Ontario Pipeline - Winter 2015 - (Page 30)

FEATURE | BOOk REvIEW Down the Drain: how we are Failing to Protect our water resources By ralPh PenTlanD anD ChrIs WOOD, greysTOne BOOks, 2013. REViEWED BY niCk REiD, OnTARiO ClEAn WATER AGEnCY D own the Drain is a detailed, wellresearched account of water and environmental resources and how these resources are managed, or not, in Canada in the context of jurisdictions around the world. this is hardly what one would call a "feel good" book. reading it as a baby boomer with over 20 years dedicated to clean water, it was a real eye-opener to learn that society's efforts are so very recent when it comes to sanitary treatment and the filtration and disinfection of communal water systems. the authors trace back to the time of Canada's Confederation and weave through the dumping of household and industrial waste into the nearest streamsĀ - streams that are ultimately the supply of drinking water. they relate the construction of toronto's first waste treatment plant in 1910, and a new drinking water treatment plant two years later that used chlorine for disinfection. Pentland and Wood further describe a patchwork of weak federal and inconsistent provincial oversight wherein "as recently as the 1980s, Montreal's sewers...continued to flush straight into the St. lawrence river. Halifax used the vast, well-churned, and non-potable north atlantic as its depository for municipal sewage until 2008. and as of this writing [2013], Victoria still flushes its toilets and bathwater into the Pacific..." 30 | o n t a r i o p i p E l i n E | Winter 2015 ThE AUThORS MAkE A COMPELLINg ARgUMENT ThAT CANADA hAS AChIEvED ITS WEALTh BY ShORTSIghTED ExTRACTION OF RESOURCES, WhILE NOT DOINg NEARLY ENOUgh TO BALANCE ThIS WITh PROTECTION OF ThE ENvIRONMENT FROM POLLUTION. the authors make a compelling argument that Canada has achieved its wealth by shortsighted extraction of resources, while not doing nearly enough to balance this with protection of the environment from pollution. one compelling vignette describes the outcomes of Canada's ineffective protection of water resources through the life of a daughter born to their friends during the preparation of this book. By relating the life of young olivia (not her real name), they paint a sobering picture in the reader's mind. at age thirteen, olivia's ontario has children spending summers inside because heat and humidity saturate the air. Conservation authorities struggle to keep swimming areas free of toxic algae, severe weather and tornadoes happen frequently and drinking water warnings are common. Droughts, famine, insurance collapses, ecosystem degradation and other global challenges all make olivia's parents fear for her future. the authors close with a call to our senior national leaders to take action on the best practices that are the consensus of scores of expert inquiries and internal policy reviews for Canada's natural defence commissioned over the past two decades. Pentland's and Wood's book should be required reading for anyone concerned with the natural security of Canada's water. the olivias in our lives depend upon it. Nick Reid is Executive Director Strategic Partnerships at OCWA, a board member of OWWA, and past co-chair of the OWWA Publications Committee.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Ontario Pipeline - Winter 2015

From the Publications Chair
The OWWA Report
The OMWA Report
The OWWEA Report
From Our AWWA Director
Dual Water/Wastewater Plants: Challenges & Benefits
A Review of Urban Stormwater Runoff Impacts and Controls Regarding Drinking Water
Is Municipal Water Reuse in Ontario Feasible?
Managing Drinking Water Quality in Ontario: A Proactive and Preventative Approach
Staying Current on Water Issues
Book Review: Down the Drain: How We Are Failing to Protect Our Water Resources
Committee Reports
Certification Corner
Welcome New Members
Calendar of Events
OWWEA Member Listing
OWWEA Member News
Index to Advertisers

Ontario Pipeline - Winter 2015

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