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UNB the Andrews initiative on Water. Presentation by David McLaughlin October 11, 2012. Tonight’s Presentation. The issue Climate change & water Resource extraction trends Industrial use of water in Canada Policy answers.

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Unb the andrews initiative on water

UNB the Andrews initiative on Water

Presentation by David McLaughlin

October 11, 2012

Tonight s presentation
Tonight’s Presentation

  • The issue

  • Climate change & water

  • Resource extraction trends

  • Industrial use of water in Canada

  • Policy answers

“The Cowichan River could run bone dry before the end of the month if rain doesn’t start falling by the bucketful, raising concerns for environmentalists, municipal officials and representatives of the nearby paper mill.”

Globe and Mail, October 7, 2012

Climate impacts here now
Climate impacts here & now

Arctic sea ice losses during 2011 were the second-greatest in the satellite record dating back to 1979, according to an official NSIDC report…. However, ice loss in recent years has been proceeding faster than the models predicted. EarthSky 2011

Arctic Sea Ice

Headline: 2011 already costliest year for natural disasters. Expert: 'We are rewriting the financial and economic history of disasters on a global scale‘ MSNBC, July 2011

Australia, Queensland

Despite an increase in conservation efforts, the state of biodiversity continues to decline, according to most indicators, largely because the pressures on biodiversity continue to increase.

Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (2010)

Australian Rainforest

Brazil Rainforest

UNEP, 2011

Paying the price for climate change
Paying the price for climate change

  • This highlights the precautionary principle.

  • Lower future global emissions diminish risks of very costly outcomes to Canada.

Nrt water s ustainability p rogram
NRT Water SustainabilityProgram

Report II // NOV 2011

Information & advice to ensure the sustainable use of water by Canada’s natural resource sectors

Report I // JUNE 2010

Current state of water use by Canada’s natural resource sectors & key issues

National water issues

Water – energy nexus

Climate change impacts

Public licence to operate

Governance & management

Industrial use of water
Industrial use of water

Economic importance:

  • Accounts for 12.5% GDP

  • 50% - 65% economic growth anticipated by 2030

Water u se f orecasts by sector
Water use forecasts– by sector

National increased water intake for the sectors – 3% overall by 2030 – may not be significant, but this masks regional issues.

Water u se f orecasts by sub sector
Water useforecasts–by sub sector


of total



Unconventional oil and gas and agriculture biggest forecasted users.

Water i ntake i ntensity
Water intake intensity

Natural resource sectors have steadily decoupled economic growth from their water intake & use.

Water water everywhere
Water, water everywhere…

  • Misperception that Canada has an abundance of water

  • Stresses on water resources already exist in some regions

  • Economic growth & increasing demands for Canada’s natural resources will mean more water will be needed

  • Changes due to climate change will create uncertainty concerning temperature changes, rainfall, droughts and floods

Water /

Industry Flash


Pricing w ater
Pricing water

Large efficiency and conservation gains may be achieved with modest increases in the price of water intake.

P ricing w ater economic impacts
Pricing water – Economic impacts

Overall economic impacts of water pricing are modest, but may be more pronounced on a sector or firm basis.

GDP Contribution in millions dollars

Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting/

Agriculture, foresterie pêche et chasse

2004 ’05 ’06 ’07 ‘08

795.0 788.2 796.5 644.2 655.5

Mining and Oil and Gas Extraction /

Extraction minière et extraction de pétrole et de gaz

2004 ’05 ’06 ’07 ‘08

318.4 354.1 864.4 905.5 884.5

Water s hale g as
Water & shale gas

Water problem in shale is drawing a flood of capital (Houston Chronicle, Sept 19th)

  • “The need for huge volumes of water is a growing challenge for oil and gas companies working in shale formations, despite dramatic improvements in drilling speeds that have lowered other costs, energy executives said Wednesday.”

    New shale gas licences at risk without common standards –study (London, Reuters, Sept 25th)

  • "Public acceptance is paramount to the successful permitting and operation of shale gas projects," said Steinar Thon, associate director at DNV, who led the recommended practice study.

  • DNV said it was crucial for companies to closely monitor fracking work and to communicate findings openly to the public, especially in regions where shale gas production is not an established industry.

  • Shale gas well developers should also carefully handle the water and energy resources required for exploration, especially waste water, which has been a key concern in the public debate.”

    New Brunswick researchers raise concerns about shale-gas fracking(Fredericton, Globe and Mail, Apr. 23rd)

  • “Researchers at the University of New Brunswick say shale-gas fracking should not proceed in the province unless there is an environmentally sound option for the disposal of waste water that is a by-product of the process.”

    FRACTURED FUTURE: Scientific fact vs. public fears on water issues ( op-ed by Donald Siegal, CBC NB website, Nov 29, 2011)

  • “The public in New Brunswick should not fear that their water supplies and their air quality will be compromised because of hydro-fracking.”

Guiding p rinciples for sustainable w ater u se
Guiding principles for sustainable water use