The Polaris Institute today released a new report on bulk water exports called “Turning on Canada’s Tap” prepared by Tony Clarke, executive director of the think tank, that outlines why Canada needs a comprehensive policy and strategy now on bulk water exports to the United States, as demand increases south of the border.The report says that although Prime Minister Stephen Harper promised in his October 2007 throne speech that his government would bring forth a national water strategy, the February 2008 budget contained no provisions for such a strategy.

The report says almost 80 per cent of the U.S. population lives in cities “and the watersheds of the American city are depleting.” It adds that, according to the Urban Water Council, 24 per cent of America’s medium-sized cities and 17.3 per cent of its large cities expect to see “serious water shortages by 2015.”

The report recommends the government:

  • Rebuild Canada’s water protection capacities
  • Establish a federal ban on bulk water exports
  • Remove water protection restrictions in trade regimes
  • Utilize bi-national water treaty mechanisms
  • Implement bold water conservation measures

To read the full report, visit


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