Sunday, July 20, 2008
"The oil extraction process uses enough water in a day to supply the needs of the cities of Calgary (population one million), Lethbridge (pop. 79,000) and Red Deer (pop. 82,900). As of December 2006, oil sands mining operations were withdrawing 215.2 million cubic meters of water each year."
"By the end of 2006, Syncrude's dams alone contaminated about 600 million cubic meters of mine tailings, making this the second-largest dam system in the world after China's Three Gorges, which is still under construction."
"The mines are so big that you can see the craters from the moon. Yet ten years down the road, this area will be unrecognizable."
"Suncor admitted in 1997 that its Tar Island Pond [just south of here (Ft McMurray) leaks approximately 1,600 cubic meters of toxic fluid inot the Athabasca River every day"
"The river [Athabasca] has been getting lower every year, Joe Marcel, a Cree hunter says, partly due to the increased water withdrawals for the oils sands - they take up to 20 percent of the river flow - and party because of rising temperatures and higher rates of evapouration."
In regards to setting inflow stream needs (IFAs) "...lack of scientific data wasn't the only reason industry-funded CEMA failed to set instream flow needs. It was also because the companies refused to set any flow rates that would compromise their business. They "threatened legal action if their water [water withdrawal] licenses were changed," a 2006 DFO report said."
All excerpts are from "Stupid to the Last Drop". I wanted to point a few of these staggering facts out to those who may be a bit more interested in reading the book. You will be crippled by the reality of the oil sands and for those considering working there, I hope that you will think twice about your decision.