We invited award-winning Edmonton journalist, Curtis Gillespie, to interview leaders and members of Team EPCOR to provide a unique perspective on our role and commitment to ESG. For this article, Curtis spoke with two of EPCOR's scientists about their work to protect the North Saskatchewan River.
Managing the flow
The North Saskatchewan River (NSR) is the life source for much of central Alberta's population. The NSR's flow is vast, its movement thrilling, its sinuous valley acting as the world's largest urban park. The water of the NSR (after EPCOR treatment) was also recently named the People's Choice Winner of the American Water Works Association Tap Water Taste Test. The NSR is, in short, a natural gift to be cherished and protected.
And it is EPCOR's job to collaboratively manage and protect this resource for the more than 1 million people in 70 communities who rely on its water. One of the issues both immediate and long-term is to understand, plan for and mitigate how climate change might affect and put at risk our water supply. Dr. Steve Craik and Stephanie Neufeld of EPCOR are part of a broader network of scientists dedicated to the protection of the NSR watershed and ultimately our water supply. Craik is Director of Quality Assurance and Environment.
“We are so lucky," says Craik. “The NSR is a great river." But, he adds, it naturally contains silt, clay, sand, sediment and organic matter, not to mention whatever the watershed collects due to human activities such as farming, industry and urban development. That's one of the realities of a watershed and treating its water for human use. Climate change is another reality. “What climate change does," says Craik, “is increase the uncertainty of an already variable system." Drought, floods, colour, turbidity, all affect how difficult it is to treat the water.