Alberta moves on in protecting water
The Alberta government has decided to cover 90% of the capital costs of building regional municipal water and waste...
The Alberta government has decided to cover 90% of the capital costs of building regional municipal water and wastewater pipelines. The funding comes under the government’s $54 million Water for Life, Regional Water and Wastewater Partnership Initiative. Previously, the government picked up between 10% and 85% of the costs.
Alberta has also decided that companies wanting to develop shallow coalbed methane wells must now offer to test nearby water wells before they drill. A new standard developed by Alberta Environment in collaboration with the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board requires companies to offer and complete baseline testing on any active water well within a 600 metre radius of methane wells. The tests will measure the water well’s production capability, water quality and the absence or presence of gas in the water well. The companies developing the resource will have to pay for the tests and submit them to the landowner and to Alberta Environment. The rule is effective from May 1, 2006.
Don Johnson, president of the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties, explained the need for such testing: “Ninety per cent of rural water supply comes from groundwater. We believe baseline well water testing will protect our rural water supplies by providing data to measure and track possible side effects of coalbed methane activity.”