The recent release of the 2023 Federal Budget has helped in the creation of a new agency that will help take care of Canada’s lakes and rivers.
The new Canada Water Agency is expected to be operational by the end of this year. This group has been developed to help fight back against droughts, flooding and deteriorating water quality.
The Agency will be able to act as a standalone organization, which will allow it to do its job more efficiently across the provinces and territories. It will help to coordinate action across the more than 20 other government groups that have water responsibilities.
The 2023 budget also includes an initial investment of $650 million over ten years to safeguard water in specific Canadian watersheds. This amount builds on the $420 million allocated to the protection and restoration of the Great Lakes that was announced during U.S. President Joe Biden’s visit last week. The additional $230 million will support monitoring, assessment, and restoration work in the following watersheds: Lake Winnipeg, Lake of the Woods, St. Lawrence River, Fraser River, Saint John River, Mackenzie River, and Lake Simcoe.
The Northwest Territories are home to over 40 different lakes, including two of the largest bodies of water in the country. Great Bear Lake and Great Slave lake rank among the top five largest lakes in Canada, at 31,328 km, and 28,568 km respectively. According to SpectacularNWT, those two lakes alone could provide everyone on earth with two centuries worth of clean drinking water.
“This is a historic development for the protection of Canada’s lakes, rivers, wetlands and aquifers,” said Nicole Trigg, Acting Government Liaison for Living Lakes Canada. “The global climate crisis is a water crisis. Canada holds 20% of the world’s freshwater. It’s encouraging to see the federal government show leadership in this way.”