fresh water
Conservatives response to First Nations water problems 'a crime', Howard Hampton says
NDP, Liberals say Grassy Narrows state of emergency highlights Conservative neglect

The state of emergency over water quality concerns at Grassy Narrows First Nation is a “shameful” situation created by Conservative neglect, according to the NDP.

The First Nation, located about 100 kilometres north of Kenora, Ont., declared the emergency this week over potentially cancer-causing chemicals found in its local tap water.

The water treatment plant in Grassy Narrows First Nation is missing basic parts and has not functioned properly since it was built about a decade ago, according to Deputy Chief Randy Fobister.

“It’s a crime that the Department of Aboriginal Affairs Canada sent back almost a billion dollars of funding that could have been used to address these safe, clean drinking water problems,” said Howard Hampton, the NDP candidate in the Kenora riding. “But the Harper Conservatives decided it’s not a priority.”

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UNICEF’s Tap Project essentially means that FOR EVERY MINUTE YOU DON’T USE YOUR PHONE, A DAYS WORTH OF WATER WILL BE GIVEN TO A CHILD IN NEED. The sponsor for this event is Giorgio Armani.

All you have to do is go to ON YOUR PHONE and let the timer run and you will be helping a child in need! FRESH WATER IS VERY IMPORTANT AND YET IT IS NOT AVAILABLE TO EVERYONE. Please do this because it is quite easy to do and won’t cost you a thing!

Note: For those of you who find it hard to avoid using your phone, I suggest you run it while you sleep. :) Thank you!


Venetian Pool - Coral Gables, Florida

The world’s largest freshwater swimming pool, the Venetian Pool in Coral Gables, Florida is a one-of-a-kind water feature that is emptied and refilled everyday during the summer just to keep the waters clean. 

Built in 1924 out of the remains of a Florida coral rock quarry the public pool was modeled after a Venetian grotto with the intention of bring a piece of Mediterranean style to the States. A scenic bridge was built overlooking the pool along with mooring posts for gondolas which were to be able to pull right up to the pool, although this feature was later scrapped. The pool also connects to a number of natural grotto caves which swimmers can explore.

The pool is always a clean and clear shade of blue thanks to the unique natural filtering system. During its early years the was drained each day and the waters were freshly replenished from artesian springs on the site. However this process came under fire when water conservationists warned that the process was draining local aquifers. In response, the pool devised a new system which drained the pool water back into the aquifer, allowing natural filtration to clean up the waste water. During the spring and summer, this refilling system is still in place creating a crisp natural pool to swim in.

Keep reading for the odd events hosted by the Venetian Pool, on Atlas Obscura!
Petition · BC Environment Minister: Stop Nestle from taking BC's water, regardless of what they pay.

It’s hard to think of something more important than clean water, fresh air, and good soil to plant your seeds.  In an age where capitalism has become the motivation for so many, it’s even more important to stand up and protect these resources, before they are all packaged and sold.

The Nestle company is presenting itself as one of the forerunners of this ‘economy over resources’ attitude.  As people and other life in BC struggle with drought and raging fires, Nestle continues to be allowed to bottle an obscene amount of our drinking water: 265 million litres of fresh water every year from a well in the Fraser Valley.  Then it is packaged in plastic, and distributed right back to us- helping them become the number one bottled water company in the world.

They have also been taking water from California, even though Californians were told they have less than a year’s left of drinking water.  Think of that.

We need to put a stop to this.  I have seen a few petitions asking to charge Nestle more money for taking our water, but this does nothing to address the issue.  It is still choosing money over resources, while continuing to normalize the idea that water is not a right, and then tax the environment further with endless plastic bottles.

After over 100 years, the BC government’s 'water act’ will finally be repealed in 2016, and the 'water sustainability act’ will be implemented in phases.  Until then, there are basically no restrictions or oversight over the use of our groundwater by any company.  Even when this new act is in place, there is no guarantee that this will stop- instead higher rental and sales fees might be their answer.  (More info here:

Let’s be united in our demand that Nestle and companies like it be stopped altogether from taking our drinking water, and set the example for a well needed new paradigm: life and the environment that supports it, over money.  Tell the BC Environment Minister to stop selling or giving away our water to Nestle or any other company.

Thank you so much for your support.

Desmids (Green Algae) - Micrasterias rotata

Desmids are microscopic fresh water algae with attractive forms. The species of the genus Micrasterias are well known for their beauty, in fact Micrasterias means “little star”. They occur in many biotopes around the globe and prefer nutrient-poor habitats.

The cell wall is composed of three layers impregnated with openings or pores and pectin spicules. Many species are phototropic and are capable of moving towards light by extruding a gelatinous substance through these pores.

Micrasterias rotata is  a rather large species (length 200 – 300 μm, width 190 – 270 μm). This one in the photo is undergoing cell division.  Desmids reproduce both sexually and asexually. Asexually, they reproduce by a simple division. Sexually, they reproduce either through conjugation, a means of exchanging nuclear material between two organisms, or by fusion (when two organisms fuse to form a single new organism). Spores are rare.

[Plantae - Charophyta - Zygnemophyceae - Desmidiales- Desmidiaceae - Micrasterias - M. rotata]

References: [1] - [2] - [3]

Photo credit: ©Wim Van Egmond