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Resolving Water-use Conflicts: Insights from the Prairie Experience for the MacKenzie River Basin

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  • David R. Percy

    (University of Alberta)

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    Abstract

    The southern regions of Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan suffer from periodic drought more than any other part of Canada. They depend heavily on rivers that rise in the Rocky Mountains and traverse all three provinces to their outlet on Hudson Bay. In 1969, after a prolonged period of disagreement between Alberta and Saskatchewan over conflicting priorities for the use of prairie rivers, the two provinces joined with the governments of Manitoba and Canada to enter into an arrangement known as the Apportionment Agreement. The Agreement was based on the broad principle that each upstream province would allow one-half of the natural flow of the rivers to pass to its downstream neighbours. But much has changed since 1969: A warming climate, a growing population and an expanding economy, particularly in Alberta, has focused increased attention on the water resources of the prairies and demands an examination of how the Agreement works today.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by C.D. Howe Institute in its journal C.D. Howe Institute Commentary.

    Volume (Year): (2012)
    Issue (Month): 341 (February)
    Pages:

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    Handle: RePEc:cdh:commen:341

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    Keywords: Water Series; Canada; Alberta; Manitoba; Saskatchewan. Apportionment Agreement; Mackenzie Basin; groundwater; water pollution;

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    1. Alexandre Laurin & William B.P. Robson, 2011. "Ottawa's Pension Gap: The Growing and Under-reported Cost of Federal Employee Pensions," e-briefs 127, C.D. Howe Institute.
    2. Colin Busby & David Gray, 2011. "Mending Canada's Employment Insurance Quilt: The Case for Restoring Equity," C.D. Howe Institute Backgrounder, C.D. Howe Institute, issue 144, November.
    3. Benjamin Dachis & William B.P. Robson, 2011. "Holding Canada's Cities to Account: an Assessment of Municipal Fiscal Management," C.D. Howe Institute Backgrounder, C.D. Howe Institute, issue 145, November.
    4. William B.P. Robson, 2012. "Fixing MP Pensions: Parliamentarians Must Lead Canada's Move to Fairer, and Better-Funded Retirements," C.D. Howe Institute Backgrounder, C.D. Howe Institute, issue 146, January.
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