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water supply

In Canada, water supply problems have been highly politicized by a number of factors:
  • the Canadian constitution? which separates responsibility for sourcewater?s into several jurisdictions: municipal government? and/or aboriginal government?, provincial government? or territorial government?, federal government? and international treaty? especially in the Great Lakes?.
  • occasional demand for water diversion? from the Great Lakes to the US "breadbasket" region or even to California
  • Canada's extreme abundance of water compared to any other country in the world, which is often seen as a national privelege or source of pride or paranoia
  • extremely poor watershed? management in most areas of the country, which results in flood?s, aquifer? depletion? and contamination?, and occasional highly visible and dangerous failures, e.g. Kashechewan?, Walkerton?

These factors in combination tend to amplify each other and lead to a general lack of rational and fundamental debate about water supply. Projects such as the Death Pipe continue to be built, even against all evidence that they cause serious watershed? and ecosystem damage and have high potential to result in e. coli? pollution. Municipal regulatory barriers to green building? prevent use of solutions such as rain catch? or district sewage? systems or even green roof?s, while failing to forbid cosmetic biocide?s or restrict paving?. In most cases a Federal Environmental Assessment? is not even required to proceed with projects that have high probability, even a certainty, of negatively affecting life downstream?.

Levels of government work at cross-purposes, e.g. the Government of Ontario? under Gregory Sorbara and York Region encouraging construction of the Death Pipe while the Government of Canada renegotiates the key Great Lakes? agreements and the City of Toronto (led by Howard Moscoe? and Mike Del Grande?) seeks injunction? against that project.

In other words, Canada's entire regulatory and administrative attitude to water is characterized by rhetoric, ideology, and failure to even comprehend the basic simple science of watershed/upstream/downstream? relationships.

There are several approaches to solving these problems, typified by the following positions:

[+] present municipalities need control over water

[+] watershed management organizations must be formed

[+] electoral system and municipality borders should respect watershed?s



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