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UPDATE: National Post promotes bulk water exports

Today – World Water Day – the National Post editorial board writes in support of bulk water exports.

They write, “The Montreal Economic Institute has determined that Quebec could earn up to $65-billion annually by exporting 10% of its renewable freshwater resources. The Frontier Centre for Public Policy estimates that Manitoba could earn US$1.33-billion annually by exporting just 1% of the fresh water flowing into Hudson Bay, via a pipeline to American markets, thereby ending Manitoba’s status as a have-not province.”

“These include NAWAPA, the North American Water and Power Alliance, which would have diverted water from the Yukon through the Rocky Mountains to the southwestern United States; the Central North American Water Project (CeNAWAP), which would have linked Great Bear Lake and Great Slave Lake to Lake Athabaska, Lake Winnipeg and then the Great Lakes; and the Great Recycling And Northern Development (GRAND) Canal, which would have dammed and rerouted northern Quebec rivers to bring water to the American Midwest. More recently, smaller scale Canadian proposals have included a plan to export water by tanker from northern Quebec, a proposal to transport water to the United States from Lake Gisborne in Newfoundland, and from the Great Lakes to Asia.”

“Groups such as the Council of Canadians have mobilized public opinion against the bulk sale of water as far back as the debate on the Canada-U. S. Free Trade Agreement, claiming that water sales would represent a loss of sovereignty.”

“The reality is that water is a commodity, and one which represents great economic potential for Canada. Our country boasts 20% of the world’s freshwater supply, and enjoys geographic proximity to one of the largest markets in the world. In the end, unless governments interfere, economics will trump fear mongering. The law of supply and demand dictates that if a resource becomes scarce enough, then its price will warrant development. For a country awash in blue gold, it would be a costly mistake to take water off the table.”

The editorial is at http://www.nationalpost.com/opinion/story.html?id=2710061.

For our fact sheet – Five reasons to oppose bulk water exports – which counters their arguments, please go to http://canadians.org/water/issues/policy/exports_factsheet.html.