Ontario opposed to water diversion from Lake of the Woods to North Dakota

Archived Release

Ontario opposed to water diversion from Lake of the Woods to North Dakota

Province Shares Concerns Of Manitoba And Minnesota TORONTO, May 4 - The Ontario government is opposed to any diversion of water by pipeline from Lake of the Woods to North Dakota, Natural Resources Minister David Ramsay announced today. "While there has been no formal application for a diversion to North Dakota, the state has identified a pipeline from Lake of the Woods across Minnesota as one option to deal with future water shortages," said Ramsay. "I am very pleased that both Manitoba and Minnesota have voiced their opposition to such a proposal. Ontario shares their concerns." "Lake of the Woods is a transboundary water," said Environment Minister Leona Dombrowsky. "According to the Boundary Waters Treaty, it is therefore under the authority of the International Joint Commission, a binational organization. Ontario would oppose any proposal for such a diversion." North Dakota predicts that by 2050 there will be water shortages in the Red River Valley on the state's eastern border and is considering eight options to meet future water needs. One of the proposed options is a pipeline running west from Lake of the Woods to the Red River Valley. At first, the Lake of the Woods option was eliminated because it was thought to be too expensive. However, more recent estimates indicate that the cost would be comparable to other options being considered. "Premier Dalton McGuinty and I have been actively supporting the protection of waters near the Canada-U.S. border," said Ramsay. "Above all, the Ontario government wants to ensure the province's waters are available for future generations to enjoy." Disponible en fran├žais www.mnr.gov.on.caFor further information: Contacts: Media Calls Only: Ginette Albert, Minister's Office, (416) 314-2212; Steve Payne, Communications Services Branch, (416) 314-2103