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Author Topic: Pressure to export fresh water likely to grow as US shortages increase
Babbler # 4795

posted 02 January 2006 08:28 AM      Profile for Hephaestion   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Officially, the U.S. government says it's not interested in Canadian water. But many believe the issue will soon break into the open.

Maclean's magazine recently ran a cover story arguing that Canada should sell its water "before they take it."

"This country is in a position to provide a solution that would yield enormous economic and humanitarian benefits for the entire continent, even the world," the magazine wrote. Such viewpoints don't sit well with Peter Lougheed, the former premier of Alberta.

In a recent speech to the Calgary Chamber of Commerce, Lougheed called for an all-party declaration in the House of Commons confirming Canada's refusal to allow large-scale water transfers to its southern neighbour.

"We should not export our fresh water - we need it and we should conserve it," Lougheed said. "And we should communicate to the United States very quickly how firm we are about it."

U.S. water shortages are becoming critical. Flow in the Colorado River, which feeds the Las Vegas Valley, dropped by almost half between 2000 and 2005 due to successive droughts. Yet Canada has major water problems of its own.

The International Joint Commission has repeatedly warned about declining water quality in the Great Lakes due to toxic contamination, and water levels in the lakes have dropped to record lows.

"Although the Great Lakes contain about 20 per cent of the fresh water on the Earth's surface, only one per cent of this water is renewed each year," the commission noted in a recent report.

Ontario, Quebec and eight states signed a deal earlier this month that will prevent thirsty jurisdictions in the southern U.S. from getting access to water from the Great Lakes.

But critics have said the deal still allows for water to be withdrawn at unacceptable levels.

The biggest threat, though, hangs over Western Canada. The most important rivers in the Prairies are fed by mountain glaciers, and the glaciers are melting due to climate change.

"The consequences of these hydrological changes for water availability . . . are likely to be severe," said a study published last month in the British science journal, Nature.

Cities like Calgary, Edmonton and Saskatoon are at risk of literally losing the rivers on which they are built over the next generation or two.


From: goodbye... :-( | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Babbler # 9831

posted 02 January 2006 07:24 PM      Profile for Boarsbreath   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Trickle-down, quoi.

But for once McClone's is right. That water's not leaving the continent, depend on it, and it will adorn the Free Tap Agreement

From: South Seas, ex Montreal | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Babbler # 9355

posted 02 January 2006 10:11 PM      Profile for ElizaQ     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I was talking to a guy once about the water situation in the US.
"No need to change anything we do" he said.
"Canada has tons, we'll just get it from them."

He was seriously nonchalant, with no ill intent or anything, acting like it was just a given.

I said, "Well what if we need it for ourselves and don't want to give it to you? What then?"

He was actually surprised at the question and didn't have an answer. I honestly think the thought scared him.

Anyways I know (or hope) this isn't indicative of everyone or entirely that meaningful. This post just made me think about it and wonder what would happen if there are masses like him.

From: Eastern Lakes | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
Babbler # 6477

posted 02 January 2006 10:31 PM      Profile for Contrarian     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Here's an earlier discussion about this.
From: pretty far west | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Babbler # 370

posted 02 January 2006 11:17 PM      Profile for clersal     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Maybe we could export stale water.
From: Canton Marchand, Québec | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Babbler # 3336

posted 03 January 2006 03:03 PM      Profile for Cougyr     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
From: over the mountain | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
Babbler # 8273

posted 03 January 2006 07:35 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Clarke and Barlow:
Our local actions should be informed by three global principles. One is water conservation. We cannot kid ourselves about water scarcity. Water may be abundant in one place, but it’s scarce in others. Water conservation must be a top priority.

The second principle is that water is a fundamental human right. People need water to live. Water must be provided equitably to all people and not on the basis of the ability to pay.

The third principle is water democracy. We cannot leave the management of our most precious resource in the hands of bureaucrats in government or the private corporations, whether or not they are well intentioned. We, the people, must preserve this special trust, we must fight for it, and we must take our proper role and demand water democracy.

See also Sucking the Great Lakes Dry

From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged

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