Canada announces funding to study Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River water flows

As part of a joint project with the United States, Canada's Ministry of the Environment has announced it will give $3.7 million to the International Joint Commission for a water flow study in Lake Ontario and part of the St. Lawrence River.

Jan. 3, 2001—As part of a joint project with the United States, Canada's Ministry of the Environment has announced it will give $3.7 million to the International Joint Commission for a water flow study in Lake Ontario and part of the St. Lawrence River.

John Manley, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and David Anderson, Minister of the Environment, announced the $3.7 million in funding for the International Joint Commission's (IJC) first year of the five-year study.

The study will review water levels and flows regulation in Lake Ontario and the international section of the St. Lawrence River. Matching funds have also been provided by the United States.

"Water levels play a key role in the life of Canadian communities and business interests along Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence," said Minister Manley. "The funding announced today clearly demonstrates that Canada is committed, along with the United States, to addressing water levels and flows through the International Joint Commission study."

Changes have occurred in the Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River system since the IJC first developed outflow regulation in 1952. A number of key Canadian economic, social and environmental interests are directly affected by water levels along this system, including wetlands and riparian habitats, hydro-electric power generation, recreational boating, municipal water uses and shipping.

"Canadians know the value of our water resources," said Minister Anderson. "This investigation by the International Joint Commission will help provide a basis for more sustainable management of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. The Commission's recommendations will help ensure this unique waterway is protected in the future."

The IJC was established by the 1909 Boundary Waters Treaty as an independent binational body to prevent and resolve transboundary disputes between Canada and the United States concerning water and environmental issues. The IJC is composed of three commissioners appointed by the Prime Minister and three appointed by the President of the United States.

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