Can First Nations truly be autonomous in all things?

Ensuring access to safe drinking water isn’t simple. It may require guidance and even intervention by the federal government

Can First Nations truly be autonomous in all things?Self-determination for Indigenous communities can prevent meeting certain standards or goals, especially if the federal government takes a hands-off approach. This can be the problem when it comes to ensuring all First Nations have access to safe drinking water, which isn’t a simple matter. It has never been only about providing the necessary funds (whatever…

Some E. coli bacteria thrive in wastewater treatment plants: study

Examining links to urinary tract infections, blood infections and meningitis

Some E. coli bacteria thrive in wastewater treatment plants: studyA strain of Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria is not only surviving, it’s thriving in wastewater treatment plants, according to recent research from a University of Alberta-led team that’s now working to understand their potentially harmful impact on human health. Most E. coli are destroyed by chlorine, oxygenation and other treatments in sewage plants. But…

Nanotechnology could significantly reduce industrial use of freshwater

Advance in water filtration technology has applications everywhere from the energy industry and agriculture to municipal water treatment

Nanotechnology could significantly reduce industrial use of freshwaterIn 2017, University of Alberta mechanical engineering professor Mohtada Sadrzadeh found himself presenting his work on a new water treatment technology at the Canadian Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA) conference right after a researcher from an IBM research centre who was pitching almost exactly the same technology. “It was strange for me at first — you hear the name…

Indigenous housing crisis can be solved using market forces

Only the private sector can deliver the high-quality housing that reserves need. Government waiting lists will never catch up

Indigenous housing crisis can be solved using market forcesAdequate housing – especially in remote and northern locations – is an intractable problem facing First Nation communities. The high cost of housing in these locations and the never-ending cycle of backlogs plague reserve communities across Canada. The federal government must pledge to make housing a commitment on the same level as safe drinking water…

Celebrating the life of David Schindler

The U of A community mourns the loss of the world-renowned ecologist and environmentalist, and honours his achievements

Celebrating the life of David SchindlerThe University of Alberta is mourning the loss of ecology professor emeritus David Schindler, a devoted family man, friend and mentor, and one of the world’s strongest and most respected voices addressing one of the planet’s most pressing issues – ensuring water safety and sustainability. Schindler was 80. Born August 3, 1940, in Fargo, N.D.,…

First Nations need safe drinking water now

The government should be bolder on reform commitments and less grandiose in its promises

First Nations need safe drinking water nowCanada and its Indigenous communities should finally commit this year to making the systemic reforms needed to ensure First Nations drinking water standards are the same as the rest of the country. For starters, Indigenous communities ought to experiment with more regional water authority agreements to deliver safe drinking water. In late 2020, Indigenous Services…

Project aims to make water treatment greener, more efficient

U of A computing scientists working with Edmonton company to find out if applying AI to water treatment is a financial, environmental win-win

Project aims to make water treatment greener, more efficientA pilot project leveraging the University of Alberta’s artificial intelligence expertise to improve the process of making drinking water safe is up and running in Drayton Valley, Alta. The U of A’s Reinforcement Learning and Artificial Intelligence Lab, along with the Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute, an Alberta not-for-profit institute with U of A affiliations, Edmonton infrastructure technology…

Common sunscreen ingredients dangerous for freshwater ecosystems

Research by U of A biologists shows detrimental effects on tiny water fleas that are fundamental to freshwater food chains

Common sunscreen ingredients dangerous for freshwater ecosystemsThe active ingredients found in sunscreen have detrimental effects on freshwater ecosystems, according to new research by University of Alberta biologists. The results show that long-term exposure to ultraviolet (UV) filters – including avobenzone, oxybenzone, and octocrylene – is lethal for some organisms living in freshwater environments. One of the largest sources of UV-filter contamination…

The economic case for tearing down dams

Spending lots of money on hydroelectric projects in the hopes we’ll need the power in the future is a mug’s game, even for big projects

The economic case for tearing down damsLocal journalists are always looking for ways to blow a hometown story into something that might interest the networks, big city dailies or syndication services. For me, it was trying to feed stories to the Canadian Press wire service in Halifax while working in local radio and TV in Fredericton and Saint John. They paid…

Replacements for banned CFCs polluting Arctic: study

Researchers find degraded, toxic compounds from CFC replacements in ice core sample from summit of Devon Ice Cap

Replacements for banned CFCs polluting Arctic: studySubstances used to replace ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) may be as problematic as their predecessors, a new study shows. “The degradation products from these substances may be just as concerning as the original chemicals they were meant to replace,” said Alison Criscitiello, director of the University of Alberta’s Canadian Ice Core Lab. “We are seeing significant levels of…