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Canadian Government invests in wastewater treatment

1 comment08-Aug-2012

The Canadian Government is investing CA$95,000 for a project to test an innovative water recycling system used to treat wastewater from within a food processing facility.

The investment, awarded to Weston Foods Canada, will pilot an onsite bio-digester for wastewater treatment which will allow water to be reused or disposed of without being discharged to municipal sanitary sewers.

The aim is to boost competitiveness and mitigate the environmental footprint of the food processing sector and findings will be released to enable other facilities to implement similar technologies.

Wastewater management is a top environmental issue facing the sector in Canada with costs of water treatment doubling every six years.

MP Bernard Trottier said: "This project has the potential to increase profitability and competitiveness of processors across the country by testing innovative approaches to water treatment."

1 comment (Comments are now closed)

Wastewater Management and the Agri-economy

No matter how efficient our use of water to grow crops or raise animals, the 21st century challenges for the agri-economy (e.g. feeding the world, meeting rising expectations of the growing middle classes in economies such as India and China, or supplying renewable agriculture based bio-fuels to augment energy supplies or replace our dependence on non-renewable fuels) includes maximizing the output of all the supply chains reliant upon agriculture while minimizing the use of all inputs, including water. So, producers, processors, bio-fuel and bio-material producers all have a triple bottom line incentive to individually and collective reduce water waste and to find ways of recycling the water they use. This requires expenditures on basic and applied science and on real world testing of the results of such research. The partnership between Weston and AAFC (through the Canada Agricultural Adaptation Program and the (Ontario) Agricultural Adaptation Council, both scheduled to dry up in 2014 unless reinstated as part of the Growing Forward II initiative) is an example of government assisting industry to find ways to "produce more with less."

The importance of searching for ways to use our water resources more productively is highlighted in the government's press release: "Wastewater management is a top environmental issue facing the sector with the costs of water treatment doubling every six years. Pollutants in wastewater systems represent one of the largest sources of contaminants by volume in Canadian waters." THe FAO highlights the same in a 2011 report

I would point out that the Weston business, which includes Loblaw, is investing in university research to uncover how best to reduce the negative environmental impacts of primary agriculture, food manufacturing and the upstream and downstream parts of those chains. A prime example is the Loblaw Companies Limited Chair in Sustainable Food Production of which one of the initial projects concentrates on food waste.

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Posted by Myles Frosst
09 August 2012 | 22h38

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