« 3rd Annual International Rally to Protect the Great Lakes, Port Huron, MI, Sun., Aug. 20, 11am-5pm | Main | Great Lakes delegates to Tillerson: Oppose Canadian N-waste burial plan »

Charting Canada’s troubled waters: Where the danger lies for watersheds across the country: Ivan Semeniuk

As posted at SOS Great Lakes:

A national assessment of Canada's freshwater ecosystems has found that each of our 25 watersheds is facing environmental threats.

Out of 167 sub-watersheds 31% exhibit high levels of stress and 66% are data deficient.

The absence of a standardized national water monitoring program has left Canada unprepared to address increasing pressures on freshwater ecosystems.

“Water – despite its theoretical abundance – is probably the biggest looming problem in Canada,” said David Schindler, one of Canada’s most highly regarded freshwater scientists.

The article reports:

The assessment finds that the data are too deficient in 110 out of the 167 subwatersheds to form a baseline picture of ecosystem health, including in some relatively populated areas where freshwater is essential to communities, such as in southern Manitoba, Nova Scotia's Annapolis Valley or the Bruce region of Ontario. (emphasis added)

The Bruce region of Ontario hosts the world's largest nuclear power plant, by number of reactors: Bruce Nuclear Generating Station (BNGS), with eight operable reactors, and a ninth permanently shutdown prototype. The eight Bruce reactors lack cooling towers, discharging their massive amounts of waste heat directly into Lake Huron. Their CANDU reactor design is also an infamous generator and emitter of radioactive hydrogen (tritium), both to air and water, impacting the adjacent Lake Huron.

BNGS's "Western Waste Management Facility" has served for four decades as a concentration location for all of Ontario's "low" and "intermediate" level radioactive wastes, including from another dozen reactors east of Toronto at Pickering and Darlington nuclear power plants. Much to all of the combustible "low" level radioactive wastes have even been incinerated at Bruce, with untold atmospheric emissions of tritium and other volatile radioactive hazards, including fallout on Lake Huron.

Since 2001, Ontario Power Generation, owner of the province's 20 atomic reactors, has also targeted BNGS for a shoreline "low" and "intermediate" level radioactive waste dump.

Three Ontario municipalities near BNGS are still in the running for Canada's high-level radioactive waste dump as well, with fear that the "low" and "intermediate" level radioactive waste dump could expand to include high-level radioactive waste as well.

Lake Huron is central to the Great Lakes -- 21% of the world's surface fresh water, and 84% of North America's -- both geographically, and figurately. The Great Lakes are the drinking water supply for 40 million people in eight U.S. states, two Canadian provinces, and a large number of Native American First Nations.

See the full Globe and Mail article.