Shared Waters | Shared Responsibility:
Working Across Borders to Protect and Restore 
Lake Winnipeg 
and the Red River Basin

Thursday, December 13, 2012      8:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.


The Consulate General of Canada, in partnership with the University of Minnesota, the Freshwater Society, Environment Canada, and the Province of Manitoba, invites you to a forum on regional transboundary waters.


Lake Winnipeg has been called "Canada's #1 water hot spot."  A downstream recipient of waters flowing throughout the Lake Winnipeg watershed, which covers portions of four provinces and four states, including Minnesota, Lake Winnipeg serves as a "canary in the coal mine" for the overall health of water within the enormous watershed.  At this time, the lake - the world's 10th largest - faces a number of serious challenges, including: algal blooms and depleted oxygen levels due to excessive nutrient loading; the introduction of aquatic invasive species and contaminants of emerging concern; and the effects of climate change. 

These challenges are not limited to Lake Winnipeg and Canadian waters. Minnesota water bodies in the Red River Basin, including the northward-flowing Red River, are facing similar pressures. Efforts to protect and restore the health of our shared waters require leadership and action from both sides of the international border. 

This half-day forum on December 13, 2012 at the University of Minnesota's Humphrey School of Public Affairs is for scientists, researchers, teachers, students, policy makers, officials, and anyone interested in learning more about efforts to improve the health of waters within the Red River Basin and Lake Winnipeg Watershed.  

Event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Stay tuned for more information on speakers and sessions by visiting this page.


As seating for the luncheon is limited and filling fast, please register before Tuesday, December 11th.

Register Now! 

Agenda (as of December 11, 2012)

Registration and Refreshments
8:00-8:30 a.m.  

Welcoming Remarks
8:30-8:45 a.m.  

Jamshed Merchant, Consul General, Consulate General of Canada
Dr. Deb SwackhamerProfessor, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, and Co-Chair, Water Resources Center, University of Minnesota

Panel 1: Connections: Minnesota, Manitoba, and the Red River Basin
8:50-9:20 a.m.  

Exploring the historical, geological, and sociopolitical characteristics which link Minnesota's and Manitoba's waters.

Dr. Harvey Thorleifson, Director, Minnesota Geological Survey; Professor, University of Minnesota

Karla Zubrycki, Project Officer, International Institute for Sustainable Development 
Moderator:  The Hon. Gene Merriam, President, Freshwater Society 

Panel 2: Threatened Waters: The Challenges Facing Lakes and Rivers in the Red River Basin
9:25-9:55 a.m.
Examining the water quality threats facing Minnesota's and Manitoba's waters within the basin, including: invasive species; nutrients; contaminants of emerging concern; and climate change. 

Rebecca Flood, Assistant Commissioner, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency 
Dr. Greg McCullough, Professor, University of Manitoba
Moderator:  The Hon. Steve Kelley, Senior Fellow, Director of Center for Science, Technology, and Public Policy, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota

Networking Break
9:55-10:15 a.m. 

Keynote Remarks: Challenges for the Red River and Lake Winnipeg Basin - A Water Security Perspective
10:20-10:55 a.m.  

Dr. Howard Wheater, Professor and Canada Excellence Research Chair in Water Security, University of Saskatchewan
Introduced by: Tim Cipullo, Consul and Principal Officer, U.S. Consulate, Winnipeg

Panel 3: Looking Forward: Turning Challenges Into Opportunities

11:00 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
A moderated discussion highlighting programs or initiatives, including through policy advancement or research and innovation, which could offer solutions to the water quality challenges in the region.

The Hon. Gord Mackintosh, Minister, Province of Manitoba, Ministry of Conservation and Water Stewardship
Colonel Michael Price, Commander, US Army Corps of Engineers (St. Paul District); and Co-chair, International Red River Board
Mike Norton, Associate Regional Director General, Environment Canada
Matthew Wohlman, Assistant Commissioner, Minnesota Department of Agriculture
David Glatt, Section Chief, North Dakota Department of Health, Environmental Health Section
Lance Yohe, Executive Director, Red River Basin Commission 

Moderator: The Hon. Lana Pollack, U.S. Chair, International Joint Commission 

12:20-2:00 p.m.

Keynote Address by The Honourable Greg Selinger, Premier of Manitoba 
Concluding Remarks - Perspectives on Moving Forward by Dr. Deb Swackhamer, Professor, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, and Co-Chair, Water Resources Center, University of Minnesota


Event is free and open to the public, but advance registration is required. Please sign up before December 11th to ensure your space.

Register Now! 


Thursday December 13, 2012 from 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM CST
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Cowles Auditorium
301 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Driving Directions 


Joel Wessman or Erica McDougall
Consulate General of Canada