Brant's water supply, aggregate & development risks


Published on

Overview of the groundwater issues of Brant County including concerns for development and gravel pits over recharge and potential impacts of a proposed Lake Erie pipeline.

Published in: Technology, Business
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Brant's water supply, aggregate & development risks

  1. 1. Brant-Brent County Economy& Associated Risks of Gravel Pits By Louisette Lanteigne
  2. 2. Aquifers are the key to the economic systems in Brant County ... but what is an aquifer?
  3. 3. Water + Aggregates = AquifersControls water flow rates & volumes, water temperature and water quality.
  4. 4. Along coastal areas, geological layout is relatively consistent and “predictable”. Water heads to the nearest lake.
  5. 5. We sit in an area of Complex Geology The Waterloo and Paris Galt Moraines are located in the middle of multiple glacial lobes. As glaciers melted, The water flowed to different lakes moving sand and aggregates all over making our geology less predictable.
  6. 6. Recent sediment studies reveals the Paris Galt Moraine is more complex and harder to classify.Existing studies have shown that end moraines characterizedby hummocky topography like the Paris moraine are difficultto classify geomorphologically. Processes such as meltwater,sediment gravity flows, deformation by ice and ponding are allimportant in the development of ice marginal moraines and theseprocesses lead to a wide variety of materials and an equally widevariety of moraine types.** A Sedimentological and Geomorphological Investigation of the Paris Moraine in theGuelph Area in the Guelph Area, Ontario, Canada By Michael McGill. A Thesis presented tothe University of Guelph In partial fulfilment of requirements for the degree of Master ofScience in Land Resource Science Guelph, Ontario, Canada © Michael McGill, August,2012
  7. 7. People believed all watersheds were defined by topography only.
  8. 8. Sediment studies reveal below ground water connectivityproving that topography alone is not enough to prevent risks. (cross section of Waterloo Moraine)
  9. 9. Contamination goes to wells in spite of topography! Mike Stone re: Waterloo Moraine Chloride issues
  10. 10. Brant County Recharge Areas
  11. 11. Development is encroaching on recharge!
  12. 12. Gravel pits encroaching on recharge!
  13. 13. What is at risk?
  14. 14. Grand Rivers contribution to GDP- The Grand River supports the same gross national revenue as the province of Nova Scotia. (State of the Grand River Watershed, GRCA)- Natural Heritage River contains 51% of Canadas native fish including threatened and endangered species- River and tributaries support commercial fishing, tourism, birding, boating, trails and recreational use- Recharges Lake Erie and supports the Canadian and US economy with fisheries, beaches and Great Lakes shipping routes. If a boat have to lighten their load to not run aground it increases the costs for goods and. Manufacturing and hurts the GDP.
  15. 15. Brants Groundwater revenues for municipal use Groundwater withdrawn annually is 30,000m³ = 30,000,000 litres annually County of Brant Municipal Groundwater Study 2005 1% of the groundwater volumes = 300,000 litres per year = 821.92 L per day.
  16. 16. Brants Groundwater Value: municipal use Annual groundwater volumes pumped: 30,000,000 L/year 1% of that volume = 300,000L/year or 821.92 L per day If water treatment costs are valued at 1 cent to 3 cents, these are themunicipal revenues Brant County risks losing based on losses of 1 to 10% of the current water volumes.Volumes lost Total volume Cost of water Cost of water Cost of waterper day % of lost per day in lost per day at lost per day at lost at per daygroundwater litres 1 cent 2 cents at 3 cents1% 821.92L $821.92 $1643.84 $2465.762% 1643.84L $1643.84 $3287.68 $4931.525% 4109.60L $4109.60 $8219.20 $12,328.8010% 8219.20L $8219.20 $16,582.40 $24,801.60
  17. 17. Water contributes to Agricultural Industries
  18. 18. Farm Cash Receipts for Main Commodities, Brant, 2009 (Total = $171.6 million)Sources: 2006 Census of Agriculture and Strategic Policy Branch, OMAFRA Dec-2010
  19. 19. Brant has a wide diversity of agricultural products dependent on water supplies
  20. 20. Farming is just the first stepAlthough direct employment numbers on the farmmay seem small, the impact across the entirefood industry, from processing to end users issignificant.
  21. 21. There are currently 20 businesses involved infood products manufacturing in Brantford -Brant contributing to approximately 2,300 jobsin the region.
  22. 22. In the past decade the following companies have invested in the community
  23. 23. Food vs. Aggregates: JobsSource:Liberal MP Leeanna Pendergast press release titled “Lets put pits in their place”, June 21, 2011.Aggregates employ Canadian Agriculture35,000 people directly and Agri-food sectorsand indirectly (2008) employ 2.2including 3.2 billion million jobs. (one in 8GDP and 1.8 million in jobs in Canada.) andLabour income. generates 99 Billion GDP. 8.1% of Canadas total GDP.
  24. 24. Farming extends benefits to other sectors Food Packagers Transportation Services Tourism Restaurants
  25. 25. Brantford·Brants AdvantagesTransportation options that include superior access to 400 series highways, two internationalairports, international border crossing at Niagara Falls and inter-modal facilities in western GTAProximity to Ontario and Northern US customer market and suppliersStrong labour force growth trendsProductive, skilled labour forceCompetitive wage levelsAccess to suppliers and competitively priced high quality raw materialsLow land and construction costs when compared to other Southern Ontario locationsLow cost electricity and telecommunication costsCost competitive business conditionsProximity to major consumer markets considered a major factor in attracting warehouse anddistribution facilities
  26. 26. Another advantage: WATER
  27. 27. Global water & food crisis due to declining aquifers from Over-withdrawal, Impervious Surfaces & Climate ChangeWorlds largest aquifer going dry Chinas north that produces food for 400The Ogallala aquifer is the worlds largest million people is running out of waterunderground water system, irrigating one- because they are depleting thethird of the US corn crops and providing underground aquifers.drinking water to Colorado, Kansas,Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Thomas Fingar, chairman and deputy directorDakota, Texas and Wyoming. It’s one of US National IntelligenceCouncil andthe fastest-disappearing aquifers in theworld and the water is not coming back.( Associated Press) The failure of governments to limit pumping to the sustainable yield of aquifers means that water tables are now falling in countries that contain more than half the worlds people, including the big three grain producers--China, India, and the United States. Lester R. Brown,Earth Policy Institute, Washington D.C.
  28. 28. Agricultural lands WITH WATER are in high demand.• Countries such as China, Korea and the United Arab Emirates are buying or leasing agricultural land to help meet their own food needs. The International Food Policy Research Institute• The World Bank estimates that demand for food will rise by 50 percent by 2030. The National Intelligence Council’s Global Trends 2025• Global Economist project that agricultural lands will surpass the value of development lands in the near future due to rising oil production costs, population increases, higher standard of living, water shortages climate change and drought.First photo: China, Second Photo: The US Third: Waterloo Ontario
  29. 29. Mark Wales, President ofOntario Federation of Agriculture states: “Canada is expected to be one ofonly six countries in the world to be a net exporter of food.”
  30. 30. One solution to pollution is dilution ...but it takes water to do it.
  31. 31. Contamination Issues Effluent: 29 waste water plants drain effluent into the Grand River resulting in endocrine disruptors, nitrate. phosphate issues and ammonia issues. Animal wastes: 290,000 cows in the Grand River Watershed produce waste = five million people. (Source: GRCA) This contributes to of fecal contamination issues such as ecoli and nitrate and phosphates and amonia. Legacy spills : contamination risks associated with industrial wastes, old dumps, illegal dumping and accidental spills. Roadsalt risks: Chloride issues in water supplies pose health risks to individuals and can close wells. Salt water is bad for crops. Pesticides: Less groundwater to dilute can result in higher levels showing up in municipal well systems posing health risks..
  32. 32. Problem issuesPhosphates stimulate the growth of plants, contributes to nitrate issues and the growth of toxic algae.Nitrate in excess can kill fish, result in dead zones in lakes and can cause blue baby syndrome. It also contributes to nitrite related cancers. It cannot be filtered out.Ammonia causes corrosive damage to human body tissue where there is contact and it makes water more expensive to treat.
  33. 33. Regarding Atrazine• Atrazine is a pesticide used to kill broad leafed weeds. It was banned by the European Union in 2003 for it’s endocrine disrupting properties.• International studies link Atrazine to human breast and prostate cancers and is proven to deform frogs and change the sex of fish. It was banned by the European Union back in 2004.• Atrazine is the most common pesticides in Canada used over top corn and soy crops. How much Atrazine is used in Brant County and the adjacent farming areas?
  34. 34. Less water = higher contamination risks • On September 11, 2007 a report from the Natural Resources Defense Council, confirms high levels of Atrazine in Midwest drinking water supplies. • The U.S. EPA, data shows raised Atrazine levels in 94 of 136 water systems tested at the source. impact will the landfill have in augmenting existing water levels currently diluting concentration of pesticides in Brant County and adjacent farming communities?
  35. 35. Syngenta paid $105 million to settle class-action lawsuit withWater Utilities after Atrazine contaminated US water supplies.
  36. 36. Wetlands support Endangered Species
  37. 37. Brant has Endangered Jefferson Salamanders In 2009, the Endangered Species Act revision states: The Endangered Species act 2009 revision specifically identifies Jefferson Salamander habitats in the City of Hamilton, the counties of Brant, Dufferin, Elgin, Grey, Haldimand, Norfolk and Wellington and the regional municipalities of Halton, Niagara, Peel, Waterloo and York, Jefferson Salamander are listed as Endangered by COSWIC. They are a key indicator species for identifying areas of primary recharge due to the fact they require moist habitats to survive. Many of their remaining habitats in Canada are currently being destroyed for aggregate extraction, development and roads.
  38. 38. Brant has Endangered Blandings Turtles “Next to habitat loss, road mortality is one of the biggest threats to their remaining populations,” the GRCA released in a statement. The area of concern is Highway 24, south of Cambridge, passing through Brant and Norfolk Counties on the way to Lake Erie, where Blanding’s turtles are the prevalent species at risk.
  39. 39. Brants threatened and endangered species. Source: GRCA
  40. 40. All projects must comply to most current version of the Ontario Endangered Species Act 2007. The Endangered Species Act 2007 applies to any activity that poses an immediate threat to threatened or endangered species and their habitats. Projects cannot be “grandfathered” to avoid it and the most current version of the law stands. Source: Senior MNR policy adviser Gail Jackson on October 6, 2011 via telephone conversation with Louisette Lanteigne.
  41. 41. If a “kill” permit is soughtThe Endangered Species Act demands that there must be a net benefit forthe species. If one is killed, they must be replaced by two or morelive specimens per kill and they must expand on the delineatedprotected habitat area to assure the improved survival rates of theremaining specimens in the area.A single application can take up to 7 years before a permit is issued. It mustbe signed three times by various review agencies including MNR staff, thedeputy minister, the MNR ministers and others. Prior to the issuance of permitthe request be posted on the Environmental Bill of Rights Registry for publiccomment. ALL alternative designs submitted by city planners, developers andthe public can be reviewed at this phase and the decision that best balancesneeds of the threatened/endangered species and planning needs canbe implemented. If there is no reasonable way to secure a net benefit ofthe species, the request will be denied.
  42. 42. Court Case favours conservation Recent court cases regarding the need to protect killer whales in BC secured a ruling that confirmed the fate of rare species should “not be left to the discretion of politicians” that threatened and endangered animals must be protected by law. They need spaces to feed, breed and raise their young if their populations are going to survive and recovery.
  43. 43. The Key to protection is the public!Democracy Works for Endangered SpeciesAct, Study Finds; Citizen Involvement Key inProtecting and Saving Threatened Species
  44. 44. Natural Wetlands can filter out nitrate and phosphate issues
  45. 45. Lake Erie Pipeline or Pipedream?
  46. 46. Lake Erie Water Pipeline - Cost: $1.2 billion (2008) - no water treatment or transportation costs estimates - Does not include cost to upgrade intake facilities. - Water delivered over 100 km uphill. Where will we get the energy? - The Grand River would be “infrastructure” and lose heritage status.
  47. 47. Further Issues re: Pipeline Minimum wage has increased Cost of steel has gone up 66% There is a global shortage of tires, asphalt, cement and steel* 80% of Canadas infrastructure currently needs replacing* 88% of existing infrastructure is over 40 years old**Based on 2007 FCM-McGill. Municipal Infrastructure Survey
  48. 48. Pipeline QuestionsTo purchase the base materials we must competewith the growing resource demands ofmunicipalities and oil sand companies &Canadian manufacturers.What economic impacts would this project haveon our local, provincial and federal economy?
  49. 49. The lessons of Pipe 6 in London More than 500,000 people in the London area are beingurged to conserve water following the second Lake Huronpipeline water main break in two years forcingmunicipalities to rely on reservoirs. The Big Leak by Norman De Bono, The London Free Press May 24, 2012
  50. 50. Pipe 6 broke 4 times in 66 years2012: Mount Carmel (pipe 66 years)2010: 1km north of the 2012 break (pipe 54 years)1988 break in the Shipka area. (pipe: 22 years old)1983: break in the Shipka area (pipe was 17 years old)
  51. 51. London Water Supply FactsLondon uses 140 million litres of water a dayPipe 6 is 47 kilometres long from Lake Huron to Arva . It isa 1.2 metres in diameter concrete pressure pipe with 200psi water pressure that moves 2,000 litres of water persecond at a rate of 170 million litres of water a dayTotal Reservoir capacity for City of London is 441 millionlitres of water. (Springbrook, Arva & St. Thomas reservoirscombined). London only has 3.15 normal use waterdays stored in their reservoir at maximum capacity.
  52. 52. REGARDING ENGINEERING FIRMSThere is no money in discovering bad geology...or is there?
  53. 53. Problems With Engineering Firms Engineering firms often conduct environmental assessment for approval processes. Once they signed off, the liability risks transfers to the firm who purchased their data. If issues arise due to poor environmental studies, they are not held liable for any of the the work they did but they do stand to profit from remediation jobs if things go wrong. Rubber Stamps from engineers are not enough.Approvals based on completion rather than quality of data is risky! Hold a check worth the value of the Engineering Service and if things fail due to their poor initial EA data: Cash it. Its a good incentive to assure quality work.
  54. 54. Municipal Liability for Sewer and Water PipeFailures ... Despite Statutory Authority and Immunity In some provinces such as Ontario, municipalities benefit from both statutory authority and statutory immunity. Yet despite these twin defences, municipalities still risk being held liable, criminally or civilly, for malfunctions of their sewer and water pipes. The courts are much more willing to impose liability on municipalities than they have been to impose similar liability on more senior governments. OSWCA Paper to CWWA - 27 Feb 2007 by Jackie Campbell, B.Sc. (Pharm.), LLB, Dianne Saxe, Ph.D. in Law, Certified Specialist in Environmental Law & Frank Zechner, B.A.Sc., P.Eng., LLB (Executive Director, Ontario Sewer and Watermain Construction Association)
  55. 55. Lake Erie:Under Stress Toxic Algae Issues Growing “Dead Zone” Declining water volumes Greater contamination risk Climate Change Invasive species Water taking (CAN & US) Bulk Water Shipments
  56. 56. Zebra Mussels in intake pipes ar
  57. 57. Lake Erie March 12, 2012 Will it even be drinkable?
  58. 58. International Joint Commissionbiennial report on the state of the Great LakesCalling Lake Erie the "poster child" for eutrophication,the commissions U.S. co-chair, Lana Pollack, saidmuch of the lake is back to being coated with slimygreen algal blooms in the summer, as it was in the1960s and early 70s. Great Lakes Phospherous Levels Rising Report Warns By Sharon Oosthoek CBC News, Mar 9, 2011
  59. 59. August 31st to September 7 2012 The rotting fish carcasses as well as some dead birds lined the shore of Lake Erie for 40 kilometres. Lack of Oxygen Killed Lake Erie Fish Test Show Richard J. Brennan, National Affairs Writer, Toronto Star
  60. 60. International Joint CommissionIt is clear that human and ecosystem health in theGreat Lakes basin cannot be protected withoutprotecting ground-water resources.
  61. 61. The Moraines have been providing water for free for over 15,000 years!
  62. 62. Conserve & Recycle and Aggregates (Bricks made from human sludge!)
  63. 63. Protect our A1 Farmlands and sourcewater areas for generations to come
  64. 64. Protect the function of Aggregates because Aggregates = Water Supply