Cootes paradise our filter “Aquifer” almost dries-up
Friday September 14 2012
Thirsty for clean water
Thirsty for images
Seasons dictate life and beauty
We are heading into Autumn……………………………NOW
I hope we have not sealed our fate regarding pollution, degradation and population. In my opinion, awareness and education do not seem to be working. High school grads are now overweight and hooked to their cell phones, and are mostly still ignorant about their environment after years of education. Immigrants seem to be unable to read signs that are not in their language.
Our water has to deal with so much. How long can we sustain what sustains us? If we are “what we eat,” we are full of crap ;).
This year the images were hard to come by due to the lack of visible wildlife along many of our regional hiking/biking trails and conservation areas. The City of Hamilton has outdone themselves by oiling mute swan eggs to the point that only one signet was born in Hamilton Harbour. Still, this year was worse than all other years for e-coli bacteria. So why do they blame the swans? It is unwarranted and heavy handed management. At least the RBG does not oil the eggs of mute swans.
Southern Ontario Lacking Water
Continuing poor seasons threatens our way of life.
Southern Ontario’s severe weather leaves farmers with crop losses.
Water quality suffers, and all that feeds or lives from the water, which includes humans, suffer also. Coulson said the warm spate of weather has been caused by warm fronts moving in from the southern states, which is not unusual but, because of the lack of snow, the air is not being cooled by the time it reaches Ontario.
Normally we still have snow cover over winter. The warmer air masses, when they encounter snowpack, it modifies them and cools them off. They would have travelled hundreds of kilometers over snow.
Big rain was too little, too late
Farmer Jim Vuckovic has been wishing for rain for weeks. But the way it came pouring down Sunday in a torrential storm wasn’t what he had in mind.
Rather than helping his dried out crops, the winds and heavy water further damaged some of his distressed corn.
And now the 35-year-old corn, wheat and soy farmer in Beamsville finds himself contemplating one of his worst growing seasons in memory — at least with his corn fields, which are about half as high as they should be for this time of year.
“I don’t ever recall it being this dry. A lot of the crops are damaged beyond saving,” says Vuckovic. “A lot of the damage is irrevocable … It’s been a bad year. Obviously, yields will be nowhere near what we’re use to.”
Vuckovic’s farm was toured by provincial Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Minister Ted McMeekin on Tuesday.
“I saw a field of corn (Tuesday) that was clearly distressed,” McMeekin said. “The soy beans were doing OK. More importantly, the farmer was pretty distressed with the situation.”
Gross Goo! Antibiotic Resistance Flourishes In Freshwater Systems
McMaster University researchers have now discovered that floc – “goo-like” substances that occur suspended in water and that host large communities of bacteria – also contain high levels of antibiotic resistance.
“This has important public health implications because the more antibiotic resistance there is, the less effective our antibiotic arsenal is against infectious diseases,” said Lesley Warren, the principal investigator for the study that looked at floc in different freshwater systems.The research was led by Warren, professor of earth sciences and Gerry Wright, scientific director of the Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research, both of McMaster, along with Ian Droppo, a research scientist at Environment Canada.
They examined floc collected from Hamilton Harbour, which is impacted by sewer overflow; Sunnyside Beach in Toronto, which is impacted by wastewater; a rural stream near Guelph, impacted by light agricultural activities; and a remote lake in a natural preserve area in Algonquin Park, accessible only by float plane.
Researchers analyzed the water and floc samples for trace element concentrations and the presence of 54 antibiotic resistant genes.
They were surprised to discover that genes encoding resistance to clinically relevant antibiotics were present in floc bacteria at all four sites, although resistance varied in intensity based on human influence. That is, there was less antibiotic resistance detectable from Algonquin Lake compared to Hamilton Harbour, which harbored the highest concentration of floc trace elements.
“What this tells us is that antibiotic resistance is widespread in aquatic environments ranging from heavily impacted urban sites to remote areas,” said Warren. “Yet, it also demonstrates that areas with greater human impact are important reservoirs for clinically important antibiotic resistance.Floc are vibrant microbial communities that attract contaminants such as trace metals that are markers of resistance, Wright said.
Warren added the study of antibiotic resistance in floc has never been done, “and we are only scratching the surface. The presence of environmental bacterial communities in aquatic environments represents a significant, largely unknown source of antibiotic resistance,” she said. “The better we understand what is out there, the better we can develop policies to safeguard human health as best we can.”The research has been published in the science journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology. Funding for the study was received from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and Environment Canada.