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Published November 09, 2009, 08:43 AM

Manitoba: Take Devils Lake Dispute to IJC

Manitoba officials are pressing their federal government to take the latest disagreement with North Dakota over Devils Lake floodwaters to an international group that referees water disputes.

Manitoba officials are pressing their federal government to take the latest disagreement with North Dakota over Devils Lake floodwaters to an international group that referees water disputes.

North Dakota would have to agree to take the dispute to the International Joint Commission, and that does not appear likely.

The state Health Department has been allowing the release of more Devils Lake floodwaters into the Sheyenne River, which flows into the north-flowing Red River. Health officials might make the change permanent, and Manitoba officials fear that could harm their water quality.

Dwight Williamson with the Manitoba Department of Water Stewardship says provincial officials want to seek a review before the IJC, which investigates water disputes along the border. The commission will study a project only if both sides agree.

Dave Glatt, the state Health Department's environmental chief, says any such request would be met with skepticism.

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