January 19th, 2020

Even selling ‘just’ water to the U.S. has a host of potential problems

By Letter to the Editor on September 11, 2019.

Re: Compelling case for selling water to the U.S.,” Aug. 14

I read Brian Giesbrecht’s guest column and quite enjoyed it but am compelled to reply, for what it’s worth.

I agree that “Whole lakes are shipped in every direction by means of our vast and efficient agricultural system. And the world is a better place because of it.” You are right that water shipped abroad in this products returns to the environment and is naturally dispersed globally.

But the water we ship now is contained in something or with something else. That’s good economics. Besides this value-added angle there is the question of who exactly owns the water. Shall we sell the air next? Water is a life essential, not a commodity. Even if we were ever foolish enough to water exports, how much would we sell this life essential for? Who gets the money? Who makes the deal? The governments, maybe?

Water exports would also cost us more of our national sovereignty. It’s not anti-American but pro-Canadian to say so.

If we build a pipeline or diversion system to sell just water to the U.S., we also lose our right to say “no.” What is that worth?

I’ve seen pictures and video of where the Colorado River once flowed into the Sea of Cortez. It doesn’t anymore because it’s all used before it gets to the delta. If I was Mexican I would have some concerns.

The U.S. government, unfortunately, plays only one game – hardball – and it plays to win. If we sell “just” our water to the U.S. we will never be able to change outr minds without war.

I propose we sell the Americans all the water they want, in glass bottles made in Medicine Hat. How’s that for hardball?

My wife recently bought two California apples for $6. If we sell “just” our water to the States I don’t see apple prices dropping.

Giesbrecht’s column ends with “And our water – our blue gold – can make us rich.” Even if all he wrote came true, you can’t drink gold.

Leath Johnston

Medicine Hat

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