Water without Borders?: Canada, the United States, and Shared Waters

Water without Borders?: Canada, the United States, and Shared Waters

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Edited by Emma S. Norman, Alice Cohen, and Karen Bakker
University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division © 2013
World Rights
296 Pages
ISBN 9781442612372
Published Sep 2013
Online discount: 25%
 $33.95    $25.46
ISBN 9781442643932
Published Sep 2013
Online discount: 25%
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ebook (EPUB format)
ISBN 9781442698208
Published Oct 2013
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Since 1909, the waters along the Canada-US border have been governed in accordance with the Boundary Water Treaty, but much has changed in the last 100 years. This engaging volume brings together experts from both sides of the border to examine the changing relationship between Canada and the US with respect to shared waters, as well as the implications of these changes for geopolitics and the environment. Water without Borders? is a timely publication given the increased attention to shared water issues, and particularly because 2013 is the United Nations International Year of Water Cooperation.

Water without Borders? is designed to help readers develop a balanced understanding of the most pressing shared water issues between Canada and the United States. The contributors explore possible frictions between governance institutions and contemporary management issues, illustrated through analyses of five specific transboundary water “flashpoints.” The volume offers both a historical survey of transboundary governance mechanisms and a forward-looking assessment of new models of governance that will allow us to manage water wisely in the future.

Emma S. Norman is an assistant professor of Geography at Michigan Technological University.

Alice Cohen is an assistant professor of Environmental Science and Environment and Sustainability Studies at Acadia University.

Karen Bakker is Canada Research Chair in Political Ecology, director of the Program on Water Governance, and a professor in the Department of Geography at the University of British Columbia.
  1. Introduction



  1. Indigenous Peoples and Water: Governing Across Borders - Merrell-Ann S. Phare (lawyer and the founding Executive Director of the Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources, a national First Nation charitable environmental organisation)
  2. Rise of the Local? Delegation and Devolution in Transboundary Water Governance - Emma S. Norman (Northwest Indian College, Geography) and Karen Bakker (University of British Columbia, Geography)
  3. The IJC and Transboundary Water Disputes: Past, Present, and Future - Murray Clamen (McGill University, Bisource Engineering)
  4. Continental Bulk Water Transfers: Chimera or Real Possibility? - Frédéric Lasserre (Université du Québec, Geography)
  5. Key Challenges in Canada-U.S. Water Governance - Ralph Pentland (Chair of Canadian Water Issues Council)



  1. The Columbia River Treaty - John Shurts (General Counsel of Northwest Power and Conservation Council) and Richard Paisley (University of British Columbia, Fisheries Centre)
  2. Apportionment of the St. Mary and Milk Rivers - Nigel Bankes (University of Calgary, Natural Resource Law) and Elizabeth Bourget (Enivronmental and Water Resources Institute)
  3. Devils Lake and Red River Basin - Norman Brandson (former Deputy Minister of the department of the Environment, Conservation and Water Stewardship with the government of Manitoba) and Robert Hearne (North Dakota State University, Agribusiness and Applied Economics)
  4. The Transboundary Flathead Basin - Harvey Locke (Vice President for Conservation Strategy with The WILD Foundation and Strategic Adviser for the Yellowstone to Yukon Initiative) and Matthew McKinney (Director of the Centre for Natural Resources and Environmental Policy at the University of Montana)
  5. The Great Lakes: A Model of Transboundary Cooperation - Jamie Linton (Queen's University, Geography) and Noah Hall (Wayne State University Law School)


  1. Conclusion - Alice Cohen (Clark University, Geography), Emma S. Norman (Michigan Technological University, Social Sciences, Environmental and Energy Program), and Karen Bakker (University of British Columbia, Geography, Canada Research Chair in Political Ecology, director of the Program on Water Governance)

"Water Without Borders? is a unique and indispensable read for both American and Canadian defenders of the right to swimmable, drinkable, fishable water. The rules that govern the relationship between Canada and the United States as it relates to shared water resources will predict the success or failure of any law enacted alone."

Mark Mattson, President of Lake Ontario Waterkeeper and co-founder of the National Water Centre

“This is an important book that could potentially directly influence public policy with respect to water in Canada for decades to come.”

Robert Sandford, EPCOR Chair, Canadian Partnership Initiative, United Nations Water for Life Decade;

‘A nauanced presentation of perspectives from both sides of the border… This book illustrates the fascinating and dynamic nature of the past and present of trans-border water management.’

Meg Stanley, BC Studies vol 185 spring 2015