Research on Water Treatment in Northern Environment

Assessment of groundwater contribution to surface water quantity, quality and temperature in rivers of northern Quebec

Internship report of Milad Fakhari

Milad Fakhari, Jasmin Raymond, Richard Martel

Rivers in northern Quebec are recognized for their abundance of salmonids (trouts, chars, and salmons). The optimal temperature range for Salmonidae growth varies between 7°C and 17°C depending on species. In summer, salmonids can experience thermal stress in rivers when the water temperature goes above 25-27°C. This can affect their growth and even threaten their survival. Some specific zones with groundwater discharge in the rivers constitute thermal refuges allowing fish to be more comfortable, to grow and to survive in the extreme temperature conditions. Extreme conditions are likely to occur more frequently in several rivers in Quebec due to predicted climate warming. Change in rivers and groundwater condition can have an effect on fish habitats for example change of spawning locations or delay in fish migration from or to the sea. The objective of this PhD project is to check for the presence of thermal refuges in two rivers located in different permafrost condition. Other objectives are characterizing the groundwater contribution to the river heat budget and hydraulics to better understand the temperature evolution and to anticipate changes and predict the probable effects on fish habitats.

Saba Miri, Mitra Naghdi, Tarek Rouissi, Satinder Kaur Brar & Richard Martel (2018). « Recent biotechnological advances in petroleum hydrocarbons degradation under cold climate conditions: A review« . Critical Reviews in Environmental Science and Technology

In recent years, there have been advances in bioremediation of pollutants with the goal of effective clean-up of environments in an eco-friendly and cost-effective approach. For contamination removal at cold climate sites, bioremediation approaches are appealing due to their potential to be more cost-effective and efficient than alternative, more energy intensive approaches. Recent studies showed both aerobic and anaerobic biodegradation processes are important at cold climate sites. Most of these works are focused on biostimulation and bioaugmentation involved in adding nutrients and hydrocarbon degraders at cold climate sites, but studies on other methods such as the use of biosurfactant, genetically engineered bacteria, cold-adapted enzymes and immobilization method are still limited. This review selectively provides information on bioremediation under aerobic and anaerobic conditions and recent biotechnological advances in bioremediation at cold climate sites. However, the limitations and challenges for petroleum hydrocarbons bioremediation in cold climate remain at large. Further research and field demonstrations are required to determine which method is more effective for biodegradation of petroleum contaminates under such conditions.

Bioremediationbiotechnological techniquescold climatepetroleum contamination