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Posted Wed Aug 7 2013: from Environment 360:
With Tar Sands Development, Growing Concern on Water Use
Opposition to the mining of Alberta's tar sands -- and the Keystone and Gateway pipelines that would carry their oil to the Gulf of Mexico and Pacific Ocean -- has largely been focused on the project's greenhouse gas emissions and threats to pristine environments along the pipeline rights-of-way. But another serious issue is coming to the fore -- the massive amounts of freshwater being used by the industry. In 2011, companies mining the tar sands siphoned approximately 370 million cubic meters of water from the Athabasca River alone, which was heated or converted into steam to separate the viscous oil, or bitumen, from sand formations. That quantity exceeds the amount of water that the city of Toronto, with a population 2.8 million people, uses annually.
[Read more stories about: anthropogenic change, fracking, water issues]
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'Doc Michael says:
Perhaps we could use child labor instead of water to separate the bitumen from the sand?

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