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US court rules against water pipeline plan that would affect Canada

The Globe and Mail reports that, “Manitoba has won another round in its long-running legal dispute with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation over a water-diversion project that could allow invasive species from the United States into Lake Winnipeg and the rest of the Hudson Bay drainage basin.”

Under the Northwest Area Water Supply project, North Dakota wants to transfer 13.3 million tonnes (3.5 billion gallons) of water a year from Lake Sakakawea, a Missouri River reservoir, through a 72-kilometre-long pipeline into a parched area of North Dakota. That water would drain into the Souris River where it would then flow northward into Canada toward the Arctic.

“The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia has ordered the bureau to take a ‘hard look’ at the threat the water transfer poses to Canada’s environment, as well as water levels in the Missouri River. It is also keeping in place an injunction currently stopping completion of the controversial project. In its decision, the court said the consequences of having foreign species move into Canada ‘might be catastrophic’.”

The Globe and Mail report is at http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/manitoba-welcomes-us-ruling-against-water-pipeline-plan/article1495785/.

A New York Times report on the court ruling is at http://www.nytimes.com/gwire/2010/03/09/09greenwire-judge-rebukes-reclamation-on-nd-water-pipeline-54296.html.