On Thursday, the Government of Canada announced the launch of public consultations to help establish the new Canada Water Agency and improve freshwater management across Canada.

The Canada Water Agency will be established in close collaboration with provinces, territories, Indigenous Peoples, and other partners.

"Canadians know the importance of protecting our natural bounty of lakes, rivers, and other freshwater systems," said Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. "Farmers need a reliable supply of quality fresh water to produce high-quality food for our country and for export around the world. This agency will be designed to complement and work in collaboration with initiatives already underway at the provincial, territorial, and local levels. We encourage Canadians and agricultural stakeholders to make their voices heard as part of these important consultations."

The discussion paper launched Thursday seeks Canadians' input to help identify freshwater priorities for the federal government and build on the federal government's existing activities to enhance freshwater management, while avoiding duplication and respecting areas of provincial and territorial jurisdiction.

The Government of Canada will host a virtual national freshwater policy forum in January and a series of regional forums in February to provide further opportunities for Canadians to participate in discussion-paper consultations.

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