The Columbia River Treaty Essay Research Paper — страница 2

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industry. Two huge industries, that would be deeply affected. The concern for the fishing industry probably outweighed the logging industry with concerns, from environmentalists and fishermen, alike. The fish would be unable to go to their spawning grounds, upsetting the environmentalists and fishermen feared that they would be unemployed. The Columbia River was essential to the logging industry; they used the river to transport their logs to mills. To many people it seemed they would be drowned out-largely, it appeared to them, for the benefit of the United States. They mobilized for action to stop this, but all to no avail. The government upheld the treaty and built the dam that created a lake, that flooded their valleys. This tenacious but unsuccessful battle with the

Provincial and Federal Government exposed the short-term, shortsighted planning that the Canadian people ended up with. Francis Bartholomew, a professional consultant who had been hired by the people opposing the building of the dam(s), supported the farmers’ viewpoint. Those opposing the building of the dam believed that the government (federal and provincial) did not appreciate the value of this most precious resource: fresh, flowing water. They did not consider the value of giving away control of the water and the value of the actual water usage. How much is this worth? Since this treaty, for over thirty years now, a large Canadian corporation has been regulating much of the flow of the Kootenay River to American advantage, without any reward. Therefore, the monies given to

the Canadian government is returned indirectly to the Americans through flood control. More recently, we have given away half of the flow of that river, and have sold for a lot of money, the Arrow Lakes valley to the United States. There is an even greater danger that we will continue to make the same mistakes with our other waters, including the Great Lakes River systems. Why is all this water so important to the United States? The Committee on Western Water Development presented this report to the United States Senate, during the years of the treaty feasibility studies: “Man’s dependency on an adequate supply of fresh water is an indisputable fact. It is equally a fact that there is an insufficiency of such water and that is insufficiency has been particularly felt in the

western United States. Many efforts have been and are continuing to be made to solve the problem of limited water supply, and although great strides have been achieved, so great is the problem and so important its solution that it now has become imperative that consideration be given to what at one time seemed unachievable proposals. The time has passed during which this problem can be solved through traditionally local or piecemeal approaches. The solution must equal in magnitude the problem. It is for this reason that a concept advanced by the Ralph M. Parsons Co., engineers-constructors to Los Angeles, to divert runoff waters of Alaskan and Canadian rivers through tunnels, reservoirs, and lifts to water-parched areas of North America demanded attention….” (Waterfield, pg.

206). The water was engineered to run in man-made channels, re-routed into arid regions in the U.S., turning desert areas into green gardens of fruit and vegetables. New population settled and prospered in the regions where none could live before. Without this valuable water all these regions would not be in existence. That is why, even a small payment of $5.00 to $10.00 foot/acre would have been a fair payment for the Canadian water that gave the U.S. an estimated gain of $100.00 foot/acre. That is why Donald Waterfield wrote in his book Continental Waterboy, to illustrate the extreme value of our water and how we were being exploited because we can see no need for all the water we currently have: ” The lesson to be learned from Columbia is obvious and simple-beware of Greeks

bearing gifts. Those seven billion kWh were too glittering to be resisted, and NAWAPA’s (North American Water and Power Alliance) billions of dollars will sparkle even more brilliantly and hypnotically…There were already plans on American drawing boards for watering the United States with northern streams before acceptance by Canada of Libby’s pool… It was entirely logical to assume that, if Canadians were willing to give the Americans Kootney’s water, they would surely be even keener to sell flows from other rivers. It is suggested, therefore, and it is urged that Canada formulate and publish a clear policy with respect to water and its export.” (Waterfield, Pg. 214) In conclusion, I believe, our government handled this event very badly. Would we react the same way