Last Updated: Friday, October 26, 2007 | 11:33 PM ET
The federal government should move to protect Canada's fresh water, a report by a group organized by an environmental lobby says.
Government action to protect fresh water has been "sorely lacking" for 20 years as the pressure on fresh water — from pollution, climate change, drought in Western Canada and falling levels in the Great Lakes — are increasing, the report said.
Changing the Flow: A Blueprint for Federal Action on Freshwater was released by the Gordon Water Group, organized by the Sierra Club, on Friday.
Among other recommendations, the report said the federal government should:
- Tighten legal loopholes to prevent bulk water exports.
- Promote water conservation.
- Create a national freshwater strategy, and allocate money to support it.
- Respect aboriginal water rights and improve the enforcement of laws governing water systems.
- Develop a national water inventory and maps of major aquifers.
In the Oct. 16 throne speech, the government said it would introduce a new water strategy "to help clean up our major lakes and oceans and to improve access to safe drinking water for First Nations."
All the federal parties have made commitments to a freshwater policy, the Gordon report said.
"It is critical that all parties co-operate to quickly develop and implement a comprehensive freshwater action plan," it said in a release.