alberta Energy Regulator well licence from ConocoPhillps Canada in January 2003.

In 2010, a report summarizing the monitoring data was completed.

The report identified petroleum hydrocarbons, chloride and metals in groundwater and soil exceeding the provincial guidelines on the well and plant site and extending beyond those boundaries.

The Alberta government says no further site investigations, soil/groundwater sampling events or remedial work have been undertaken by ConocoPhillips Canada or Bonavista since 2010.

The enforcement order requires that ConocoPhillips Canada and Bonavista must submit a written delineation plan, prepared by a qualified environmental professional, to the government for approval.

Read the full story here.

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Call for protection of freshwater resources

River stretch: report says half of the pristine stretches in Ireland have been lost since 1987.

A new integrated approach to water management is “urgently needed” if Ireland’s rivers, lakes, groundwaters and coasts are to be protected from decline, a coalition of environmental groups has claimed.

The Sustainable Water Network (Swan), which involves 25 environmental organisations, has just published a pack highlighting the “dramatic loss” of pristine river stretches – halved since 1987 – as well as intensification of agriculture, climate change, poorly integrated planning and low levels of public awareness.

“In the drive to establish Irish Water and improve water infrastructure, river basin management plans drawn up in 2010 have been shelved because of the current disjointed structures – involving more than 50 State agencies,” Swan said.

It also highlighted the closure of beaches in 2012 and 2013 due to the health risk of elevated E.coli levels, continued incidences of “boil water notices” due to Cryptosporidium outbreaks in water supplies and the ongoing human distress caused by flooding.

Read the full story here.

Fukushima sea monitoring for radioactive impact urged

Fumio Suzuki stands on his boat south of the tsunami-crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant. Suzuki’s trawler is one of 14 helping to conduct weekly fishing expeditions in rotation to measure radiation levels of fish they catch in the waters off Fukushima.

On Thursday, Japan’s nuclear regulator declared that it is largely unknown what impact radioactive water leaking from the country’s wrecked nuclear plant is having on the Pacific Ocean and the situation must be monitored more closely.

“The current monitoring of the ongoing leaks at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant was insufficient and he urged a more comprehensive effort to monitor contamination in the ocean near the plant,” says Nuclear Regulation Authority Chairman, Shunichi Tanaka.

Japanese fisheries association executives strongly criticized the plant operator over the unstoppable leaks, saying the situation could doom Japan’s fishing industry.

The plant suffered triple meltdowns after the massive earthquake and tsunami in March 2011. The plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co., must constantly cool the reactors with water, and is struggling to contain the waste.

TEPCO recently acknowledged the chronic leaking of radiation-tainted underground water into the Pacific, plus a 300,000-litre seepage from one of more than 1,000 storage tanks. The leak was the fifth and worst from a tank since the crisis began.

Read the full story here.

Groundwater Reserves Discovered in Kenya

Water reserve discovered in Kenya.

It has long been known that Africa has been facing a water crisis. Not only is the continent stressed because of erratic rainfall patterns, arid climates, and hot temperatures, but access to clean, safe drinking water is depriving much of the population of a basic human necessity. Specifically in Kenya, 17 million people lack access to safe drinking water. However, this all could change as an exploration of groundwater resources in northern Kenya has identified two aquifers in the Turkana and Lotikip Basins.

Aquifers are underground layers of permeable rock that contain or transmit groundwater. So in a region known for being hot and dry, this discovery is bound to bring hope and economic growth to the country.

The findings were announced at the opening of an international water security conference in Nairobi yesterday, and are the result of a groundwater mapping project, GRIDMAP (Groundwater Resources Investigation for Drought Mitigation in Africa Programme), spearheaded by UNESCO in partnership with the government of Kenya and with the financial support of the Government of Japan.

Read the full story here.