Canada’s Water Crisis-Do we Sell?

Since more than 70% of the Earth is covered with water, one would assume that there is enough water for everyone. However, this statement would be incorrect. Only 3% of that water is considered usable and 2% of the usable water is locked in the polar ice caps. This leaves 1% of that water for the use of humans. Canada possesses a substantial amount of this water, while other countries are less fortunate. One of these countries is the United States of America, the biggest users of water in the world. They are looking for a new source of water and have been hoping Canada can be this new source. The Canadian government should accept the proposal to sell water in bulk to the United States due to the availability, the safety and the economic opportunities it would bring.

Water is easily available to Canadians. According to Report Newsmagazine, Canada possesses 20% of the worlds Fresh Water. Report also states that Canada possesses only 0.5% of the worlds population. This means that on a per capita basis, Canada has more water than any other nation. Furthermore, water is a renewable resource, which means that once it is used, it may be used again after the water cycle. Many other materials Canada sells to the United States are not renewable. Dennis Owens, the senior Frontier Centre analyst says, Here we are giving non-renewable oil and gas to the U.S., then water falls from the sky and goes into the ocean and we wont give it to them. In Newfoundland, Gisbourne Lake has the potential to drain 500,000 cubic meters of water per week. This drainage would only lower the level of the lake one inch and this would naturally be replenished within ten hours. Canada has cut down trees that will take 100 years to grow back and sold them. Selling our water will not be a loss to us as the water will replenish in little time. The oil, gas, coal and trees will not.

Companies have the technology and the knowledge to divert or sell water in a way that is safe on the environment. Part of the Canadian population has been misled to believe that Canada will not have enough water for its residents if it sells water to the United States. This is a myth. Toronto MP Dennis Mills says, Many people just dont understand the issue. They have this idea that the Americans are going to build the biggest pipeline the world has ever seen and drain the Great Lakes dry. There are many proposed diversion schemes that would have minimal effect on ecology. The water diversion scheme in Manitoba is an example of this. It proposes that an insulated pipeline be stationed at the mouth of the Nelson River just before it empties into Hudson Bay. This scheme would allow the Nelson River to run its full, natural course and only divert 1% of the fresh water that is currently being emptied into Hudson Bay. The Canadian people have being misled that the world is going to run out of water. According to, the amount of water on the earth has stayed the same for the last four billion years, and will not change. Canadians have enough water especially compared to many other countries. According to The Globe and Mail, Maude Barlow has said 31 countries are facing water stress and scarcity and more than a billion people lack adequate access to clean drinking. By the year 2025, as much as two-thirds of the worlds population will be living with a serious scarcity of water. This quote displays that other countries need the water and can put it to better use than Canada can. Canada is a nation that has always tried to help others and this opportunity would benefit both the United States and Canada.

The economic opportunities of these water diversion projects are endless. They have the potential to bring billions of dollars into the country and better the economy from what it is now. According to HRM Guide Canada, Canada has an unemployment rate of 7%. This whole new industry could lower that rate by providing thousands of jobs, if Canadians will just let it. The industry would have available jobs in bottling plants, construction of the pipelines, and loading tankers. The small town of Grande Le Pierre, 30 kilometres away from Gisbourne Lake has an unemployment rate of 40%. The whole of Newfoundland and Labrador can use this new industry as they have the highest rate of unemployment in Canada at 15.3%. This province would be greatly affected by the water schemes as the unemployment rate would no longer be so high, improving the Canadian economy. Revenue from this industry would be going to the government, thus it will lower the high tuition costs in all the participating provinces. These participating provinces would be Newfoundland and Labrador, British Columbia, Manitoba and even Ontario, just to start. Canada owes it to their students, to aid in investing in their futures and the future of this country. The Manitoba-based water diversion scheme alone would generate four billion dollars per year of net profit. This amount of money is equal to approximately half the provinces yearly budget. Dennis Owens says, It is enough money to make Manitoba a have rather than a have-not province related to others Manitoba could now have the potential to become just as industrialized and important as a province such as Ontario. The whole of Canada would benefit economically from water schemes.

Selling water to the United States would be possible, safe and would create numerous economic opportunities, which Canada can not afford to pass up. Canada has access to more fresh water than any other country, which the Canadian citizens will not use. Sharing this water with the United States, and getting something back in return, would be safe to the ecology and Canada will still have enough water for themselves. The water will always be waiting there, however the economic opportunity is one that would have to be taken advantage of now. The United States will not wait forever for Canada to make a decision. The Canadian government needs to act now!