Canadian Groups Concerned About Water Withdrawals

  • Groups like the Pembina Institute worry about water sustainability as the Great Lakes receive little new water and government officials both in Canada and in the U.S. discuss Annex 2001. (photo by Jenn Borton)

Canadian environmental groups are concerned that a new plan to regulate water withdrawals from the Great Lakes basin would allow too much water to be removed. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Karen Kelly reports:


A Toronto researcher says most communities are underestimating a potential source
of cheap electricity – raw sewage. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Karen Kelly reports:

University of Toronto professor David Bagley collected waste water at a North
Toronto water treatment plant. He took the sewage into his lab, dried it and
then burned the solids to see how much energy they produced. He estimates the
energy produced from sewage at three treatment plants could produce more than
100 megawatts of electricity. That could be enough to keep a small town going
for a year. But Bagley says few take advantage of this resource.

“Our measurements show that there’s enough energy that we should be able to
completely offset the electricity needed to run the plant, and have extra
left over the send back to to the grid.”

Bagley finds communities are reluctant to invest in the equipment they’d
need to convert sewage into power. But he’s hoping to to design a cheaper
and more efficient system so more people can get the most out of their sewage.

For the Great Lakes Radio Consortium, I’m Karen Kelly.

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