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IJC to hold public hearings on uses, diversions and bulk exports of Great Lakes water





For Release: February 22, 1999

IJC to hold public hearings on uses, diversions

and bulk exports of Great Lakes water

The International Joint Commission (IJC) will begin a major
investigation of how Canada and the United States use the waters along
their common border by holding public hearings in eight cities on the
Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River. Times and locations are provided

On February 10, the United States and Canadian federal governments asked
the IJC to examine and report on the consumption, diversion and removal
of waters along the common border, including removals in bulk for

The request from governments comes in the wake of proposals to export
water overseas from Canada and litigation involving the export of water
from Canada to the United States. Both governments are concerned that
existing management principles and conservation measures may be
inadequate to ensure future sustainable use of shared waters.

The need to review the management and use of transboundary water
resources was raised by the IJC in a 1997 report entitled The IJC and
the 21st Century. The IJC said such a review is needed to ensure that
water and related resources are managed in a rational, consistent and
anticipatory way to prevent transboundary disputes. In their letters of
reference to the IJC for the new investigation, the governments repeat
the concern that proposals to use, divert and remove greater amounts of
such waters can be expected.

The request from the governments asks the IJC to examine, report upon
and provide recommendations on the following matters which may have
effects on levels and flows of water within transboundary basins and
shared aquifers:

1.	Existing and potential consumptive uses of water;
2.	Existing and potential diversions of water in and out of the
transboundary basins, including withdrawals of water for export;
3.	The cumulative effects of existing and potential diversions and
removals of water, including removals in bulk for export;
4.	The current laws and policies as may affect the sustainability
of the water resources in boundary and transboundary basins. 

The governments have asked the IJC to build on its experience, notably
its study of Great Lakes diversions and consumptive uses that concluded
in 1985, and to submit interim recommendations for the protection of
Great Lakes waters within six months. A final report making
recommendations on the broader issue of U.S.-Canada shared waters is
requested within six months of the interim recommendations.

The eight public hearings will be held from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. on
the dates and at the locations listed below:


March 17, 1999


Wyndham Cleveland Hotel

Ballroom Level

1260 Euclid Avenue

Cleveland, Ohio


March 17, 1999


Marriott Château Champlain

Caf=Conc= Room

1 Place du Canada

Montréal, Québec


March 18, 1999


Palmer House Hilton

Wabash Room

17 East Monroe Street

Chicago, Illinois


March 18, 1999


Crowne Plaza Hotel

Ballroom A

225 Front Street West

Toronto, Ontario


March 22, 1999

Sault Ste. Marie (ON)

Ramada Inn & Convention Centre

Centre Ballroom

229 Great Northern Road

Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario


March 23, 1999


The Cleary International Centre

Room Dieppe A

201 Riverside Drive West

Windsor, Ontario


March 24, 1999


Radisson Hotel Duluth Harborview

Great Hall

505 West Superior Street

Duluth, Minnesota


March 25, 1999

Rochester (NY)

Marriott-Rochester Airport

1890 West Ridge Road

Salon A

Rochester, New York



All interested persons and organizations are encouraged to submit
comment. Due to time constraints, speakers may only have the opportunity
to summarize their comments (five minutes) during the public hearing.
Written comment may also be submitted at the public hearings, or the the
IJC offices during the course of this investigation: 

 Secretary, Canadian Section

100 Metcalfe Street, 18th Floor 

Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5M1  

 Fax 613.993.5583  

 Email Commission@ottawa.ijc.org 


 Secretary, United States Section

1250 23rd Street NW, Suite 100

Washington, DC 20440

Fax 202.736.9015

Email Commission@washington.ijc.org

The International Joint Commission is a binational Canada-U.S.
organization established by the Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909. It
assists the governments in managing waters along the border for the
benefit of both countries in a variety of ways including examining
issues referred to it by the two federal governments.

More information, including the full text of the letter of reference,
may be found on the Commission=s web site, at  www.ijc.org.


 Washington, D.C. Frank Bevacqua 202.736.9024

Ottawa, ON Fabien Lengellé 613.995.0088