Thursday, April 13, 2023

No room for error on water

Letters - Winnipeg Free Press

I wish to add to the comment made by Karen Lalonde (“Project a risk to aquifers,” Letters, Feb. 28) that “there are other companies in Manitoba producing silica sand but not going through aquifers to attain it.” While this is true, this statement implies that drinking water is not affected by traditional silica sand mining methods.

In the case of the Wanipigow Sand Mine, Canadian Premium Sand will use massive amounts of groundwater to wash their sand before exporting it. That groundwater presently drains to Lake Winnipeg, the Manigotogan and the Wanipigow rivers via fish-bearing creeks and underground springs. Four communities obtain their drinking water from the Wanipigow and Manigotogan rivers, and many cottagers along Lake Winnipeg use wells. In fact, the whole ecosystem well past the mine’s boundaries will likely be affected.

A mine can’t take millions of gallons of water out of a watershed without affecting life.

Four years after Canadian Premium Sand received its licence, the public has yet to see the hydrogeological report that would confirm the effects of this project on the ecosystem, the wells and the water people drink. Why hasn’t the government demanded clear, transparent reporting to the citizens most affected?

Let us agree on one thing — the problem is a shoddy environmental-review process and enforcement of the 98 conditions attached to the Wanipigow Sand Licence issued four years ago. This government is failing to protect the water of all of its citizens.

We agree: there is no room for error when it comes to water. The invasive process being proposed for the Sio Silica mine threatens drinking water on a massive scale. Camp Morning Star stands with citizens opposing the Sio Silica Mine. We all deserve thorough research and answers regarding these projects before they license the processing plants. Show us the science! Water is life!

M.J. McCarron

Camp Morning Star


1 comment:

Larry Powell said...

Water, Our Most Precious Finite Resource.

re: Manitoba Co-operator, 4 April. Change in water culture necessary.
An abundance of water has made Canadians “water hogs” and cultural change will be needed if citizens are to become more efficient in a warmer, dryer climate, experts say.

“Canada has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to sources of fresh water, and water is provided at a very low cost to households and businesses,” said Nicola Crawhall, CEO of the Canadian Water Network. “There’s an incentive to over consume.”

Why it matters: Manitoba had its own brush with low water supply in 2021, when drought impacted availability for spraying, livestock, irrigation and human consumption.

Water for potatoes has also become an issue in Manitoba. Yet no mention was made of the letter posted by John Fefchak, re hogs. "Drought takes hold over Manitoba's cattle markets The situation being faced by many Manitobans poses the following question: “How will this affect the gargantuan hog industry in Manitoba and its huge demands of water consumption?” Aug 18, 2021

As a matter of fact, water usage estimates in swine production were introduced at the hearings by the Manitoba CEC ( Clean Environment Commission, of 2007) . Also, a study by DGH Engineering broke down the estimated water use by type of operation and function at 89.5 liters /sow/day, just about the same estimate that the MPC (Manitoba Pork Council) tried to hide in their submission to the CEC. The CEC actually commissioned a study on total water use (p. 116-118 of the CEC report) and found that the ILO hog industry was using almost 3 times the amount of water, the MPC claimed.
Now, 16 years later, the factory hog barns have increased by over 60% ( 400-650).
Yes, it's past time for governments to deal with the :"Factory water Hogs in Manitoba."
John Fefchak.
Virden , MB.

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