Historic Moment for Water Cooperation in Canada

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The Governments of the Northwest Territories and Alberta signed a transboundary water agreement marking a historic moment in cooperatively managed water resources along the Mackenzie River Basin

The signing of this agreement builds upon the 1997 Mackenzie River Basin Transboundary Water Master Agreement, signed by Alberta, Saskatchewan, British Columbia, the Northwest Territories, and Yukon as well as the federal government.

The Mackenzie River Basin Bilateral Water Management Agreement functions as a legally binding aquatic ecosystems agreement for “maintaining ecosystem integrity”. It includes ecosystem indicators to monitor the system, using present-day ecosystem health as the baseline. It is a science-based agreement to maintain the current ecological integrity of the system, in consideration of cumulative effects.

"The transboundary water agreement between NWT and Alberta, one of 7 eventual agreements that will work to protect the Mackenzie River Basin, creates a cooperative approach that is truly the only way to achieve water security in these times of increasing complexity of water management," says Ms. Merrell-Ann Phare, Chief Negotiator for the Transboundary Water Agreement.

"Strong, collaborative relationships being in place before crises are upon us are what will hold us in good stead. That, along with a common vision that acknowledges that the health of human systems is built on the health of ecosystems. The transboundary water agreements set out that vision and create the foundation for those relationships in the Mackenzie River Basin."

Canadian Water Network, a strategic national advisor and knowledge broker for water, commends the agreement as a collaborative accomplishment in regards to how water is monitored in the basin, and how disputes will be resolved.

Source: Canadian Water Network

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Comments

John Cook
Very impressive to see such a high level of cooperation among the governments and water resource managers.
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