Environment at risk under Great Lakes
Environmentalists fear proposal to divert more water to
By Colin Perkel
The Canadian Press
Published September 20th, 2004
TORONTO - An American proposal to allow the diversion
of water from the Great Lakes threatens the environment
and Canada's sovereignty, critics warn.
In submissions to be made at public hearings today, several
groups plan to argue the proposed agreement among eight
U.S. states, especially in its current form, is dangerous.
The proposal, known as the Implementing Agreement for
Annex 2001, would end a virtual moratorium on new or increased
water diversions south of the border.
Even though the legislation would allow only small-scale
diversions, expert water consultant Ralph Pentland warns
it would still be a very large foot in the door.
"In the business of water, once you say 'maybe,'
you say 'yes,' " Mr. Pentland said in an interview
The Council of Canadians, which will present at Toronto
hearings hosted by the Council of the Great Lakes Governors,
also wants to make its "vehement" opposition
to the proposal known.
"The eight U.S. states are forming an agreement
where they're going to sell Great Lakes water," said
Sara Ehrhardt, water campaigner for the group.
"It's going to open the door for the sale of water
on a large scale."
About one-third of Canadians and 45 million people in
total rely on what is the largest fresh-water eco-system
in the world for their drinking water.
Thirsty U.S. states, industry, farmers and international
water sellers have long eyed the resource with increasing
© The Ottawa Citizen 2004