Dewar on water


Following his challenge to Thomas Mulcair, Paul Dewar has released his water strategy.

Paul Dewar’s 5-point water strategy would: Support the principle of public delivery of water services; Enforce federal laws protecting water quality and fisheries, and properly support agencies regulating water; Impose a federal ban on bulk water export to prevent major impacts to water basins; Encourage research, development and use of water conservation systems, technologies and practices and water efficiency standards; and, Take global leadership on addressing water rights issues.


Dewar on water

  1. Impose a federal ban on bulk water export to prevent major impacts to water basins

    If that’s the reason for the ban, would it need to be a universal ban?  Could one not  simply ban bulk exports from water basins that could conceivably be negatively impacted by bulk water exports?

    I don’t know much of the science behind this, but several commenters on other posts have suggested that there are plenty of water basins in Canada that are so rich that they could only conceivably be impacted by bulk water exports if the companies involved actually removed more water from them than they could possibly sell in several lifetimes.

    • Exactly, LKO.  Once again, it isn’t all or nothing.  It is smart and responsible.

    • ” …  plenty of water basins in Canada that are so rich … ”

      I have done just a little research – which is always dangerous – and it looks like Canada has plenty of renewable fresh water but we are half assed about collecting/storing it. 

      Pricing water for export will make domestic water more expensive as well, maybe, and that hurt agriculture, industry and people who use water? 

      Marcel Boyer ~  Freshwater exports for the development of Quebec’s blue gold:

      This study aims to present a general portrait of the possibilities open to Quebec in selling and exporting fresh water, to assess Quebec’s competitive advantage and potential in this regard and to define the role and responsibilities that the existence of this potential imposes. The planet’s inventory of water consists 97% of salt water, and more than two-thirds of the rest is difficult or impossible to reach because it is trapped in polar icecaps, glaciers or deep rock. Thus, less than 1% of the water inventory exists in the form of accessible fresh water.

      Each year, agriculture consumes nearly 70% of accessible fresh water, industry consumes another 20%, and the remaining 10% goes to local or municipal use for domestic consumption and other direct uses. In the past century, annual use of fresh water has risen twice as quickly as population. Canada constitutes an important renewable freshwater reserve in the world with 100 000 m3 annually per inhabitant and 130 000 m3 in Québec compared to less than 10 000 m3 for the United State

      It is important to keep in mind the three interrelated issues we are looking at here: first,
      flawed water management in Quebec (and North America generally) resulting from inappropriate charges for water resources and leading to unbridled waste by agriculture and heavy industry, among other users; next, Quebec’s outstanding potential in water resources, only a tiny fraction of which is used or exploited, thus representing a loss of potential wealth; and finally the chance to develop in Quebec a state-of-the-art industry and advanced expertise in water services and to export these services abroad.

    • The biggest problem, as I understand it, has to do with the language of NAFTA. I’ve read in a few places over the years that once one province allows bulk exports, the floodgates open (sorry; couldn’t resist) and the US can essentially take whatever they want; we will have little recourse, regardless of impact.

      There’s certainly a degree of fearmongering among what I’ve read, but there are a lot of midwestern states that are rather parched and whose aquafiers are getting lower all the time…

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