Niagara RePower Project

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls (Photo credit: moarplease)

The Niagara Falls, located on the Niagara River draining Lake Erie into Lake Ontario, is the collective name for the Horseshoe Falls and the adjacent American Falls along with the comparatively small Bridal Veil Falls, which combined form the highest flow rate of any waterfall in the world and has a vertical drop of more than 165 feet (50 m). Horseshoe Falls is the most powerful waterfall (vertical height along with flow rate) in North America. Niagara Falls forms the international border between the Canadian province of Ontario and the U.S. state of New York, also forming the southern end of the Niagara Gorge. The falls are located 17 miles (27 km) north-northwest of Buffalo, New York and 75 miles (121 km) south-southeast of Toronto, between the twin cities of Niagara Falls, Ontario, and Niagara Falls, New York.

The enormous energy of Niagara Falls has long been recognized as a potential source of power. The first known effort to harness the waters was in 1759, when Daniel Joncaire built a small canal above the falls to power his sawmill. Augustus and Peter Porter purchased this area and all of American Falls in 1805 from the New York state government, and enlarged the original canal to provide hydraulic power for their gristmill and tannery. In 1853, the Niagara Falls Hydraulic Power and Mining Company was chartered, which eventually constructed the canals which would be used to generate electricity. In 1881, under the leadership of Jacob Schoellkopf, Niagara River‘s first hydroelectric generating station was built. The water fell 86 feet (26 m) and generated direct current electricity, which ran the machinery of local mills and lit up some of the village streets.

The Niagara Falls Power Company, a descendant of Schoellkopf’s firm, formed the Cataract Company headed by Edward Dean Adams, with the intent of expanding Niagara Falls power capacity. In 1890, a five-member International Niagara Commission headed by Sir William Thomson among other distinguished scientists deliberated on the expansion of Niagara hydroelectric capacity based on seventeen proposals, but could not select any as the best combined project for hydraulic development and distribution. When Nikola Tesla, for whom a memorial was later built at Niagara Falls, New York, U.S.A., invented the three-phase system of alternating current power transmission, distant transfer of electricity became possible, as Westinghouse and Tesla had built the AC-power Ames Hydroelectric Generating Plant and proved it effective. In 1893, Westinghouse Electric was hired to design a system to generate alternating current on Niagara Falls, and three years after that, the world’s first large AC power system was created, activated on August 26, 1895. The Adams Power Plant Transformer House remains as a landmark of the original system.

By 1896, with financing from moguls like J.P. Morgan, John Jacob Astor IV, and the Vanderbilts, they had constructed giant underground conduits leading to turbines generating upwards of 100,000 horsepower (75 MW), and were sending power as far as Buffalo, 20 miles (32 km) away. Some of the original designs for the power transmission plants were created by the Swiss firm Faesch & Piccard, which also constructed the original 5,000HP waterwheels.

Private companies on the Canadian side also began to harness the energy of the falls. The Government of the province of Ontario, Canada eventually brought power transmission operations under public control in 1906, distributing Niagara’s energy to various parts of the Canadian province.

Other hydropower plants were also being built along the Niagara River. But in 1956, disaster struck when the region’s largest hydropower station was partially destroyed in a landslide. The landslide drastically reduced power production and tens of thousands of manufacturing jobs were at stake. In 1957, Congress passed the Niagara Redevelopment Act, which granted the New York Power Authority the right to fully develop the United States’ share of the Niagara River’s hydroelectric potential.

In 1961, when the Niagara Falls hydroelectric project first went on line, it was the largest hydropower facility in the Western world. Today, Niagara is still the largest electricity producer in New York State, with a generating capacity of 2.4 gigawatts (million kilowatts). Up to 375,000 U.S. gallons (1,420 m3) of water a second is diverted from the Niagara River through conduits under the City of Niagara Falls to the Lewiston and Robert Moses power plants. Currently between 50% and 75% of the Niagara River’s flow is diverted via four huge tunnels that arise far upstream from the waterfalls. The water then passes through hydroelectric turbines that supply power to nearby areas of Canada and the United States before returning to the river well past the falls. This water spins turbines that power generators, converting mechanical energy into electrical energy. When electricity demand is low, the Lewiston units can operate as pumps to transport water from the lower bay back up to the plant’s reservoir, allowing this water to be used again during the daytime when electricity use peaks. During peak electrical demand, the same Lewiston pumps are reversed and actually become generators, similar to those at the Moses plant.

During tourist season, water usage by the power plant is limited by a treaty signed by the U.S. and Canada in 1950 to preserve this natural attraction. On average the Niagara river delivers 1,500,000 U.S. gallons (5,700 m3) of water per second, half of which must flow over the falls during daylight hours from April through October. During other times the power plant may use up to three fourths of the total available water. During winter the Power Authority of New York works with Ontario Power Generation, to prevent ice on the Niagara River from interfering with power production or causing flooding of shoreline property. One of their joint efforts is an 8,800-foot (2,700 m)–long ice boom, which prevents the buildup of ice, yet allows water to continue flowing downstream.

The most powerful hydroelectric stations on the Niagara River are the Sir Adam Beck 1 and 2 on the Canadian side and the Robert Moses Niagara Power Plant and the Lewiston Pump Generating Plant on the American side. Together, Niagara’s generating stations can produce about 4.4 gigawatts of power.

In August 2005 Ontario Power Generation, which is responsible for the Sir Adam Beck stations, announced plans to build a new 6.5 miles (10.5 km) tunnel to tap water from farther up the Niagara river than is possible with the existing arrangement. The project is expected to be completed in 2009, and will increase Sir Adam Beck’s output by about 182 megawatts (4.2%).


Green Sigma(TM) Coalition

Charter members of the Green Sigma(TM) Coalition are Johnson Controls, Honeywell Building Solutions, ABB, Eaton, ESS, Cisco, Siemens Building Technologies Division, Schneider Electric and SAP. The coalition members will work with IBM to integrate their products and services with IBM’s Green Sigma(TM) solution.

This will allow companies using these combined solutions to better understand energy and water usage, waste, and greenhouse gas emissions across their business operations and make changes to improve efficiency, reduce consumption and waste, and lower environmental impact.

“As we all work toward creating a greener, smarter planet, it is plain that none of us can get there alone,” said Rich Lechner, IBM’s vice president for energy and environment. “Through public and private partnerships, and with leaders across a range of industries and technologies combining and sharing our expertise and talent, we can create the solutions the world needs to conserve resources and address climate change.”

Green Sigma(TM) is an IBM solution that applies Lean Six Sigma principles and practices to energy, water, waste and GHG emissions throughout a company’s operations — transportation systems, data centers and IT systems, manufacturing and distribution centers, office facilities, retail space, research and development sites, etc.

It combines real-time metering and monitoring with advanced analytics and dashboards that allow clients to make better decisions that improve efficiency, lower costs and reduce environmental impact.

IBM announced the Green Sigma(TM) Coalition in support of its Green and Beyond Summit for Industry leaders in San Francisco today. The program includes panel discussions with key industry leaders and public officials on public/private collaboration for a greener planet, covering sustainability and energy management across business operations and demand reduction, incentives and compliance.

In addition to the Green Sigma(TM) Coalition, IBM announced several other new or expanded relationships with key industry leaders, including:
Novell and Thunderhead have received Ready for IBM Energy and Environment validation for their software solutions. The program is  designed to help IBM Business Partners validate, market and sell solutions bearing a unique mark that assures clients the product or service has been rigorously evaluated and demonstrated to reduce  environmental impact based on real-world customer use.

IBM’s validation process requires products and services to meet stringent criteria that address the reduction or use of resources such as energy, water and paper materials. Submissions are reviewed by the IBM Energy & Environment Review Board and IBM’s Corporate Environmental Affairs group;
IBM and Cisco have integrated IBM Tivoli Monitoring for Energy Management and Cisco EnergyWise energy management solution. The new combined solution broadens the range of power consumption information and energy optimization policies that can be managed by IBM Energy Management solutions to help organizations discover, optimize, and report energy usage within their data center and business infrastructure.

And IBM and Honeywell will integrate Tivoli Monitoring for Energy Management with Honeywell’s EBI and Tridium offerings.

“NYSERDA has a longstanding partnership with IBM. Together, we have invested over $15 Million for energy efficiency improvements to IBM’s New York facilities,” said Francis J. Murray Jr., President and CEO of the New York State Energy and Development Authority. “We are proud to continue that partnership with IBM and the Green Sigma Coalition as it designs effective energy efficiency and carbon reduction strategies for New York’s manufacturers, data centers and other businesses. As we develop statewide energy strategies, we see the problems and bottlenecks created by stand-alone solutions and disparate systems that cannot share information. We applaud IBM’s approach of sharing expertise and technology through industry collaboration with IBM’s Green Sigma Coalition and other public/private partnerships. The coalition’s goal of providing customers with a unified view of their energy, water, waste and greenhouse gas emissions to enable overall efficiency and reduce environmental impact represents a significant advancement in the market.”

These new relationships support IBM’s “smarter planet” initiative, which envisions a world where everything is instrumented, interconnected and intelligent. This is essentially about using sophisticated technologies and business processes to set the right metrics and then collect and analyze information to make better decisions.

For more information about IBM’s commitment to providing Green and Beyond solutions, go to:

Green LSS

US Army 52848 USAG RC Lean Sigma Green Belt Aw...

US Army 52848 USAG RC Lean Sigma Green Belt Award ceremony on the Village Green (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

To remain competitive in the world marketplace, it is imperative that a company be able to respond quickly to various market demands, such as short lead-times, greater variety of products in lower quantities, price pressure. We can train your teams to in identify areas for improvement in all aspects of their business, and then lead them through the process of implementing our methods to achieve their efficiency goals. Our clients receive the full benefit of our combined expertise and experience in the Kaizen technology, developed and accumulated through long-term relationships with world-class companies.

We will create a unique lean six sigma system tailored to your specific requirements and targeted to enable you to identify problem areas, develop strategies to improve. Our consultants work with the client’s staff to continuously assess and restructure the company’s operational systems to improve efficiency and profitability.

Lean is a discipline focused on eliminating waste (muda – Japanese) and variability throughout the supply chain (large logistics hubs, office, finance, manufacturing processes, customer and supplier system integration).

To compliment the Lean in business improvement projects we often utilized the well known Six Sigma approach. Six Sigma is a data-driven set of standards that drives the exceptional quality in operations. It requires in-depth statistical metrics to analyze quality at all levels of the supply chain, eliminating defects.




Success is a Journey

When businesses executives consider what’s needed to achieve success, there is a tendency to think in absolutes – vision, hard work, sacrifice, timing, luck. Companies often claim to work on improvement projects that help the “bottom line.” Yet despite these valuable insights and the large amount of project resources allocated in companies, success often seems elusive. We can easily spot the significant gap in commitment to learning how to see success for yourselves and the inability to utilize the tools needed to make improvements on your own.


With tough market conditions and operating circumstances dynamically changing, no system will function with absolute perfection and without change. So it becomes more important to adapt a lean mindset of continuous improvement that will help employees and teams to continually seek and devise ways to improve the organization. In today’s competitive market environment business survival depends on the establishing a robust set of values, a philosophy and problem solving tools to help work towards “the ideal state.” Teams have to be open to moving in a new direction and follow the path of business transformation.

Effective management enhances customer satisfaction and increases profits. Every business, regardless of its size, product, or corporate history, strives for high production at low cost, streamlined logistics, and efficient operations. However, while the goal is clear (reducing wasteful inefficiency), companies often lack the necessary tools to identify productivity problems and develop effective and lasting solutions. Businesses have been facing severe economic difficulties regardless of their product or location. To survive they have to be are able to satisfy rapidly-changing market trends, deliver high-quality products/services quickly, at ever more competitive prices. Meeting these challenges without raising prices (to keep customers), while reducing costs of production (to stay in business), requires innovative and responsive management techniques, uniquely suited to each business’s individual needs. Staying in business today demands high efficiency in every aspect of production operations, and although every business executive understands this principle, achieving it is often a daunting challenge.

Long Term Social Concervation Strategy

We are in the last decade of an extra -ordinarily eventful twentieth century. The worldhas seen spectacular political, social, cultural, economic and scientific progress during this century. But this progress has been monopolized by the chosen few at the unbelievably and indescribably large cost of the majority of mankind. The most disconcerting manifestation of this lop sided progress has been our planet’s ravaged ecology.

A good environmental sense has been one of the fundamental features of ancient philosophy. However, during the last few decades global circumstances have forced our country into a situation where it is becoming increasingly difficult to practice a life style that does not push this planet towards doom. During the last ten years, there has been a gratifying resurgence of this good environmental sense in this country. The most important aspect of this growing environmental consciousness in this country is its permeation at the establishment as also the people’s level. It is imperative that environmental consciousness becomes a pre-occupation with our people as no amount of government intervention can reverse ecological collapse. I see clear signs of that happening in India. Against this backdrop, we now have a system of environmental checks and balances fully in place. There is enough institutional, legislative and political strength to combine with a responsive citizenry to produce a practicable environmental culture. In Constitutional terms too, India has enough guarantees to protect its ecological systems. Since the inception of this Ministry, we have evolved enough to be able to chart out a life, which is happy without compromising the environment. There is a sizeable number of people who can rein in an indiscriminate establishment. In fact, we are now working towards a unique compatibility between the Development and the Environment.

We have our great past to draw from to create an equally great future. I see this environmentally degraded present only as an aberration for an enlightened civilization.

What you will read in the following pages are some of the specific means through which we propose to attain the goals of an environmentally wise society.

Upcoming conferences

Upcoming conferences
Connecting Water Resources 2013: Changing the water paradigm March 18–21, 2013
The Westin
Ottawa, Ontario
Assessing pathogen fate, transport and risk in natural and engineered water treatment September 23–26, 2012
Banff Centre
Banff, Alberta
Previous conferences
Workshop on lead in drinking water: health impacts, monitoring & control Symposium sur le plomb dans l’eau potable: Impacts sur la santé, surveillance et contrôleJune 8–9, 2011
École Polytechnique de Montréal
Montreal, Quebec
Connecting Water Resources 2011: Responding to the opportunities February 28–March 3, 2011
The Westin
Ottawa, Ontario

Workshops for students and young water professionals

CWN offers exceptional training opportunities that provide well-rounded, multidisciplinary perspectives on water management to graduate students and young water professionals. These week-long workshops offer hands-on experience and equip students and young professionals with the comprehensive understanding and skills they need to succeed as future leaders in the water sector, whether it be within the academic, industrial, governmental or nongovernmental sector.

Please check this page regularly for upcoming workshops in 2012.

Current workshops

Be sure to check again for upcoming workshops in 2012.

Previous CWN workshops

Jointly offered workshops

The Canadian Water Network and Waterlution teamed up in 2011 to offer three regional learning events within Waterlution’s The Future of Water Workshop Series

  • Climate change impacts in New Brunswick: Shifting from mitigation to adaptation (October 28–30, 2011)
  • Water & growth: Exploring prosperity, protection and paradox along the Niagara Escarpment (October 28–30, 2011)
  • Pollution & solutions: Leadership for the Interlake (November 4–6, 2011)