1.8 billion litres

1.8 billion litres r1 ... View archive version Albertans have long lived with oil and gas. They work in it; they make their livings from it; they live next to it.

So when our Alberta reporter, Sharon Riley, started attending surface rights meetings in rural communities last fall, she was surprised to hear so many angry voices.

At one of these meetings, held at the Warburg Community Hall in November, there was a flurry of activity — and not just because it was curling night next door.

The Alberta Energy Regulator had sent representatives to talk to residents about industrial water use in the area. And many locals were furious.

There were questions. There were raised voices. There were flushed faces.

That’s where Sharon first met Clearwater County residents concerned with a plan to extract 1.8 billion litres of water from the Clearwater River, the sole source of drinking water for the City of Edmonton — a river one local, Evanthia, had looked out at from her kitchen window for 45 years.

The water would be used for fracking.

Evanthia and other residents had become extremely concerned about the consumptive nature of water in fracked wells — much of it is lost from the water cycle. Permanently.

The Narwhal sent Sharon and photographer Amber Bracken to visit Evanthia and other concerned Clearwater County residents in December.

This week, we have an in-depth feature for you about the struggles of Albertans who aren’t against oil and gas activity — but are still worried the industry isn't always adequately regulated.

And, of course, read on for much, much more!

Emma Gilchrist
Editor-in-chief, The Narwhal

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BC Hydro in court to keep Site C expenditure details from public

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How B.C. quietly found a way to permit natural gas plants without environmental reviews

By Ben Parfitt
Internal documents released via Freedom of Information laws show that, while the B.C. government was publicly apologizing to the Fort Nelson First Nation for exempting natural gas plants from environmental assessments without consultation, the province quietly used a loophole to allow the exemptions to continue — a loophole that persists to this day. Read more. The Narwhal in the world The Narwhal's Alberta reporter Sharon J. Riley was featured on the University of Alberta's campus radio program Terra Informa this month. Listen to hear Sharon's thoughtful insights on how to report on polarizing topics. In other news this month, UBC featured The Narwhal's northern reporter Jimmy Thomson. Read on to learn more about how Jimmy ended up at The Narwhal and how he found his way into journalism in the first place. High fives, Jimmy! Become a Narwhal! If you support our work and want to help us keep it ad, influence and paywall free, become a member. Snag one of our sassy t-shirts while you're at it by supporting The Narwhal at a level of $20/month or more.

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