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Square Lake


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Location

Lakeland County AB
Canada

Square Lake


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Location

Bonnyville No. 87 AB
Canada

Athabasca River, Alberta


Year: 2001

Abstract:
The Athabasca is the longest and largest river in Alberta, and one of the few in Western North America unaltered by human impoundment. The River begins and ends at two of the most spectacular and significant natural features in the world. It rises in the Columbia Icefield, the hydrological apex of North America, and finally empties into Lake Athabasca and the 4100 square kilometre Peace-Athabasca Delta, one of the largest inland freshwater deltas in the world. The river was once a major shipping artery for goods into Canada's north and west, and the small town of Athabasca Landing commemorates that energetic time. The river travels through the massive oil sands north of Fort McMurray, and passes an area of migrating sand dunes that may be the largest and most northerly dune complexes in North America.

Dynamic water quality modelling and uncertainty analysis of phytoplankton and nutrient cycles for the upper South Saskatchewan River


Year: 2015

Abstract:
The surface water quality of the upper South Saskatchewan River was modelled using Water Quality Analysis Simulation Program (WASP) 7.52. Model calibration and validation were based on samples taken from four long-term water quality stations during the period 2007–2009. Parametric sensitivities in winter and summer were examined using root mean square error (RMSE) and relative entropy. The calibration and validation results show good agreement between model prediction and observed data. The two sensitivity methods confirmed pronounced parametric sensitivity to model state variables in summer compared to winter. Of the 24 parameters examined, dissolved oxygen (DO) and ammonia (NH3-N) are the most influenced variables in summer. Instream kinetic processes including nitrification, nutrient uptake by algae and algae respiration induce a higher sensitivity on DO in summer than in winter. Moreover, in summer, soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP) and chlorophyll-a (Chla) variables are more sensitive to algal processes (nutrient uptake and algae death). In winter however, there exists some degree of sensitivity of algal processes (algae respiration and nutrient uptake) to DO and NH3-N. Results of this study provide information on the state of the river water quality which impacts Lake Diefenbaker and the need for additional continuous monitoring in the river. The results of the sensitivity analysis also provide guidance on most sensitive parameters and kinetic processes that affect eutrophication for preliminary surface water quality modelling studies in cold regions.

In the shadow of the oilsands


Year: 2011

Abstract:
A young willow branch, stuck intothe mud by a boater, marks the deepest passage from Lake Athabasca into the Athabasca Delta (top left). Fort Chipewyan's band elders are concerned that water being taken from the Athabasca River to process bitumer~ into oil is contributing to declining water levels. Tar sands processing requires almost four barrels of water for every barrel of crude produced; Alberta Energy projects production will reach 3 million barrels of oil per day by 2018. Aside from employment in the oilsands, commercial fishing is one of Fort Chipewyan's last viable means of making a living (top right). Over the last five years, more and more fish with golf-ball-sized tumours, double tails, and other abnormalities have been caught in Lake Athabasca by commercial fishermen. In 2010, fishermen in Fort Chipewyan were unable to sell any fish commercially due to growing concerns over contamination from pollution, according to Lionel Lepine, the traditional environmental knowledge coordinator for the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation. Most of the fish caught during 2010 were smoked (bottom left) or thrown to sled dogs (bottom right).

Citation:
[Anonymous] (2011).  In the shadow of the oilsands. 44(5), 26-33. Abstract

Risking rupture: Integral accidents and in/security in Canada's bitumen sands


Author(s): Greaves, W.

Year: 2013

Abstract:
The expansion of unconventional hydrocarbon development in Western Canada is one of the most contentious issues in contemporary Canadian politics. Although widely studied, little attention has been paid to the framing of Alberta's bitumen sands within distinct and incompatible discourses of energy and environmental security. This essay examines these discourses using the tools of securitization analysis, asking the basic questions of what each presents as needing to be secured, from what, and by what means. Presented with two sets of socially constructed in/ security claims related to the bitumen sands and proposed pipeline expansion, the author suggests the social theory of Paul Virilio provides a useful intervention into securitization analysis that allows the material implications of these discourses to be clarified and assessed. Drawing upon Virilio's critical account of technological progress and his theory of accidents, this essay proposes that conventional accounts of "energy security" in the bitumen sands cannot result in meaningful conditions of security because they remain premised upon continued and expanded hydrocarbon consumption in an era of anthropogenic climate change.

We can no longer be sacrificed


Author(s): Waller, L.

Year: 2008

Abstract:
Many suspect that Fort Chipewyan's health problems have something to do with the fact that it sits less than 200 kilometres downriver from the biggest industrial project on Earth-the wringing of oil from Alberta's tar sands. It's an endeavour that threatens to devastate not only the people of Fort Chipewyan, but dozens of indigenous communities throughout northern Alberta-and perhaps Canada's entire Northwest. THE TAR SANDS DEPOSITS underlie 149,000 square kilometres of land in three regions: Athabasca, Peace River, and Cold Lake. That's an area larger than the state of Florida, and nearly one third of it, 54,000 square kilometres, has already been leased for development in Alberta. On top of or adjacent to those lands are more than two dozen First Nations, some already touched by tar sands extraction. Most are covered by Treaty Eight, which was signed in 1899, on the heels of a previous mining frenzy-the gold rush. Treaty Eight affirmed the Metis and First Nations' rights not only to reserve lands and monetary compensation, but also to the continued pursuit of traditional hunting, trapping, and fishing practices. These rights have been steadily eroded by the expansion of the tar sands development. In 1986, the Fort McKay Band Council formed the Fort McKay Group of Companies, which now pulls in millions of dollars of revenue each year from businesses that service oil companies with everything from heavy equipment to workers' camps. The band council is also in discussion with oil companies about extracting the 600 million barrels of bitumen that lie under their reserve. Fort McKay is rumoured to be the richest First Nation in Canada. "This community's success is completely dependent on oil sands development," says [Jim Boucher]. "That's the only option.

Citation: