Export Advice ~ De l'eau - avis



Climate change forecasts show a great likelihood of water supply shortages all over the world. In light of this, should Canada agree to export some of its water supplies?

Les changements climatiques prévus démontrent qu'il y aura probablement des pénuries d'eau à travers le monde.  Compte tenu de ces constatations, est-ce que le Canada devrait être d'accord pour exporter une partie de ses réserves d'eau?

Guylaine Cyr
Nov 7, 2002
Water or any other natural resources should definitely not be tampered with. Nature is composed of all humanity needs to live, we should entertain a healthy give and take relationship. Use what you need and replace what you can and be extra grateful for all natures gifts. The reason for this is if mother nature decides to wipe humanity off, she will because we've been abusing our welcome on this planet. Water is where it is we cannot think we can export it like a pair of shoes. Please take this seriously.
Nov 15, 2002
I think you should include more information on how it would affect wildlife
Gloria Fortier -
Full Blooded
Barriere, BC
4 nov., 2002
No. Water is a valuable resource and part of our natural beauty that makes Canada what it is today. If we start to export it for monetary gain or to be neighborly it can only serve to irrevocably upset our ecosystem. If we try to play God and move water the result will be disastrous to all who use it to sustain themselves. What I mean is that if we use say the Fraser River as a source of water to export the water taken from it will affect all users - ranchers, domestic home use, enterprises, and i can't imagine how this would affect negatively on mother earth's beauties (animals, plants, trees, insects, fish, etc.). The Fraser River is already on the endangered list of rivers. It is time that we take a stand against making money for the sake of making money and look at what this "republican attitude" will cause to our children.  What are we thinking - GAK? I say no to export of water.
Beth McLaughlin
Sept. 9, 2002
Whether we live in the Sahara Desert or in New Brunswick, each geographic area
has its climate and its particular natural cycles, including its hydrologic cycle. To begin to remove water and transport in in great quantities (or even to siphon water off over an extended period of time) will disturb the natural cycles and ecosystems of the area. Current examples of rerouting water (even in the general area, let alone exporting water to, for instance, another continent) and the disastrous effects are enumerated in the latest edition (September, 2002) of the National Geographic - the Colorado River, rerouted to areas of California, the Rio Grande, also siphoned off for irrigation, the Yellow River in China,( these three rivers, in dry seasons, fail or barely make it to thier original destinations - the oceans into which they did run). The River Jordan, rerouted to the point where the Dead Sea is half its original volume - and in Russia, the rivers which fed the Aral Sea, rerouted to produce cotton and food, which have reduced the Aral Sea to half its former size -and the dry seabed, loaded with agricultural and other chemicals, now blowing in the dust bowl and creating great health problems to the people living there. I'm sure there are Canadian examples... So, no, rerouting water to grow rice and corn in what is a desert, is not an answer to food or water demands - conservation, protecting water at its source, for quality and quantity, is what needs to be done. 

Anny Lambert,
Rivière - du-Loup

21, aout, 2002
Bonjour :), j'écris du Quebec(je suis Québecoise) et voiçi mon opignon :)

Au Quebec, il devrait y avoir des conteur d'eau à chaque résidence familiale, car il y a beaucoup de gaspignage d'eau alors les gens arose leurs entré de sphalte :(, même s'il n'ont pas le droit, c,est pas la majorité des gens d'içi qui font ça mais disons une très grande proportion, il serait pourtaint si facile de passer un bon cou de ballet pour enlever la terre des entrées en sphalte ou autre matériaux de pavé..

moi je suis pour que le Canada exporte de l'eau au pays démunie, mais je voudrais qu'il y est une politique corsé de protection de l'eau au Quebec..  ok, il y des heures pour arroser nos pelouses içi, mais les lois sont pas vraiment apliquer et les gens en général içi penssent que l'eau est une réserve renouvelable...

ce qui est faut à mon avis...
je sais que dans la majorité des autres provinces Canadiennes, les gens sont plusent conscient de l'importance de l'économie d'eau, ce qui est tres bien :)))

Beth McLaughlin,
July 12, 2002
Canada should think about the role of water in the ecosystems in which it is
 found - water nourishes life, without water there is no life. To think we can just pick it up, put it in a container, sell it and move it elsewhere is to ignore the water cycle, is to ignore its' role in maintaining life.

12 juillet, 2002
Non, car je crois que l'exportation de l'eau n'apporterait qu'une pénurie d'eau pour notre environnement car l'eau est devenue d'une rareté et est un trésor que nous devrions conserver chez nous.

David Wimberly
July 8, 2002

The exporting of bulk water is wrong ecologically, socially, politically and morally when one examines the long term consequences.

It is very sad that there will almost certainly be far more shortages of water in the future than even now. This is due to how humans have upset the ecological balance by 1) causing climate change, 2) by over consuming, 3) by overpopulating in general, and 4) by abusing technology to over populate areas in particular that are cannot support current and future populations due to scarcities of water and other necessities of life.
Exporting water will only result in these problems getting worse for the entire world. Our technology shields us from most ways in which nature controls populations. We abuse this by not using our intelligence to control our population ourselves. Only when the pressure is great enough will people be willing to face the ecologically necessary ways to control population through control of births and control of population inflow until people achieve ecological balance for each area people inhabit.  When overpopulation is too great then population tends to crash dramatically through starvation, disease, suicide, murder and war. Helping populations artificially grow by providing water will increase the likelihood that populations will grow beyond the point where more humane and civilized methods will work. 

Let's be clear that what we would be doing by exporting water to the United States is further helping artificially high population levels of the most military, aggressive and strongest nation on earth just next to our borders. This increased population will only be more likely to reach levels that humane controls will not work and they will be more likely to succumb to political and social pressure to militarily take our country with its water and other resources.   We should resist this because Canada is a better place with a kinder, gentler, and more caring approach. We should also resist the "Americanization" of Canada going on through commercial and social means.  Canada needs to set a better example than we do now. Canada is ideally suited to play a crucial role in restoring the integrity of the biosphere by ourselves becoming truly ecologically sustainable. Let's lead the world by showing the world that it can be done and how to do it. 

And we need to stop allowing the US to abuse our resources to harm the planet and ourselves.  The US urgently needs to dramatically reduce its population to the the ecological carrying capacity of each area to avoid further destruction of the biological integrity of the planet. The US needs to stop stripping the rest of the earth of their resources to feed its overconsumption and waste.  The water supplies of Canada are already in delicate balance and any further depletion will have consequences harmful to ourselves, to the other living beings that share our country and to the rest of the planet. Whether waterways flow to the East Coast, West Coast or Arctic, they flow to areas already suffering from ecological change wrought by humans. Diverting more water will only cause this harm to increase.  Ultimately, to allow bulk export of water would only hurt Canada, the country it goes to (particularly the US) and the entire world. This is our most compassionate, most caring and most responsible approach.

George Gunter
Fredericton, NB
July 8, 2002
Yes, I believe we must share our water.
Our task will be to determine how to do in ways that are
technically feasible and environmentally and socially acceptable.

July 5, 2002
Get it in writing....I would say NO! But first we need to protect our supply
of water...keep it clean. Who wants dirty water anyway?
We have to be careful. Very careful.

Margo Sheppard
July 2, 2002
Carol Cunningham,
Nova Scotia
July 1, 2002
I am strongly against Canada starting to trade water. It would be another
short term solution that would put off a greater, much needed change in our
consumption patterns and wasteful regard of this resource.

Eilidh MacKenzie 
June 29, 2002
To share or not to share? My first thought is, we Canadians have no greater right to water than others in the world, so we should share equitably and not for profit, which would benefit only those with money to pay. Yet, I also feel communities should sustain themselves with local resources. If the resources of an area cannot sustain the population, then that population is doomed unless they move elsewhere. Therefore, perhaps Canada should consider inviting as many immigrants from drought stricken areas as our own resources will sustain. This would assume that Canada was already managing its own environment in a responsible fashion, which is not now (or foreseeably) the case. So the point is moot.
Bev Weeks
June 28,2002
I feel that if the experts feel that we can safely meet our own needs for safe, clean water for the next century, that then we could look at exporting. We must first insure that Canadians are cared for.
Angela Griffiths
Nova Scotia
June 28, 2002


Stephanie Coburn
Winterwood Environ.
June 28, 2002
No no and no to water exports. For many reasons, but one of the most telling to my mind is that if people can buy water, they really won't bother trying to keep their own supplies clean, nor will they practice conservation. Witness raising rice in the desert in California.  no no and no. 
M Arnold
June 28, 2002
Before considering the possibility of exporting Canadian water, a number of huge trade and ethical issues arise. Please be forewarned that my opinions expressed below raise more questions than they answer!
For one, would the water be sold for example to the highest bidder or shared with a country and its people in great need but without the financial resources to pay top dollar for our water? I think that we know exactly which countries would be willing and able to buy Canadian water, and we certainly don't want to be selling it to them. Mostly I guess because these same countries might be the ones most directly contributing to the increase in climate change. Canada is certainly guilty here.
On the other hand, how would you ever decide which countries were most in need? Would water export be like exporting aid dollars, once again a mere band aid solution that doesn't change in any way our contribution to climate change, but rather almost confirms it in exporting this natural resource?
All the same, we are trying "to let our vision be world embracing", and if this is the case, how can we even consider depriving others of this vital right to have water? I am fascinated at the concept of being a global citizen whilst at the same time, making the right choices with how to share our bounty in ways alternative to our current economic globalization model...

James Holloway
June 28, 2002
Canada should not export its water. The exportation of water will not encourage the necessary conservation activities in those countries which have squandered their own resources. It will only lose us the control of our own resources. Water is too precious a resource and heritage to turn into a common commodity.
Sheila Okane
June 28, 2002
Precious little... and certainly not as a hostage commodity to the "principles" of Free Trade !!!  Of even greater importance is, I believe, the necessity to take better care / stewardship of the water that does abound around us. Already the ground water, and beyond, is becoming extremely compromised at an alarming rate (both in quantity and in quality) thanks to ... wasteful over-consumption ... contamination ... the clearcutting practices of most major woods related companies.
Léophane LeBlanc
28 juin, 2002
L'exportation devrait seulement avoir lieu si la vente est faite par le gouvernement et que les profits soient utilisés pour des causes environmentales afin d'améliorér et assurer notre qualité d'eau.
Wendy Keats 
June 27, 2002
Canada's own water supply is questionable. I'm certainly in favour of helping less fortunate countries however we must be sure our own citizens are cared for first and foremost. With that said, I also believe Canadians have an individual and collective responsibility for not wasting valuable water. There is currently little education (and subsequently an apathetic attitude) about the shortage of water resources.
Susan Hawkins, Coordinator 
PEI Eco-Net de IPE
June 27, 2002
Understanding that water is a most precious commodity on a number of levels, we should avoid exporting this natural resource. If, on the other hand, we feel it is our global duty as world citizens to share our water, then the exporting should be done on a continental basis rather than an intercontinental one. Having said that, I have no real conception of how such an idea would be instituted.
Gregor MacAskill,
Dalhousie University
June 27, 2002
Canada should not export water, people should live where water is naturally available and live within the limits of replenishing rates. Transport or diversion of water is destructive and wasteful, and should be avoided.



Arabelle Grondin, 
27 juin, 2002

Merci à vous de me demander mon opinion sur cette question qui s'avère
devenir très politique.  Certainement que je suis d'accord pour que l'eau soit partagée avec ceux qui n'y ont pas accès. Mais cette démocratisation de l'eau doit-être faite de façon à ce que cette marchandisation de l'eau ne devienne pas commercialisable et lucrative pour de grosses entreprises.  L'EAU SE DOIT D'ÊTRE CONSIDÉRÉE COMME UN BIEN COMMUN DE L'HUMANITÉ. C'est un DROIT pour tous, d'avoir accès à de l'eau potable, non contaminée.

Pour organiser l'accès à l'eau potable sur des bases égalitaires entre les pays, les continents, la planète, nous devrons surveiller nos dirigeants politiques, qui n'hésiterons pas à faire du commerce lucratif avec d'autres pays (les plus puissants). Un autre genre de Libre échange, qui rapporte toujours aux mêmes. Je crois qu'une mondialisation équitable des ressources naturelles est de plus en plus à prévoir pour les générations futures. En tant que citoyenne du monde, je considère que ce n'est pas aux gouvernements des pays riches de décider de ce partage.  L'eau est une ressource indispensable à la vie de toutes les espèces vivante sur cette planète. N'oublions pas que nos espèces animales, végétales sont en périls sur ce continent et sur d'autres...
Ils devront commencer par protéger nos eaux des polluants de toutes sortes, avec la limitation de l'agriculture chimique (pesticides), les méga porcheries, avec les conséquences que l'on connaît sur l'environnement. Ils n'ont pas su au fil des ans, protéger notre planète contre la commercialisation de nos fôrets, nos rivières, nos fleuves, croyez-vous qu'ils seront suffisament responsables pour équilibrer la répartition de cette richesse? J'en doute... Et vous???



Club ornithologique
du Madawaska. 
June 27, 2002

Cette question de l'eau me chavire beaucoup. Exporter de l'eau, certes, mais pas à n'importe quelle condition. L'eau est une richesse commune et devrait faire l'objet d'un débat totalement démocratique. Car il y a plein de requins financiers, les multi-nationales américaines en tête, prëts à s'accaparer de cette richesse incommensurable. Ce sont les États-Unis, les pires gaspilleurs d'eau de la planète, qui en profiteraient d'abord. Bourassa, feu premier ministre du Québec, n'avait-il pas élaboré un projet de pipe-line pour pomper l'eau de la Baie-James jusqu'aux États-Unis ? 
De plus, je flaire la catastrophe écologique lorsqu'il sera temps de vendre notre eau contre de l'argent. Lorsque le robinet sera ouvert, il le sera jusqu'à extinction des réserves, comme cela s'est déjà produit pour les poissons de fond et comme cela se produit pour les forêts mondiales. Les changements climatiques ne sont-ils pas, justement, la conséquence directe de la cupidité des prédateurs du bois ? Car en coupant la forêt, plus particuièrement en zone tropicale, on crée des déserts puisque que l'eau saline souterraine monte à la surface du sol et que l'humidité contrôlée par les arbres ne l'est plus.
Exporter de l'eau, certes, mais avec d'extrêmes précautions et des mécanismes de contrôle démocratiques et très sévères afin de s'assurer, d'une part, de ne pas épuiser les réserves et, d'autre part, d'étancher la soif des populations qui en ont vraiment besoin.

June 27, 2002
I would only agree to some being sold provided it does not harm the ecosystem, will leave enough for local users, and a fair price is obtained. Perhaps we could bargain with the U.S. that we would sell them a small amount of water if they removed their tariffs off our lumber, i.e. get a fair deal for Canadians. Thanks for requesting some input.
Bob Kanygin
June 27, 2002
I think if exporting lake and river water was done in a sustainable manner and on a not-for-profit basis, it would be OK.  Exporting might seem like a good thing-its nice to share. But a better thing would be to assist in developments of technologies that extract drinking water from other sources like the oceans or rainwater etc.
Tim Doyle
June 27, 2002
No way! Our water should stay put for our own needs. If we want to help other people we should build de-salinization plants or deeper wells for them if they can't afford to help themselves (I.E. African countries). We must keep water out of NAFTA and other trade agreements at all costs.
David Daughton
(Lobie), ECHO
June 27, 2002
The answer to your question is "no".
Sustainability involves exercising stewardship over ecosystems so as not to exceed their carrying capacity for supporting current and future generations. Canada should export technology and technical expertise to facilitate the establishment of sustainable water conservation, extraction and consumption practices on a worldwide basis.  Exporting actual water will simply perpetuate the cycle of under-valuing and over-using the resource. It is also highly likely that water sales would go to the most profligate wasters of water (such as U.S. agriculture in desert areas) rather than to those poverty-stricken areas most in need of water for basic survival.

Britt Roscoe
Port George
Nova Scotia
June 27, 2002
Wrong approach! Canada should be helping to educate the world to this problem and helping to develop strategies for water conservation - no lawn watering, drip irrigation, fewer large hydro dams, low flow or composting toilets, etc.

Helen Jones
Halifax, NS
June 27, 2002
No, Canada should not agree to export any portion of its water supplies.

It is important to prevent this resource from becoming subject to the NAFTA
agreement in general and Section 11 in particular. Exporting any percentage
(however small) of this resource will result in this very negative outcome.

J.W.(Bill) Campbell
June 27, 2002
Yes, of course we should share our water supply, for it is only through sharing will we have a chance to realize that we are all cells of the great planet called earth. It is only through sharing that we may discover that we are greater than the sum of all our parts. Then our breakdowns (shortages) will create great opportunities for breakthroughs that will lead to abundance rather than shortages.
Randy Henderson
June 26, 2002
First, this question makes the assumption that Canada has "excess" water. When the environmental impact of large scale water extraction is taken into account, our large water resources do not appear so over-abundant. Second, why should we be reacting to climate change by trying to fix a symptom instead of addressing the causes of climate change? The Kyoto protocol would be a small first step in that direction. On the issue of water export, it is imperative that we do not turn water into a commercial commodity. The most likely scenario of export of Canadian water supplies would involve financial compensation. This action would engage water as a commodity under international trade agreements such as FTAA, NAFTA and GATS, allowing corporations such as Vivendi, Suez Lyonnaise and United Utilities vast privileges which could compromise Canada's ability to keep its water supply safe and accessible to all people.

Good reading on this subject is Maude Barlow's BLUE GOLD: The Global Water
Crisis and the Commodification of the World's Water Supply. It was published
in 2001 and can be found online at

Gregor Wilson
Atlantic Explorers
June 26, 2002
No way!!!!!!!!!
Non SVP!!!!!!!!!!!!
No water exports.

Walter Regan
June 26, 2002
I believe that water export should be by value added (bottle), not by bulk export or diversion!!! We should never divert a major river or one watershed to another not for drinking water or especially for navigation or irrigation.
Water export should be done in small quantities (e.g bottled water) and only after a full environmental impact study to ensure no major, long term or other negative environmental effects to fish, wildlife or eco-systems.

Georges Brun
June 26, 2002
Answer to water question, "Not a chance". Perhaps you should ask the viewing audience, "How many bottles of water, bottles of beer, bottles of soda pop cross the border now?" How many trucks are running water across the border now? Perhaps it's really time to look into ways and means of saving, conserving and making sure there is an adequate healthy supply of H2O. Reservoirs like large thermal station need to be smaller and covered in order to reduce evaporation. The collection of snow before it becomes
contaminated and stockpiling in areas where it would be filtered naturally.

June 26, 2002
Je crois que le Canada devrait exporter de l'eau mais seulement quand le besoin se fera sentir dans les autres pays. Cependant, même si le Canada est plus favorisé face à ce problême, il serait important de mieux gérer notre réserve d'eau et ce en empêchant les gens de nettoyer leur trottoir, ou de faire fondre la neige au printemps avec cette ressource....
Patty Donovan
Campaign for
Pesticide Reduction
Quispamsis, NB
June 26, 2002
NO! we should not sell our water!
Not that I would want others to go thirsty, mind you, but I feel that we should manage our own Natural Resources for the benefit of Canadians.

Marilyn Powell
Washademoak Environmentalists
June 26, 2002
No, I believe it would be a very dangerous thing and what free trade is all
about - getting at our natural resources for the rest of the world and to
deplete what we have so it will not be there for us in the future. It may
seem like a hard stand, but I think we must insist......

Martin Willison
Nova Scotia
June 26, 2002
I have long been concerned about the tendency for Canadian environmentalists to argue fervently against water export under any circumstance. I think this opposition has been driven  by justified concern over crazy ideas, such as the bulk export of water by diverting Canadian rivers to the United States, or digging a canal from one of the Great Lakes to divert water south and away from the Niagara River. This is not the same as exporting filtered water by tanker to desperately thirsty countries in the Middle East or southern Africa.  Canada is one of the world's most favoured nations with regard to available fresh water, although there are even parts of Canada that are short of water. By using irrigation, water bottling, and long range piping of water to cities within Canada, we already "export" water. National boundaries are, after all, completely artificial, and so by taking water from a river on the prairies, and thereby removing it from flowage into wetlands in northern Manitoba, we are effectively "exporting" it. There might be environmental impacts in Saskatchewan (where the water is removed) and in Manitoba (from which the water is deprived) as a result of the water diversion. It isn't difficult to recognize that numerous forms of water export are already occurring within our country, and of course there is also trans-border export in bottles, labeled "water", "beer", and so on. 

As a result of global over-population, and sometimes as a result over-use of water in industrialized nations, there is a growing global water crisis. The time may come when the most cost-efficient method of responding to dire shortages in dry countries is to permit the bulk export of water from Canada. Because this is costly in environmental terms, it will never be the "best" solution. The "best" solution will usually be some local water source. But what if the only local source is the draining of a swamp that is home to hundreds of unique species - as is the case now in Namibia? Should we not load tankers with properly filtered water from a Newfoundland lake, and give those hundreds of unique species some breathing space while we hope that environmental sanity is somehow restored to the world? I think the answer to that  question is more complicated than a simple "no-export" formula. 

Lou McMillan
Courtenay, BC
June 26, 2002
We should never export water to any Country. We can only expect our supply to get less and less and we continue to destroy the Earth. Let those who have already done so live with their mistake.
Yonatan Strauch
Blue-Green Society
June 26, 2002
What exports would be for profit most likely... making it work for the 
needy is an unlikely story if government is involved!