• Accessibility, quality and safety of a First Nation’s drinking water supply

      Bharadwaj, Lalita; Christensen, Lisa; Zagozewski, Rebecca; Waldner, Shannon (2015)
    • ACCESSIBILITY, QUALITY AND SAFETY OF LIARD FIRST NATION’S DRINKING WATER SUPPLY

      Bharadwaj, Lalita (Canadian Water Network, 2016)
      Safe drinking water is a pressing health issue for First Nations reserves in Canada. The number of water-borne infections in First Nations communities is 26 times higher than the rest of the Canadian population. Approximately 30% of First Nation community water treatment plants are in a high-risk category, meaning their systems have deficiencies that pose a risk to the water quality. The use of private wells, truck-to-cistern delivery of water, and smaller distribution systems are not included in these statistics. The federal government has provided assessments, training programs and funding to help First Nations communities make their drinking water safe but their impacts have been limited to date. The Liard First Nation (LFN) is located near Watson Lake, a town in the Liard River Ecoregion of the Yukon Territory, Canada. It is located within the Mackenzie River drainage basin and a white-spruce subarctic boreal forest. There are two local governments—the town of Watson Lake and the LFN. The LFN is part of the Kaska Nation which governs the villages of Upper Liard, Albert Creek, 2 Mile, 2.5 Mile and Windid Lake. The citizens of LFN have a number of concerns about the quality of water in their community. These include the contamination of their water sources through garbage dumping, mining and fracking, industrial activity, human waste, and flooding. LFN citizens rely on groundwater sources for their drinking water; these sources include private wells or truck-haul to cisterns with water from the LFN water treatment facility.
    • ACCESSIBILITY, QUALITY AND SAFETY OF LIARD FIRST NATION’S DRINKING WATER SUPPLY

      Bharadwaj, Lalita (Canadian Water Network, 2016)
      Safe drinking water has a major influence on health. Federal and provincial governments have provided programs and funding to help First Nations communities make drinking water safe, but First Nations communities still experience more water-related health problems than non-First Nations groups in Canada. Liard First Nation (LFN) is a community located in Watson Lake, Yukon Territory. LFN has an established public drinking water system with effective regulations, regular water sampling and certified operators for their drinking water treatment plant and water truck delivery. This project collected information on the Liard First Nation’s (LFN) access to and opinions about drinking water, as well as took steps to measure the drinking water safety and sustainability in Watson Lake, in order to help community leaders make decisions about drinking water supply, management and policy.
    • Au-delà de la réalité physique : répercussions de la réglementation des eaux sur les collectivités des Premières Nations

      Bharadwaj, Lalita (2015)
      Le nombre accru de maisons de campagne sur le territoire de la Première Nation Dakota de Standing Buffalo exerce des pressions croissantes sur ses ressources en eau, sur l’évacuation de ses eaux usées vers le réseau hydrographique, ainsi que sur la gestion des barrages Qu’Appelle et Gardiner, ce qui modifie les débits et niveaux d’eau et entraîne une augmentation des inondations. Au moment où le projet a été lancé, la collectivité était très préoccupée par les répercussions éventuelles d’une proposition présentée par une société minière multinationale qui souhaitait prélever de l’eau du lac Katepwa dans le cadre de ses activités d’exploitation de gisements de potasse. La collectivité craignait que cela ait des incidences sur la qualité et le niveau de l’eau, ainsi que sur ses activités traditionnelles et culturelles ayant trait à l’eau. Les premières réunions avec le chef et le conseil de bande ont également fait ressortir les risques que comportent les inondations saisonnières pour la sécurité publique, les maisons et les infrastructures essentielles, ainsi que les pressions considérables sur les ressources de la bande que représente la mise en place de mesures d’urgence. Peu de temps après le début du projet de recherche, la société minière a renoncé à sa proposition de prélèvement d’eau. Toutefois, la bande de Standing Buffalo souhaitait tout de même explorer la signification de l’eau pour sa collectivité, ainsi que l’importance et la valeur que revêt cette ressource (et le milieu naturel environnant) pour sa culture et ses traditions. De par son emplacement géographique, la réserve est exposée à des répercussions permanentes et croissantes relatives à l’eau, imputables à la fois à des changements anthropiques et naturels de l’environnement
    • Beyond Physical: Impacts of Water Regulations in First Nations Communities

      Bharadwaj, Lalita (2015)
      In Standing Buffalo Dakota First Nation, there is increasing pressure on water resources by increased cottage development, sewage disposal to the river system, management of the Qu’Appelle and Gardiner Dams, impacting water flows and levels and increased flooding events. At the time this project was initiated, the community had serious concerns about the impacts of a proposal from a multinational potash mining company to withdraw water from Katepwa Lake for use in mining operations. The community was concerned with the impact on water quality, water level, and traditional and cultural activities pertaining to water. Initial meetings with Chief and Council also revealed that seasonal flooding threatens human safety, homes, and critical infrastructure, and the implementation of emergency measures puts considerable strain on the Band’s resources. Shortly after this research project began, the mining company withdrew their proposal to withdraw water. However, Standing Buffalo remained interested in exploring the significance of water to the community and the ways in which water (and the surrounding natural environment) is important and valuable to the community’s culture and traditions. Given the geographic location of the reserve, there are ongoing and potentially increasing impacts related to water that could arise from both anthropogenic and natural changes in the environment
    • A Social Network Analysis For Knowledge Integration and Extension of WEPGN Research

      Bharadwaj, Lalita; Dupont, Diane; Bradford, Lori (2015)
      Solutions for complex water challenges not only require the development of novel data collection and modeling tools, but also the creation of strong research clusters and innovative knowledge mobilization instruments. There is a need to understand the focus and nature of interdisciplinary collaborative research, as well as the functionality and collaborative nature of the networks of researchers, extension and integration of partnerships. Deriving these solutions is essential for the integration and extension of research knowledge beyond disciplinary silos so that deeper understanding and relationship building between those who make water policy decisions and those who are impacted by them can be made.