Pssst, Put Out The Cat. Puuuutttt Outtt the Caaattttt
Once again, ITWS – It’s The Water, Stupid – that’s the key. Recent UN report points to severe, Dust Bowl-like drought conditions in the southwest by 2050, a group of states and Mexico who are already fighting over what we now have. And, wasn’t that T. Boone Pickens last seen buying up the water rights in vast stretches of West Texas. Houston? We have a problem. And here we are contemplating building our own wasteWATER system with the real question being, Will we build for the 19th century or the 21st century, take your pick.
From a recent email:
Date: April 13, 2007 9:52:34 AM PDT
Subject: Tap, tap. Time to wake up.
Leaked document reveals bulk water exports to be discussed at continental integration talks
OTTAWA, April 13 /CNW Telbec/ - The leaked document of a prominent Washington-based think tank obtained by the Council of Canadians reveals that government officials and business leaders from Canada, Mexico and the United States are scheduled to discuss bulk water exports in a closed-door meeting at the end of the month as part of a larger discussion on North American integration.
Titled the "North American Future 2025 Project," the initiative being led by the U.S.-based Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Conference Board of Canada and the Mexican Centro de Investigacisn y Docencia Econsmicas calls for a series of "closed-door meetings" on North American integration dealing with a number of highly contentious issues including bulk water exports, a joint security perimeter and a continental resource pact.
According to the document, a roundtable on the "Future of the North American Environment," is planned for this Friday April 27 in Calgary, and will discuss "water consumption, water transfers and artificial diversions of bulk water" with the aim of achieving "joint optimum utilization of the available water."
"This is just the latest in a series of closed-door meetings that grant the business sector privileged access while shutting out the public," says Maude Barlow, national chairperson of the Council of Canadians. "The document is damning not just because it outlines a process that lacks transparency and accountability," says Barlow, "but also because of what is being discussed by governments and so-called corporate stakeholders."
The document also reveals that "trilateral coordination of energy policy" and the development of "North American security architecture" are being discussed by high-level government officials from Canada, the U.S. and Mexico.
The Council of Canadians is demanding that the Canadian government cease all further participation in such talks on North American integration until there is parliamentary debate and meaningful public consultation on the issue.
UPDATE: The Vancouver Sun is covering it at length.
From the Vancouver Sun article [ ] above.
Canada has 20 per cent of the world's water "if you drained every lake and river" - but actual available supply amounts to only about seven per cent, she said.
The outline notes that "fresh water is running out in many regions of the world," particularly the U.S. and Mexico, while "Canada possesses about 20 per cent of the Earth's fresh water."
It goes on to say Canada, the U.S. and Mexico must discuss such solutions as bilateral agreements on "water transfers" and the diversion of water.
The outline notes "the overriding future goal of North America is to achieve joint optimum utilization of the available water."
Pressure on Canada from the U.S. will be intense, according to the UN report.
It warns that drought might cut by 40 per cent a key Texas aquifer that supplies water for 2 million people, and decimate the Ogallala aquifer, which underlies eight U.S. states.
The Ogallala Aquifer (click on accompanying image)
CAPTION: "The Ogallala aquifer underlies portions of eight states. This image documents the decline in the level of water in many areas for the period 1980-1995. Source: USGS"
Maybe we will someday go to war with Canada after all. Over water.