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Written Questions (22 November 2006)

Written Questions

From Votes & Proceedings - 22 November 2006

Saskatchewan's Water Supply


Mr. Hart asked the Government the following Question No. 67, which was answered by the Hon. Mr. Nilson:

To the Minister of Environment:
(1) Is the provincial government aware of the study released on November 13, 2006 by the World Wildlife Federation Canada raising concerns about the impact of Alberta oil sands development on Saskatchewan’s water supply?
(2) If so, what action has the government taken to address the concerns raised about the sustainability of the water supply that flows to Saskatchewan through the Mackenzie River System?

Answer:
(1) Yes.
(2) In 1997, the Province signed the Mackenzie River Basin Transboundary Waters Master Agreement between the Governments of Canada, British Columbia, Alberta, Northwest Territories and Yukon to ensure the use of the water in the basin is sustainable in all jurisdictions. The Province is a member of the Mackenzie River Basin Board, which administers the Master Agreement.


Mr. Hart asked the Government the following Question No. 68, which was answered by the Hon. Mr. Nilson:

To the Minister of Environment:
(1) Has the provincial government raised the issue of ensuring a sustainable supply of water for Saskatchewan with the Government of Alberta?
(2) If so, what actions have been taken by the provincial government to ensure that Saskatchewan has access to a sustainable downstream of water supply from water sources flowing into Saskatchewan from Alberta?

Answer:
(1) Yes.
(2) The province is a member of the Prairie Provinces Water Board and Mackenzie River Basin Board, and through these Boards the province ensures quantity and quality objectives are fulfilled by Alberta.


Mr. Hart asked the Government the following Question No. 69, which was answered by the Hon. Mr. Nilson:

To the Minister of Environment:
Have the Government of Saskatchewan taken action to negotiate a binding water agreement to regulate trans-boundary usage of water from the Mackenzie River basin?

Answer:
Saskatchewan has discussed with Alberta the principles of a transboundary water management agreement and expect to initiate formal negotiations with Alberta within the next year.


Mr. Hart asked the Government the following Question No. 70, which was answered by the Hon. Mr. Nilson:

To the Minister of Environment:
Given the importance of a sustainable oil sands development for Saskatchewan and a sustainable water supply to develop our oil sands, what action is the provincial government taking to ensure the Saskatchewan’s oil sands are served by a sustainable water supply?

Answer:
The Government of Saskatchewan’s thorough regulatory framework, the ongoing monitoring and assessment of Saskatchewan’s water resources, and the recently announced water conservation plan ensure that projects, such as oil sands, are developed with the principle of sustainability.


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