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Times/locations for IJC public hearings on water use

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 below.

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 export.

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    Secretary, United States Section
100 Metcalfe Street, 18th Floor   1250 23rd Street NW, Suite 100
Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5M1    Washington, DC 20440
Fax 613.993.5583
Fax 202.736.9015
Email Commission@ottawa.ijc.org
Email Commission@washington.ijc.org

The Commission also intends to hold workshops in the eastern and western
portions of the boundary region to obtain advice on the questions posed by
governments, particularly as they might apply to the broader issue of
Canada-U.S. shared waters outside the Great Lakes basin.

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

Posted on behalf of Jill Eynon <EynonJ@WASHINGTON.IJC.ORG>