MOOSE JAW, May 31, 2001 -- Western Premiers called on the federal government to establish, in consultation with provinces and territories, a national drinking water quality infrastructure program to address the need to update Canada's aging water infrastructure. Premiers emphasized that such a national program should build on the significant investments currently being made by western provinces and territories and be funded in a way that would ensure that the needs of Canadians living in rural and remote areas are met. Premiers also supported the work of the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) on water quality research and management, and urged CCME to accelerate this work.
Premiers agreed to build on their governments' work to share research and best practices regarding aquifer protection, the effect of agricultural diversification on water quality and storage practices, as well as indices of water quality and quantity.
Western Premiers also agreed to propose that the issue of drinking water quality and management be placed on the agenda for the Annual Premiers' Conference.
Note: Mr. Gordon Campbell, Premier-elect of British Columbia, attended the 2001 Western Premiers' Conference. However, in his current role as Premier-elect, Mr. Campbell was unable to give the official endorsement of the Province of British Columbia to the positions and commitments outlined in this Communiqué.