Devils Lake in North Dakota has a history of problematic flooding. The proposed solution to the flooding is the subject of much debate. (Photo courtesy of USGS)
The state of North Dakota has been at the center of an international water dispute with the Canadian government. Great Lakes mayors and governors are watching the issue closely. They fear the political fallout from this dispute could affect how Great Lakes water is managed. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Shawn Allee has more:
The state of North Dakota has been at the center of an international water dispute with the Canadian government. Great Lakes Mayors and governors are watching the issue closely. They fear the political fallout from this dispute could affect how Great Lakes water is managed. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Shawn Allee has more:
To fight flooding in North Dakota’s Devils Lake area, state officials plan to divert some lake water into a river system that flows north into Canada. Canada claims the diverted water might pollute rivers and lakes there, but North Dakota disputes such claims.
Great Lakes mayors are taking Canada’s side in asking that the International Joint Commission review the issue. The IJC has resolved water disputes between Canada and the U.S. for nearly a century.
Frank Merritt of the Legal Institute of the Great Lakes says officials worry states and provinces might go it alone in planning water use.
“If we allow the movement of water on a unilateral basis, we will lose control, and all the world that wants fresh water will come to the Great Lakes and get it.”
The U.S. hasn’t responded to Canada’s year-old request to move the issue to the IJC.
The clock is ticking. North Dakota says it will begin diverting Devils Lake water July 1st.
The Annex 2001 Agreement discusses how much and to whom the water from the Great Lakes is going. Ontario objects to the current Agreement in fear that it doesn't do enough to protect the Lakes. (Photo by Kym
Ontario provincial leaders say they’re not willing to sign
a draft agreement aimed at protecting the Great Lakes from diversion in its current form. As the Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Sarah Hulett reports, observers say Ontario’s objections won’t sidetrack negotiations on the agreement known as the Great Lakes Charter
Ontario provincial leaders say they’re not willing to sign a draft agreement aimed at protecting the Lakes from water diversions in its current form. Observeers say the objections won’t sidetrack negotiations on the agreement known as the Great Lakes Charter Annex. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Sarah Hulett has this report:
The Charter Annex would give the eight states and two provinces that surround the Lakes a say in how much water can be diverted out of the Lakes to other regions. But Ontario officials say they don’t think the current draft goes far enough to protect the Lakes. David Natzger is with the Council of Great Lakes Governors, which is coordinating negotiations bewteent he states and provinces to implement the Annex. Natzger says the announcement reflects healthy debate, and not a snag in the process.
“I think it says that there’s a lot of interest in this issue in Ontario, and certainly there were some concerns that were raised in the public comment period, and they will be taken into consideration as changes are considered and made, ultimately.”
In January, the staffs of the Great Lakes governors and premiers plan to start negotiating changes to the Annex. Natzger says the changes will reflect some of the concerns brought forward in ten-thousand public comments.
For the Great Lakes Radio Consortium, I’m Sarah Hulett.