Manitoba's push for an international review of the Devils Lake water diversion project in North Dakota has received backing from the eight U.S. states comprising the Great Lakes Commission.
The commission chairman has called on outgoing U.S. secretary of state Colin Powell to echo Canada's request that the water dispute be referred to the International Joint Commission (IJC), according to a report in the Winnipeg Free Press. The joint commission is an independent body that resolves trans-border water issues.
The Great Lakes representatives caution that potential environmental effects need to be fully considered by the IJC.
For nearly a year, Canada and Manitoba have been waiting for the United States to agree to review a proposal to create an outlet for Devils Lake in North Dakota.
Officials in Manitoba fear such a diversion would carry polluted water into the province via the Red River.