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
“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
Arctic Sea Ice
Australia,
Queensland
Australian Rainforest
Brazil Rainforest
Arctic sea ice losses during 2011 were the secondgreatest 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
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
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)
UNEP, 2011
• Lowest in satellite record
• Represents 49% reduction in sea ice extent
8
CLIMATE CHANGE IMPACTS
ON WATER RESOURCES
Climate Impacts on water in NB
Paying the price for climate change
• This highlights
the precautionary
principle.
• Lower future
global emissions
diminish risks of
very costly
outcomes to
Canada.
UNEP. Keeping Track of our Changing Environment. 2011
Resource Extraction Trends – 1980-2005
fish
UNEP. Keeping Track of our Changing Environment. 2011
NRT Water Sustainability Program
Report I // JUNE 2010
Current state of water
use by Canada’s natural
resource sectors & key
issues
Report II // NOV 2011
Information & advice to
ensure the sustainable use
of water by Canada’s
natural resource sectors
National water issues
1.Water – energy nexus
2.Climate change impacts
3.Public licence to operate
4.Governance & management
Industrial use of water
Economic importance:
• Accounts for 12.5% GDP
• 50% - 65% economic growth anticipated by 2030
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 use forecasts – by sub sector
1.1%
of total
national
use
Unconventional oil and gas and agriculture biggest forecasted users.
Water intake intensity
Natural resource sectors have steadily decoupled economic
growth from their water intake & use.
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
Points
Pricing water
Large efficiency and conservation gains may be achieved with
modest increases in the price of water intake.
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 & 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 principles for sustainable
water use
WHAT IF…
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