Hydrography, Charting and Wastewater Science

Backgrounder

Hydrography and Charting, an initiative under the Oceans Protection Plan

The Government of Canada is investing close to $20 million over five years to chart high-profile ports and near shore areas in British Columbia. This will enhance services and deliver improved and modern hydrography and charting in key areas of high traffic commercial ports and waterways.

Investments into the hydrography and charting for safer navigation in British Columbia ports are funded through the $1.5 billion Oceans Protection Plan, which was announced in November 2016. The plan is creating a world-leading marine safety system that provides economic opportunities for Canadians today, while protecting our coastlines and clean water for generations to come.

This new investment will allow Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s Canadian Hydrographic Service to increase hydrographic surveying activities, deliver dynamic information for water levels, tides, and currents, and more quickly produce high-resolution electronic navigation charts, navigational products and data for mariners.

The Canadian Hydrographic Service has the responsibility for charting the world's longest coastline as well as over six million square kilometres of continental shelf and territorial waters, including extensive inland waterways such as the St. Lawrence Seaway.

Over the coming years, nine more ports in British Columbia will be surveyed to deliver hydrographic dynamic e-navigation products in key areas such as Kitimat, and the Port of Vancouver in the portions of the Fraser River. Once complete, navigation in and around these ports will be safer and reduce the risk of accidents. This hydrographic information will also give us a better understanding of the seabed type, leading to scientific knowledge to help us protect our marine environments.

To date, surveys have been conducted in four British Columbia ports: Vancouver, Prince Rupert, Stewart and Port Alberni. This represents 38.8 square kilometres of data captured so far over 18 days.

Wastewater Science, an Environment and Climate Change Canada initiative

The Government of Canada is investing $400,000 for a technical review of contaminants in wastewater to be conducted by Canadian Water Network.

An expert panel, chaired by Dr. Don Mavinic, will undertake a review that will identify:

  • the harmful conventional and emerging contaminants in wastewater, and the technologies for mitigating risk posed by those substances;
  • resources that can be recovered from a wastewater treatment facility and methods for recovery; and
  • rules and incentives in other jurisdictions for contaminant removal and resource recovery.

By volume, wastewater effluent is the largest source of pollution to surface water in Canada. Wastewater effluent may contain many pollutants and substances of concern, including suspended solids, pathogens, decaying organic wastes, nutrients, pharmaceuticals, and hundreds of chemicals.                                                                    

The information from this review could be used to inform future policies, practices and investment decisions for all levels of government

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