Canadian Premiers Encourage Water Stewardship

March 13, 2011 – On the eve of Canada Water Week, Premiers are encouraging Canadians, businesses and institutions to work together to improve water stewardship and conservation.

Canada Water Week, which runs from March 14 to 22, is aimed at increasing awareness of water issues and initiatives in Canada. Under the Council of the Federation banner of “Celebrating and Conserving Water across Our Country,” provinces and territories are holding a number of events and activities to celebrate water, our healthy rivers and living lakes, and to draw attention to water’s importance to Canada’s prosperity.

Water is a natural resource that is an essential component of all life on earth and there is no substitute for water. “Our water and watersheds are vital to maintain healthy ecosystems, healthy communities and growing economies. We understand that watersheds do not follow national, provincial or territorial boundaries, and we are committed to work in partnership to ensure safe and secure water supplies for all Canadians,” said Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger, Chair of the Council of the Federation.

Canadians are leaders in the development of innovative new technologies and services to help address global water issues. Working together, Canadians must continue to improve water stewardship and reduce water hazards and risks, while leveraging existing strengths, increasing economic opportunities around stewardship and innovation, and positioning Canada as a global leader in the field.

Water is fundamental to the lives of all Canadians. Canada Water Week and World Water Day, on March 22, are opportunities to reinforce our collective obligation to be responsible water stewards for Canada and the world.

“We must continue our efforts to conserve water and to improve water quality. To reach these goals, we need the participation of citizens, businesses, stakeholders, as well as governments,” said Selinger.

Premiers approved the Council of the Federation Water Charter at their annual summer meeting in August 2010. The charter includes a commitment by Premiers to take all timely measures in their respective jurisdictions and, when appropriate, to work together to:

  • Reinforce water conservation, water quality and adaptation to water-related aspects of climate change
  • Make water use more efficient
  • Work to encourage the development of a Canada-wide water efficiency labeling program
  • Increase water monitoring efforts
  • Work with municipalities to ensure they have plans to deal with water-related emergencies
  • Encourage Canadians and Canadian companies to be leaders in new technologies
  • Work to make World Water Day a national event
  • Collaborate on trans-boundary issues.