U.S. Senator Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) and Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger said Friday that a second round of four-party talks between U.S. and Canadian officials will be held on Monday, November 22 in Washington, D.C. to address several long-standing water policy differences. Monday's meeting will serve as a follow-up discussion to the first-ever four-party water talks held in early October.
Expected participants will include Senator Dorgan, Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger, Canadian Ambassador to the U.S. Gary Doer, U.S. Ambassador to Canada David Jacobson, North Dakota Governor John Hoeven, Senator Kent Conrad and Congressman Earl Pomeroy. The talks will be hosted by Ambassador Doer at the Canadian Embassy.
Since all parties first met in early October, they have been engaged in ongoing and productive discussions. Work has focused on the quantity and quality of water removed from Devils Lake, the Northwest Area Water Supply project, basin-wide nutrient management, and finding ways to reduce flooding along the border between Manitoba and Pembina County.
"Next week's meeting will be an important opportunity to continue the search for reasonable solutions to a number of issues have been the subject of disagreement for years or even decades," Dorgan said. "I know these issues are complex, but I am hopeful that these discussions will move us closer to some resolution. It is in the interests of both countries to solve these problems, and the willingness of all of the parties to remain engaged in these conversations is encouraging."
"Manitobans and North Dakotans have much in common and I believe we can find common sense solutions by working together," said Selinger. "I look forward to this follow up meeting to continue our productive dialogue toward a mutually agreeable water management plan going forward."