Cooperation is the theme for World Water Day 2013. World Water Day is held annually on March 22 as a means of ...
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Waiting for Fear and Hunger Will Be Too Late
The U.S. won’t have to come and take B.C.’s water, energy and billion dollar public assets. We’re giving it to them!
The unfathomable loss of control of British Columbia’s enormously valuable water and energy resources is quietly passing the point of no return without your knowledge.
Our rivers, our coveted water and wind generating sites, the land and the billion dollar revenue associated with these sites is being taken from British Columbians to be lost FOREVER into the hands of private and foreign interests.
Unless stopped immediately, you and I will lose…
- our security and prosperity, and gain massive 2007 debt at $50 billion in payments to build private power projects that we will not own.
- the second lowest energy prices and finest green energy assets in North America.
- the most reliable, secure and efficient energy delivery in North America (no blackouts).
- enormous financial benefits in the form of public asset ($1 billion/year).
- a future of enormous security and public energy wealth.
- public control over our rivers and the electrical power distribution system.
- control over our water and power-generating resources.
- Lastly, we will lose our voice in how we want to share our resources in the on-coming world of extreme water scarcity.
The consequences to you and me will be…
- Annual 10% increases (starting in 2009) in hydro costs (yes, your hydro bill!) that reflect the price BC Hydro (the Provincial government) is paying to these newly created private power group – a cost which is ten to twenty times our existing cost of making power.
- Loss of benefits associated with a billion $ annual income from our public electric system going directly to provincial revenue.
- Power sourced from B.C.’s water (and wind) paid for by taxpayers and yet no longer a public asset and without public benefits.
- Transfer of control and revenues from public (British Columbians) to foreign interests.
- Absorption into an energy grid controlled by American corporations and regulated by US Energy Security Laws.
- Loss of control of our electricity grid resulting in B.C. sourced energy being allocated to the U.S. power grid prior to B.C. energy needs.
- Loss of control can result in B.C.’s water being piped, bottled and otherwise diverted to the U.S. whether or not British Columbia’s people and eco-systems need it.
- No price protection – just contracts committing B.C. to subsidize business. As an example, the Kemess Mine in B.C. uses $80 million of electricity a year. Our public utility, BC Hydro, is buying power at $88 per megawatt from the new private power people and selling it to industry at $34 per megawatt resulting in a public subsidy of $54 million to just one mine. No wonder mining in B.C. is growing astronomically and the government wants to hurry a new transmission corridor along Highway 37 where new mines are proposed.
- Private sector and foreign investors reaping enormous rates of return at the expense of ratepayers (you and me).
- Our rivers and every hydro-capable watershed in B.C. controlled b private water power licenses.
- Watching our resources go to powerful corporations that compound water pollution, environmental damage, water scarcity and ecological stress in a world with unconscionably growing numbers of people who are dying from lack of clean water.
This needs your voice!
Public consultation deliberately bypassed
This travesty is being secretly, deliberately and quickly perpetrated by our provincial government without public debate or consultation.
Massive and immediate action is urgently needed from individuals and communities throughout B.C. to confront and reverse this situation.
Please add your voice and initiative.
Monday, November 19
To help you find out more information about the environmental, social and economic consequences there will be a discussion forum Nov. 19th at the Britannia Community Centre.
Speakers include Tom Rankin (Save Our Rivers Society), Gwen Barlee (Western Wilderness Committee) and Betty Krawzcyk.
Time: 7pm – 9pm, Monday Nov. 19th
Where: Britannia Centre , 1661 Napier (just off Commercial Drive)
Chemical reactions happen when chlorine is added to water for disinfection purposes. Chlorine interacts with organic material in water forming hundreds of new compounds called disinfectant byproducts or chlorinated byproducts.
Trihalomethanes (THMs) are the most commonly known and researched of these compounds. You have probably heard of chloroform gas, one of many trihalomethanes.
Trihalomethanes (THMs) linked to cancer and birth defects.
Trihalomethanes are suspected to damage the liver, kidneys and central nervous system. They are also considered carcinogenic and have been linked to miscarriage and birth defects. Extra precautions are recommended during pregnancy.
THM risk in Greater Vancouver water supply.
Studies show increased cancer risk at exposure levels common in Greater Vancouver’s water supply. THM levels found in most ‘industrialized’ municipalities water supply increase the possibility of bladder cancer by 35%.
Greater Vancouver is supplied with surface water from mountainous watersheds which may contain a lot of organic content like leaves. This causes higher concentrations of trihalomethanes than may occur than in other municipalities that use ground water.
Trihalomethanes increase with heat and can also form in hot water heaters.
Hot showers increase trihalomethane exposure.
THMs are volatile gases that vaporize at temperatures lower than turn water to steam. While showering in an enclosed in a space that concentrates these toxic gases, you are inhaling them into your lungs and absorbing them through the opened pores of your skin introducing them directly into the bloodstream.
Most shower filters use a filtration media called KDF which is excellent for chlorine reduction but has absolutely NO impact on trihalomethanes.
Canada’s contaminant guidelines weaker than U.S. standards.
Canada is sadly lacking a clear national drinking water quality policy. Health Canada’s recommended maximum level for THMs in drinking water is 0.1 milligrams per litre (100 parts per billion). This is a guideline only and not enforced.
The U.S. has a more stringent standard – a maximum of 80 parts per billion.
Studies clearly indicate that serious health effects occur at much lower exposure levels (50 parts per billion).
Health Canada’s ‘official’ position on the guideline for trihalomethanes is that ‘cancer risk at this level over a lifetime is considered extremely low’. Health Canada must, however, have serious concerns about THMs and other chlorination by-products because a special task group has the current guidelines under review. The federal government is being challenged by advocacy groups for its weak and lacking regulations concerning toxic chemicals.
Other dangerous byproducts of chlorine.
HaloAcetic Acids (HAAs) are another important group of chlorinated byproducts for which there is currently no guideline in Canada. The U.S. maximum acceptable level is 60 parts per billion.
HaloAcetic Acids occur more readily in water with lower pH values. Water supplied to Greater Vancouver has low pH (acidic) and is being gradually adjusted to a higher pH (more alkaline) by the addition of soda ash to the water. The incentive for this is to protect pipes and plumbing from the corrosive effects of acidic water.
Chlorine is a cheap disinfectant but is it effective?
All chemical disinfectants create toxic byproducts including disinfection with ozone.
Chlorine (also a carcinogen), and its derivatives, are most commonly used in North America for water disinfection. It is the most inexpensive way to disinfect water. Although a biological poison, chlorine has significant limitations as an effective disinfectant.
What’s your solution?
Protection is certainly NOT guaranteed with bottled water which may contain trihalomethanes and a host of other toxic compounds.
Your best bet is a point-of-use drinking water filter that has been third party tested for high capacity reduction of chlorine, trihalomethanes and whatever other contaminants occur in your drinking water.
Your body must maintain an alkaline environment at the cellular level to support life. Healthy cells are slightly alkaline yet their activity produces metabolic wastes that are acidic.
If these acid wastes are not efficiently carried out of your body then pain, inflammation, degeneration and disease conditions set in. This condition is referred to as acidosis.
Modern diet, drugs and stress contribute to this condition. It induces pain, inflammation, cancer, osteoporosis, arthritis, immune system problems and all manner of chronic illness.
On the other hand, the effective flushing of acid wastes at the cellular level helps your body maintain its optimum alkaline state. This results in increased energy and healthy tissues that have the vitality to resist disease, degenerative conditions and aging.
The pH scale
Degrees of acidity and alkalinity are measured by the pH scale which ranges from 1 to 14.
7 indicates neutral pH.
Above 7 is increasingly alkaline up to 14.
Below 7 is increasing acid down to 1.
pH values are logarithmic which means, for instance, that pH 6 is ten times more acidic than pH 7 and 100 times (10 times 10) more acidic than pH 8.
Acidosis versus a healthy body ‘terrain’.
The various body fluids (blood, urine, saliva, stomach acids) function at different pH values. The pH of blood must be maintained at a constant 7.4 (slightly alkaline), with very little deviation, to sustain life.
Excess acidity stresses the body, causing it to work harder to maintain this constant pH of the blood which must carry away these toxins. If they accumulate, the cellular environment is poisoned, resulting in loss of energy, pain and disease.
An acidic body lacks oxygen creating an environment that supports the growth of fungus, bacteria and viruses.
In contrast, an alkaline body maintains the oxygenated environment required for efficient cellular functioning and will not support unhealthy parasitic growth.
Ingredients for an alkaline body.
- Eat alkalizing foods including lots of greens
- Avoid carbonated drinks and animal protein
- Supplement with high quality calcium
The Quality of Vancouver’s Water is Heads Above the Rest, but is it Safe?
Here in Vancouver, we are fortunate to have our water sourced from untouched snowmelt and rain runoff. In most other parts of North America, drinking water sources contain pesticides, herbicides, fluoride, industrial solvents, pharmaceuticals and personal care products.
In Greater Vancouver, our water is collected in three huge protected watersheds: the Capilano, Seymour and Coquitlam reservoirs. The Greater Vancouver Regional District manages these reservoirs, treats the water and then delivers it to our local municipalities.
If our water comes from such an enviable source, how could it possibly threaten your health with cancer, heart disease, asthma, miscarriage, birth defects, and DNA damage?
A Closer Look
The Truth about Chlorine
All municipalities add some form of chlorine to their water supply because it effectively kills harmful microbiological organisms. Nearly 80,000 tons of chlorine is used to treat water in Canada and the US every year. The trouble is that chlorine also poisons the living tissues of your body.
Chlorine is a known carcinogen. Cancer is at epidemic levels; other disorders such as heart disease, reproductive and respiratory problems are affecting an increasing number of Canadians. Studies are finding that one of the contributing culprits can be found in our daily consumption of our most basic necessity — water.
Health Canada makes it clear that our drinking water must be chlorinated (or otherwise disinfected) whether or not this process introduces cancer-causing compounds into our water. The amount of chlorine or disinfectant added to our water must be sufficient to destroy bacteria and viruses.
Chlorine, Disinfectant By-Products and Cancer
The use of chlorine results in a less well-known but equally dangerous phenomenon called disinfectant by-products, which are known to cause cancer. They are formed when chlorinated water (and ozonated water) comes in contact with organic matter like leaves. The formation of these compounds is particularly likely to occur when the source of water is surface water such as our mountainous watersheds here in the Vancouver area.
Disinfectant by-products are volatile gases. These dangerous compounds trigger the production of free radicals in the body causing cell damage. In addition to being known carcinogens, they can cause reproductive problems and mutations by altering DNA. They also suppress immune system function.
Although all levels of government acknowledge concern about disinfectant by-products, Health Canada’s position clearly states:
“Although the use of chlorine can lead to the formation of disinfectant by-products such as THMs (Trihalomethanes), efforts to manage THM levels must not compromise the effectiveness of water disinfection”.*
* Trihalomethanes in Drinking Water prepared by Federal-Provincial-Territorial Committee on Drinking Water
Harmful at Any Level of Exposure
Health Canada has established a ‘maximum acceptable concentration’ for Trihalomethanes (THMs). This standard has been under review because of growing concern that Canadian guidelines underestimate the need to protect us from the dangers of these compounds. Low levels of concentration of these carcinogenic compounds are being identified as the triggers for many cancers.
There are no regulations set in Canada yet for Haloacetic Acids (HAAs). US standards (which may be inadequate) are currently being used as a guideline in Canada. HAA concentrations in our Greater Vancouver area water often exceed these standards.
Because it can take 20 to 30 years for some disease conditions to show up, it is easy to ignore the consequences of toxic exposure until it’s too late.
Turbidity Compounds the Problem
A key factor in Greater Vancouver’s water conditions that compounds our local situation is a condition called turbidity.
Turbidity is the presence of very fine suspended matter in water. Our water comes from open reservoirs, which are subject to sediment entering them especially during the heavy rains of fall and winter.
Our reservoirs are sometimes shut down for extended periods of time due to microorganisms such as bacteria and viruses that “hide” amongst the particles found in turbid water, making it too difficult to deliver safe water.
During periods of high turbidity, increased concentrations of chlorine are added to the treatment process of our water to ensure adequate protection against water-borne pathogens.
Showering in Chemicals
Disinfectant by-products may increase in concentration as chlorinated water moves through the distribution system to your home and during storage in your hot water tank. These are highly volatile gases.
Chlorine and disinfectant by-products vaporize faster than water. When you shower, the hot steam you are inhaling has a higher than normal concentration of these compounds which are also absorbed by the pores of your skin, opened by the warm water.
Concerns about Lead and Acidic Water
Water in Greater Vancouver is naturally acidic. Acidic water has a corrosive tendency that can leach lead and copper into our water from pipes and plumbing fixtures. Buildings and plumbing fixtures that pre-date 1989 are especially likely to leach lead into water.
Even low levels of lead are dangerous, especially for infants and children. Learning disorders, hyperactivity, drop in IQ, kidney, liver and nervous disorders are some of the symptoms of lead exposure.
What is the Solution?
The Greater Vancouver Regional District is currently constructing a new filtration plant that is due to be completed by 2009. This new treatment facility will improve our water quality by removing turbidity and microorganisms. It will reduce the level of disinfectant by-products because the addition of filtration will remove many of the organic materials (like leaves) in the source water that react with chlorine causing disinfectant by-products.
Substantial improvements are also expected in protection against Cryptosporidium and Giardia, which are parasites that are carried by wildlife that live in the watershed areas on the North Shore and therefore appear in our water supply. When these cysts (eggs) are ingested the symptoms include diarrhea, nausea, and abdominal cramps.
Our water supply is tested regularly for the presence of these organisms, but the testing is imprecise. Chlorine can inactivate Giardia but is not effective against Cryptosporidium.
Although the quantities of hazardous chemicals should be greatly reduced, it appears that the use of chlorine in our water is here to stay.
It is imperative to make sure that the filtration system you use is designed to reduce all the known contaminants found in your local water supply.
The Solution—Appropriate Filtration in Your Home
The best way to get safe water is to produce it in your own home. A point of use filtration device is the most economical way to have unlimited amounts of safe, chemical free water.
For more detailed information see www.yourwatermatters.com
70% of Tabasco, a state in southern Mexico, is under water.
Torrential rains over the past week—some of the worst in Mexico’s history—have caused devastating flooding, impacting more than one million people in Tabasco. The region is already submerged in water up to 2 metres deep and more rain is expected.
90% of the city of Villahermosa, the state capital, is under water.
Half a million people have fled their homes and are without food, drinking water and supplies needed to combat the growing threat of disease. A call has gone out for international assistance.
To help Tabasco…
Contact the RED CROSS.
Canadians wishing to help may give online at www.redcross.ca, call 1-800-418-1111 or contact their local Canadian Red Cross office. The 24-hour toll free line accepts Visa, MasterCard and American Express. Cheques should be made payable to Canadian Red Cross, earmarked “Mexico Floods” and mailed to Canadian Red Cross National Office, 170 Metcalfe Street, Suite 300, Ottawa, Ontario, K2P 2P2.
“In-kind donations of food, clothing and other items, while well intentioned, are not the best way to help those in need. There are tremendous processing and transportation costs involved in shipping these items to beneficiaries. Local purchases of food and clothing are more culturally appropriate and effective. Red Cross supplies can be purchased in the immediate area, thereby reducing transportation costs. Cash transfers to the affected region provide the optimum flexibility to our Red Cross colleagues so they can meet the most urgent needs.”