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NEWS: Council counters Fraser report promoting bulk water exports

The Vancouver-based Fraser Institute has released a report by Diane Katz that says Canada has an abundance of water and that the country needs to “move beyond fear mongering and protectionism” and look instead at the “benefits and opportunities presented by bulk water exports.”

“Katz admits the high cost of transportation means bulk water exports likely wouldn’t be cost-effective at the moment, but she argues easing restrictions would encourage the development of new technologies.”

The Canwest News Service article on this report extensively quotes Council of Canadians national water campaigner Meera Karunananthan. She counters the Fraser Institute report by saying, “This is not coming from a desire to address the human need for water, or a desire to replenish the environment where there are water shortages. This is trying to make huge profits from a very basic need. This assumption that we have so much water we should be shipping it outside the country is false. We frankly don’t know what our groundwater resources are at the moment. We fail to acknowledge the amount of water actually exploited. We don’t even have enough information on how much bottled water we’re exporting from Canada. (A ban on water exports is) about protecting the environment and protecting an important an environment resource from commercialization. We see water as a public resource and a human right that is not to be commodified.”

The article notes, “The Fraser Institute is calling for federal and provincial statutes that bar water exports to be repealed and replaced with ‘institutional mechanisms for assigning private water rights’. It’s also calling for the establishment of a centralized database to track water inventories and for home and industrial water subsidies to be ‘phased out in favour of full-cost recovery’.”

This article is at http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/canada/International+trade+something+fear+Fraser+Institute/3161177/story.html#ixzz0r6sHTu5U.