1 UNB THE ANDREWS INITIATIVE ON WATER Presentation by David McLaughlin October 11, 2012
3 Tonight s Presentation The issue Climate change & water Resource extraction trends Industrial use of water in Canada Policy answers
4 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
5 Climate impacts here & now Arctic Sea Ice 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 Australia, Queensland Australian Rainforest Brazil Rainforest 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
6 Lowest in satellite record Represents 49% reduction in sea ice extent
9 CLIMATE CHANGE IMPACTS ON WATER RESOURCES 9
10 Climate Impacts on water in NB
11 Paying the price for climate change This highlights the precautionary principle. Lower future global emissions diminish risks of very costly outcomes to Canada.
12 UNEP. Keeping Track of our Changing Environment. 2011
13 Resource Extraction Trends fish
14 UNEP. Keeping Track of our Changing Environment. 2011
15 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
17 National water issues 1.Water energy nexus 2.Climate change impacts 3.Public licence to operate 4.Governance & management
19 Industrial use of water Economic importance: Accounts for 12.5% GDP 50% - 65% economic growth anticipated by
20 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.
22 Water use forecasts by sub sector 1.1% of total national use Unconventional oil and gas and agriculture biggest forecasted users.
23 Water intake intensity Natural resource sectors have steadily decoupled economic growth from their water intake & use.
24 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 24
25 Water / Industry Flash Points 25
28 Pricing water Large efficiency and conservation gains may be achieved with modest increases in the price of water intake.
29 Pricing water Economic impacts Overall economic impacts of water pricing are modest, but may be more pronounced on a sector or firm basis.
31 GDP Contribution in millions dollars Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting / Agriculture, foresterie pêche et chasse Mining and Oil and Gas Extraction / Extraction minière et extraction de pétrole et de gaz
32 Water & shale gas Water problem in shale is drawing a flood of capital (Houston Chronicle, Sept 19 th ) 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 25 th ) "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. 23 rd ) 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.