Sunday, November 04, 2007

Alberta - Half of available water going to Oil

Really superb article by Hanneke Brooymans, The Edmonton Journal
Quote in part:
"We have no idea what the effects of all these allocations might be," said Bill Donahue, an independent water research scientist who has worked with renowned ecologist David Schindler.

"What I think is most alarming is that the province has never had any plan for development in Alberta, and they continue to approve and promote very water-intensive industries, and again they have minimal understanding of their water supply.

They have no understanding of the effects of climate change and what they're going to be on the water supplies of Alberta."

Another factor is the consumptive use of the up graders. They will use the water to produce steam, some of which will evaporate from cooling towers. And about 20 to 25 per cent will be used to make hydrogen, said Peter Symons, a Petro-Canada spokesman.

If this figure is applied to the water licenses for all the up graders, up to 25 billion liters of river water a year could be used to produce hydrogen. That would be water that doesn't return to the river.

Petro-Canada has opted to use treated waste water from a regional treatment plant to lessen its overall environmental impact.

This offers an explanation to a lot of things. For instance, the amount of electrical power it will take to turn this amount of water into Hydrogen and Oxygen or Hydrogen. In some of the popular programs there is a large amount of Carbon Dioxide made. This is usually pumped down hole into underground or under water storage.

This of course leaves the door open for the Conservatives to offer further tax breaks to the Oil Companies as the “Carbon Credit Made In Alberta Plan” where apparently no money is to be paid out for buying carbon credits.

Under Kyoto, this type of carbon saving would not be allowed. The carbon is being taken from a “bound” source. That is the carbon is not loose in the atmosphere. In effect this process as far as carbon dioxide is concerned does nothing for the environment.

John Clark
cyberclark@shaw.ca
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