Camp Quality 2002
Piggy-back rides and painted faces were all part of the fun for children with cancer as they took in the annual Camp Quality that wound up over the weekend. A talent show was featured on Friday night at Hills of Peace Campground south of Capt. Ayre Lake. ©Provost News Photos.
See story New Director Looks Forward
to Duties at Camp Quality
and more pictures in
August 21 edition of The Provost News
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Petroleum Industry Opposes Proposed Water Levy
Already Has Water Use Restrictions, Says V. Pres.
The oil industry is already facing regulations when it uses water in its operations across Alberta.

That’s the message that the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) wants to get across to the public and that it opposes a new type of tax that has been proposed to fund a massive multi billion dollar irrigation system for this part of the province.

David Pryce, vice president of western Canada operations spoke to The News from his Calgary office after reading the story that ran in last week’s paper.

It was reported in the August 14 edition that a group called the Strathcona Action Committee was lobbying the Municipal District of Provost No. 52 on August 9 to join a plan to push for a water diversion from the North Saskatchewan River that would provide more water to this part of the recently parched province. The group wants counties and MDs to pressure MLAs and the entire provincial government to impose a levy on the petroleum industry of five cents a gallon or $2.50 per barrel of water that is injected deep into the earth and is lost to normal use.

Pryce, who had not heard of the Strathcona Action Committee says that the petroleum industry “is currently licensed to use up to only three percent of the total water that is licensed for diversion in Alberta per year.” And he points out that monitoring indicates “We probably only use about half of that in any given year . . . so we are an important user but relatively small compared to other users.”Pryce adds that the rules in place for accessing and using that water are “pretty effective.”

“We are not allowed to draw down that aquifer. We just can’t do that according to our license.”

He also says that when water is used in an injection scheme that water is recycled back many times over. Some of that water stays in the ground and that’s what is in question, he adds. The rules are that his members are obliged to leave some water in the ground to fill the void when oil is taken out. “That’s the rule, we have to follow it.”

If a new levy was put in place that Strathcona Action Committee wants, Pryce says that it would have a pretty significant impact on all users. Many, he says, don’t have the ability to pass that cost on because the price of oil is set locally.

Significant impacts on some projects like water flooding would occur because of the cost so it would render many of these projects not feasible, he predicted. “We could see things shutting down.”

The vice president also pointed to contributions already made through royalties and fees and taxes to municipalities. “All of that has to be taken into account.” He says that all of the implications have to be considered.

“If someone is talking about a policy for pricing for just oil and gas I think that’s an unfair process. It also sends a negative signal to investment community. How would Alberta be perceived?”

He also asked if there should be a price for one industry or all users. “You have to consider the fairness. Alberta Environment has the responsibility that makes sure our use does not impact other users.”

Pryce says that the petroleum industry use does not impact the rain cycle and surface water in the same time frame and adds that it takes a long time for the water to go through the system.

There is a trend of using more undrinkable salt water when it’s reasonable and recycling water: in agricultural areas in the past 30 years. The industry has cut its use of fresh groundwater by 80 percent in Alberta and at the same time have increased the use of salt water by 10 times, he says.

Pryce says that he would fight such a move by the Strathcona Action Committee. “We are using public water wisely.”

It is being proposed that water from the North Saskatchewan River be diverted to other bodies of water such as the Battle River and then piped to various farms and ranches, says Strathcona Action Committee representative Paul Orlicz of Sherwood Park. He estimated revenues of $1.6 billion per year if the levy is imposed by the province.

The M.D. 52 council has not yet reached a decision if it will push for the massive water diversion.

CAPP represents 140 oil and gas companies in a $52-billion-a-year industry and has 125 associate members. CAPP members produce 97 percent of the oil and gas in the nation.

Entire story and in August 21 edition of The Provost News
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Town Hires Engineers for Soccer Field
Complex Drawings, Costs

Story and Pictures in August 21 edition of The Provost News
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Swimmers Capture Piranhas Club Awards
Story and Pictures in August 21 edition of The Provost News
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Street Spokesman
We asked: "Why Are You Volunteering Time at Camp Quality?"
Check out the August 21 edition of The Provost News for the answers.
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