Economic Analysis of Water Pollution


EconomicAnalysis of Water Pollution

Waterpollution in Canada has been identified as a problem since it hasaffected different rivers. Although ground and surface water inCanada has been considered generally clean, water is sometimespolluted regionally or locally. In Canada, pollution enters the waterbodies through different ways such as municipal and industrialdischarge, spills, runoff, and deposition of airborne pollutants(Thomas&ampCopeland,2008). Because of the effects that water pollution has brought inCanada, different water treatment and water pollution controltechnologies have been introduced. Various rivers have beenidentified as endangered in Canada as a result of water pollution.The aim of this paper is to discuss the condition of some Canadianrivers in relation to pollution and various water treatment and waterpollution control technology and cost. Besides, private and socialcost of government, public and companies would also be discussed.

Sevenpercent of the globe’s freshwater runs through the Canadian rivers.However, industrial development and pollution have threatened most ofthe Canadian rivers. New Brunswick’s Petitcodiac River is one ofthe Canadian river that is endangered by pollution. A causeway on theriver dams flow from the Atlantic Ocean has negatively impacted thehealth of the river. The Fording River is another Canadian river thathas been affected by pollution. This river flows through paradise inthe Canadian Rocky Mountains. Experts in the field of environmenthave indicated that the Fording River is heavily polluted to anextent that fish are hatching having horrible deformities andthousands are dying. Investigations have indicated that this riverhas selenium poisoning. Other rivers such as Eastmain and Rupertrivers have also been indicated to experience pollution threat.

TheFuture of Water Quality in Canada

Thequality of drinking water and water that supports aquatic ecosystemsis of immense importance to the health as well as wellbeing ofCanadians and environment. Although water quality in Canada isgenerally good, there are challenges in maintaining and improving thewater quality. As indicated in the 2012 Federal SustainableDevelopment strategy (FSDS), some of Canada’s chief aquaticecosystems are under stress because of human activities. For examplethe St. Lawrence River has been identified to have substances thataffect the quality of water. When quality of water in the aquaticecosystems becomes compromised, economic and social impacts may ariseas well as environmental effects. Environmental impacts can implyreduced ability of supporting human activities. Consequently,Canadians can have less opportunities of enjoying aquatic ecosystems((Sproule-Joneset al, 2008). Besides, Canadians may face higher costs andlimitations of drinking water, water for industrial use, water foragricultural use as well as harvesting of fish may become a problem.

WaterTreatment and Water Pollution Control Technology and Cost

Theresponsibility of managing water in Canada is shared among differentstakeholders such as federal, territorial, provincial, municipal andAboriginal governments (Environment Canada). Territorial andprovincial governments as well as the federal government havedifferent legal instruments that they use for controlling waterpollution and protecting water quality. Non-governmental entities andcommunity groups work with provincial governments and the governmentof Canada in restoring chief aquatic ecosystems through offeringlocal knowledge and mitigating water pollution. Different economicsectors also engage in enhancing water quality. For example, theagricultural sector can reduce its effects on water through theutilization of beneficial management practices like appropriatenutrient management, measures to control erosion and runoff, andintegrated pest management.

InCanada, over 150 billion liters of undertreated and untreatedwastewater becomes dumped into waterways annually. This involveseconomic, human health and environmental issue. In treatingwastewater, the government of Canada has worked with territories,municipalities, and provinces as well as other interested parties inestablishing the nation’s first national standards for wastewatertreatment. These regulations for wastewater treatment have beendeveloped under the Fisheries Act.

Differentwater treatment technologies can be used in treating wastewater. Oneof the technologies entails mechanical treatment technologies.Mechanical systems use a combination of chemical, biological andphysical processes in achieving treatment objectives. Mechanicaltreatment technologies utilize a series of tanks, blowers, grinders,screens, pumps, and other mechanical elements for treatingwastewaters (Cheremisinoff,2002). Other treatment technologies entail aquatic treatmenttechnologies. Facultative lagoons emerge as the most basic form ofaquatic treatment technology presently in use. When using thesetechnologies, water layer nigh the surface is aerobic while it isanaerobic at the bottom layer. Aerated lagoons are meager and deepercompared to facultative lagoons. A major demerit of lagoons entailshigh effluent solid content. However, in counteracting this, HCR(hydrograph controlled release lagoons have been developed(Cheremisinoff,2002). Terrestrial treatment technologies also include treatmenttechnologies used in treating wastewater. Systems of terrestrialtreatment include subsurface infiltration, overland flow, and fastinfiltration techniques. These systems are beneficial in that theyhave lower maintenance cost compared to other technologies. The costused in funding of fresh water in Canada cannot be exactly predictedwith precision however, funders have been surveyed and it hasemerged that approximately $ 11,127,000 to $ 15,502,000 is providedby funders annually for observing water quality (Morris, 2014).

CostBenefit Analysis

Informationfrom Environment Canada has indicated that the government of Canadahas made an investment of $357 million in different projects andconcrete actions since 1988 in an attempt to conserve and improve theSt. Lawrence River. Every year, the Canadian government approximatelyinvests $15 million on average in cleaning up of the St. LawrenceRiver, where almost $8 million comes from Environment Canada( there are different stakeholders that are involved in pollutingthe St. Lawrence River, it would be critical to educate thesestakeholders on the importance of avoiding water pollution, costs andbenefits. Through educating these stakeholders (farmers, companies,and municipal workers) on the importance, costs and benefits ofavoiding water pollution, it would be possible to make them avoidpolluting the river. In order to make the stakeholders adhere towater pollution prevention actions, it would be necessary tointroduce strict laws that govern pollution control on the river. Inorder to implement this solution, it would be critical to regularlyprovide stakeholders with water pollution education. Besides, itwould be critical to offer alternatives to using practices thatpollute water at St. Lawrence River. For instance, farmers may beeducated on farming practices that they can use in preventingpollution of the river. This policy is cost effective because theresources required in educating different stakeholders are not veryhigh.

Waterpollution bears no benefits, but all stakeholders are likely to bearcosts emanating from pollution of the river. The public is likely toface the costs of increased health problems. Besides, the governmentis likely to bear the cost of putting up more healthcare facilitiesdue to increased health problems. On the other hand, farmers andcompanies may lack agricultural and industrial water as a result ofdecreased water level due to presence of pollutants.


InCanada, pollution enters the water bodies through different ways suchas municipal and industrial discharge, spills, runoff, and depositionof airborne pollutants. Due to the effects that water pollution canhave on the environment as well as affecting the ecosystem, it iscritical to engage in prevention and control of water pollution.Different stakeholders are involved in the prevention and control ofwater pollution such stakeholders include federal, territorial,provincial, municipal and Aboriginal governments.


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Morris,T. (2014). TheFuture of Freshwater Funding in Canada: Mobilizing CollectiveResources for Healthy Watersheds.Canadian Environmental Grantmakers Network.

Sproule-Jones,M., Johns, C., &amp Heinmiller, B. T. (2008).&nbspCanadianwater politics: Conflicts and institutions.Montreal [Que.: McGill-Queen`s University Press.

Thomas,S. V., &amp Copeland, C. (2008).&nbspWaterpollution issues and developments.New York: Nova Science Publishers.