Ecology And Environment

Canada us Water



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Secretary of State Hilliary Clinton remarked in Niagara Falls on June 13,2009, "We have to update it (The Canada-U.S. Boundary Water Treaty) to reflect new knowledge, new technologies and, unfortunately, new threats."

The Canada-U.S. Boundary Water Treaty (BWT) was ratified by both countries in 1909 and is aimed at resolving disputes, primarily those concerning water quantity and water quality along the long boundary between Canada and the United States. The BWT is administered by the International Joint Commission.

According to Environment Canada, 70% of the Earth is covered by water. Of that, 95.5% is salt water. Only 2.5% is fresh water. Almost 70% of fresh water is locked up in glacial ice, permafrost or permanent snow. So, less than 1% of the world's water is in the form of available fresh water. And it is not always clean. Canada is third in the world, behind Brazil and Russia, with the most renewable fresh water. Plus, only 10% of North America's fresh water comes from the Great Lakes.

With this in mind, is there something sinister behind Secretary of State Clinton's remarks? Canada is rich in fresh water, while the U.S. is struggling with its fresh water quantity and quality. Does this renegotiation of the BWT mean that the U.S will seek to divert water from Canada to problem areas of the U.S.? Look at America's southwest which has been struggling under a drought that has lasted for years. The northeast has plenty of fresh water, but much of it is not drinkable because of poor sewage treatment and agricultural runoff into lakes and rivers. The United States does have the knowledge to divert water on a large scale. It is a known fact that the U.S. succeeded in reversing the flow of a river draining into Lake Michigan.

Clinton added that the discussion over water will also include the Arctic. "We don't want the Arctic to become a free-for-all," Clinton said. Will the United States attempt to take away Canada's sovereignty over the Northwest Passage? This shipping lane, because of global warming, will be open during the summer. It is a shorter route for Europe and the Eastern U.S. to China and Japan. And not to mention all the oil and natural gas now available in the Arctic, also thanks to global warming. Is Clinton really trying to avoid a free-for-all in the Arctic or is she trying to get Canada's share of Arctic oil?

Canada should be very careful when renegotiating this Treaty. The United States is really hurting when it comes to fresh water and it is still a nation that hungers for oil. And when you negotiate with Clinton, you better count your fingers after shaking hands, She is an expert. I think she was the real brains behind her husband, President Bill Clinton.

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