BGSU symposium to weigh Canadian water governance

BOWLING GREEN, O.—A 2003 report by the U.S. General Accounting Office on future water availability and use noted that water managers in 36 states expected either local, regional or statewide water shortages by 2013. The declining stock of freshwater could raise the possibility of U.S.-Canadian conflict, given that almost 9 percent of Canada’s landmass is covered by freshwater.

Is water abundant or scarce? Is it a resource or a commodity? How shall policy-makers and planners govern water? What are the lessons that the U.S. and Canada can learn from each other? These and other questions will be explored by three experts “Charting Canada’s Freshwater Governance”—the title of Bowling Green State University’s 22nd annual Reddin Symposium, set for 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday (Jan. 17) in 101 Olscamp Hall.

Discussing the political challenges and cultural importance of freshwater resources in Canada will be:
• Rob de Loë, University Research Chair in water policy governance at the University of Waterloo, Ontario. He will present concerns and policy developments regarding water management at the regional level and discuss the prospects of a national water policy in Canada.

• Peter Annin, an environmental journalist based in Madison, Wis. An authority on Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway stewardship, he is the author of “The Great Lakes Water Wars.” He will discuss Great Lakes bilateral governance issues such as the recently concluded compact and the future of water diversions.

• Andrew Biro, Canada Research Chair in political ecology and environmental political theory at Acadia University in Nova Scotia. He will discuss the link between Canadian identity and water, along with other cultural aspects of water governance in the U.S.-Canada context.

Hosted by BGSU’s Canadian Studies Center, the symposium is free, although advance reservations are required. To make reservations, call Anita Serda at the Canadian Studies Center at 419-372-2457, email cast@bgsu.edu or register online at www.bgsu.edu/cast.

The Reddin Symposium is made possible through private donations and endowment support originated by the Reddin family of Bowling Green and the BGSU College of Arts and Sciences, with assistance from the government of Canada.

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(Posted January 12, 2009 )