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Premiers United in Need to Protect Fresh Water Supplies

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Canadian premiers are united in the need to protect the country's vast fresh water supplies.

At the annual Council of the Federation meeting in Winnipeg, the 13 provincial and territorial premiers signed a pan-Canadian water charter that pledges to safeguard and better conserve the resource.

The political leaders noted Canada is ranked second highest among OECD countries for per capita water consumption.

The agreement- modelled after a similar pact signed by the western premiers in June – commits provinces to education programs that encourage individuals, businesses and governments to conserve.

They also vowed to create a Canada-wide water efficiency labelling program.

"(Water) is a huge economic and environmental strength for Canada if we manage it properly," said British Columbia premier Gordon Campbell. "W are rich in water in Canada, but we can't waste water."

Canada's premiers want to "make sure good, clean potable water gets to communities across Canada," said Ed Stelmach, of Alberta.

The charter highlights that strengthening water standards "can have both environmental and economic benefits, and is essential to a healthy secure and prosperous Canada."

Dalton McGuinty of Ontario noted that water technologies and services is a $400 billion global market as countries face water shortages. Canada, he said, can cash in on it if governments collectively pursue new technologies that increase conservation and quality.

Source: Calgary Herald

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