Approvisionnements transfrontaliers locaux en eau potable entre le Canada et les États-Unis : reconsidérations sur le thème de transfert d'eau

Authors: Forest, Patrick
Advisor: Lasserre, FrédéricOuellet, Richard
Abstract: While studies within international fields are often dedicated to understanding the nature of interstate relationships, this research is devoted to the interlocal scale. In the shadow of hypothetical, continental water transfers, there exist transboundary local freshwater supplies, or water adductions apportioned to supply water between twin communities located along the border between Canada and the United States. These constitute the only contemporary, bulk water transfers between the two countries. A better understanding of this phenomenon is needed in the absence of any in-depth studies focusing on these local water transfers. This dissertation is organized around two main research questions: How are these transfers spatially organized ? What are the legal characteristics and consequences of these transfers within the context of NAFTA ? The first chapter begins by introducing the normative-institutional frame of the study, which is both international in scope and interdisciplinary, bringing together geography and law. The conceptual frame of this research and its contribution to the study of water transfers, water scarcity as social construction, and the concept of hydrosocial cycle comprise the second chapter. The third chapter explores the methodology located at the interface between geography and law. It includes an exhaustive survey of local transboundary water supplies, an analysis of legal documents, case studies, fieldwork, and semi-structured interviews. The results of this research are presented in the fourth chapter and divided into four sections. The first section represents a database describing the eleven local transboundary water supplies surveyed, followed by an in-depth analysis of three case studies. The third section relates to the hydrosocial cycle and the contribution of the geo-legal perspective while the fourth builds upon local and national actors’ perceptions. The fifth chapter explores the legal consequences of these transfers for Canada, arguing that these transfers do not constitute any potential threat for Canada within the context of NAFTA. The final chapter elucidates what a public policy of local transboundary water supplies could look like if public authorities (i.e. federal and provincial governments) chose to assert more control over these transfers.
Document Type: Thèse de doctorat
Issue Date: 2009
Open Access Date: 16 April 2018
Grantor: Université Laval
Collection:Thèses et mémoires

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