A Flood of Water Issues

March 7, 2013

Today’s short column will take another look at the proposed Corner Brook Lake watershed drilling, and introduce Bottled Water Free Day events that will take place at CNA on Friday, March 22. 

I’m in the middle of semester break, and enjoying it as much as possible. The air is mild and the snowbanks are sinking, creating an onrush of water circulation downhill throughout Corner Brook. Between now and March 27, a flood of water-related events and stories are flowing at a supercritical rate. For the next couple of columns, I’ll be writing about water.

h2o-test

WATER, DEFINED

What is water?

You’re likely familiar with the water compound, H2O. Chemically, a water molecule consists of one oxygen and two hydrogen atoms which are connected by a covalent bond. I used ChemSketch3D to draw up an animated diagram. The most abundant compound on the planet, water covers 71% of the planet’s surface, and 2.5% of that is freshwater.

The hydrological cycle, or continuous movement of water, includes processes such as evapotranspiration (sum of evaporation and water evaporating from plants), condensation, precipitation and runoff. Eventually it reaches the sea.

Safe potable (drinking) water is crucial to human and animal life.

WATERSHED DRILLING UPDATE

As I wrote in a previous column, Thomas Resources is a company that wants to drill 21 holes in the Corner Brook watershed to explore for minerals, specifically garnet and kyanite. The plan is not popular with area residents, who have legitimate concerns over the safety of the city’s drinking water. The company held a public information session at the Glynmill Inn on Thursday, Feb. 27.

The information session did not have a central focus – people could ask questions, but there was no main presentation to offer a starting point for questioning and debate. If someone who was unaware of the plan couldn’t see any potential issues, then how could they formulate a question? There was a 45 day public consultation period, which expired on January 29. The presentation possibly could have been more effective if it took place within that time period.

The drilling program has already been approved by the provincial government, but needs approval from the City of Corner Brook. City Council is expected to vote on the application soon.

 Links.

BOTTLED WATER FREE DAY

Friday, March 22nd is World Water Day, and there will be Bottled Water Free Day related events at CNA. I’ll be attempting to follow them on that day. 

To be continued…

Barring any other breaking news, my next column in two weeks will focus on the Bottled Water Free Day event at CNA, and will discuss my upcoming class trip to the Clean and Safe Drinking Water Workshop in Gander.

LEAD PHOTO: Parabolas of water flow down a Corner Brook sidestreet.