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Navigating bordered geographies : water governance along the Canada - United States border Norman, Emma Spenner 2009

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NAVIGATING BORDERED GEOGRAPHIES: WATER GOVERNANCE ALONG THE CANADA - UNITED STATES BORDER by EMMA SPENNER NORMAN  B.A., Colby College, 1995 M.S., Western Washington University, 2001  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Geography)  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver) MARCH 2009 ©Emma Spenner Norman, 2009  ABSTRACT This thesis investigates the rescaling of transboundary water governance across the Canada – U.S. border, focusing on three regional case studies: the Shared Waters Alliance, the Salish Sea Aboriginal Council, and the International Joint Commission Watershed Initiative. The case studies employ qualitative data drawn from interviews, participant observation, and quantitative data drawn from a comprehensive dataset that I created on transboundary water governance mechanisms over the period 1910 to the present. The analysis of the empirical material outlined above enables me to intervene in current debates over scale, governance, and borders, through mobilizing three bodies of literature: environmental governance, the politics of scale, and the social construction of borders. The resulting theoretical framework – which focuses on the rescaling of environmental governance within borderlands – contains three key conceptual claims. First, I argue that studying environmental governance at the site of the border helps to move discussions beyond a nation-state framework – challenging what Agnew refers to as the territorial trap. This is important given the nation-state focus of a significant proportion of the literature on environmental governance, an obvious over-sight considering the tendency of environmental issues (such as air and water pollution) to transcend national borders. Secondly, I argue that drawing on the “politics of scale” literature can offer new insights into processes of rescaling of environmental governance, specifically through interrogating local governance capacity in the context of devolution of environmental governance. In particular, my analysis challenges (often implicit) assumptions regarding the capacity of local actors to participate effectively in multi-scalar governance processes.  ii  Third, I argue that closer attention to borders can help refine critical assessments of transboundary environmental governance. Specifically, I suggest that all borders (even seemingly “natural” ones) are part of cultural construction and wider politics of power that help define and redefine the landscape. Pursuant to this, I explore how discursive (oftenjingoistic) strategies are deployed to entrench borders – both physically and discursively. Understanding transboundary governance of water, in other words, requires close attention to the cultural politics of the border.  iii  TABLE OF CONTENTS ABSTRACT.............................................................................................................................. ii TABLE OF CONTENTS......................................................................................................... iv LIST OF TABLES................................................................................................................... ix LIST OF FIGURES .................................................................................................................. x ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS..................................................................................................... xi DEDICATION....................................................................................................................... xiii CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION...................................................................................... 1 1.1 Overview and Context ................................................................................................... 1 1.1.2 Setting the Scene: A Parable of Discovery ............................................................. 4 1.2 Thesis Project................................................................................................................. 6 1.2.1 Rescaling Transboundary Governance ................................................................... 6 1.2.2 Environmental Governance and Local Actors........................................................ 7 1.2.3 Social Construction of Borders............................................................................... 9 1.2.4 Asymmetrical Governance Structures ................................................................... 11 1.2.4.1 Canada............................................................................................................. 11 1.2.4.2 The United States............................................................................................ 13 1.3 Study Area ................................................................................................................... 14 1.4 The Art of Data Collection .......................................................................................... 18 1.4.1 Methods................................................................................................................. 19 1.4.2 Database................................................................................................................ 20 1.4.3 Interviews.............................................................................................................. 22 1.4.4 Participant - Observation ...................................................................................... 24 1.4.5 Symposium ........................................................................................................... 25 1.5 Thesis Description and Outline.................................................................................... 27 1.5.1 Outline of Thesis................................................................................................... 28 1.6 Contributions................................................................................................................ 32 CHAPTER TWO: CONCEPTUAL APPROACH ................................................................ 35 2.1 Introduction.................................................................................................................. 35 2.2 Environmental Governance ......................................................................................... 37 2.2.1 Sovereignty and Global Governance .................................................................... 37 2.2.2 Regime Approach ................................................................................................. 38 2.2.3 Non-State Approaches to Governance.................................................................. 41 2.2.3.1 Common Pool Resources ............................................................................... 43 2.2.4 Civil Society and International Environmental Governance ................................ 45 2.3 Politics of Scale............................................................................................................ 49 2.3.1 Rescaling Transboundary Water Governance in the Borderlands ........................ 50  iv  2.3.2 The Rise of Local Water Governance: The Local Trap........................................ 52 2.3.2.1 Challenging the Fixed and Territorially Bounded World .............................. 56 2.4 Social Construction of Borders.................................................................................... 59 2.4.1 B/ordering Landscapes.......................................................................................... 60 2.4.1.1 “Natural”, Bona Fide, and Fiat Borders ........................................................ 63 2.4.2 Borders and Nationalism....................................................................................... 64 2.4.3 B/ordered Spaces and Power Geometries ............................................................. 66 2.4.4 Borderland Approach............................................................................................ 67 2.4.5 Borders and Power: Whose Border?..................................................................... 69 2.5 Conclusion ................................................................................................................... 72 CHAPTER THREE: MANDATES AND MODALITIES OF TRANSBOUNDARY COOPERATIVE MECHANISMS ......................................................................................... 75 3.1 Introduction.................................................................................................................. 75 3.2 Creating the Boundary Waters Treaty (1909).............................................................. 77 3.3 International Joint Commission ................................................................................... 82 3.3.2 Boards ................................................................................................................... 83 3.3.3 Adapting to a Socio-political Change: Declining Role of References ................. 86 3.3.3.4 Why Decline in References?.......................................................................... 87 3.3.4 IJC Capacity.......................................................................................................... 90 3.3.5 Change Over Time: Water-related Issues and Glocalization................................ 91 3.4 Regional Binational Governance of Water-related Issues ........................................... 92 3.5 The British Columbia – Washington Environmental Cooperation Council ................ 94 3.5.1 Oil and Water........................................................................................................ 95 3.6 Environmental Cooperation Agreement / Environmental Cooperation Council......... 97 3.6.1 Structure of the Environmental Cooperation Council .......................................... 98 3.6.2 Memorandum of Understanding and Agreements.............................................. 100 3.6.3 Increasing Regional Governance ........................................................................ 104 3.7 Supranational Governance: Commission for Environmental Cooperation ............... 104 3.7.1 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) ............................................ 105 3.7.2 North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation ............................. 105 3.7.3 CEC Structure ..................................................................................................... 106 3.7.4 Public Process ..................................................................................................... 107 3.7.5 CEC Effectiveness .............................................................................................. 107 3.8 Immutable Scales? ..................................................................................................... 109 3.9 Conclusions................................................................................................................ 110 CHAPTER FOUR: RESCALING GOVERNANCE MECHANISMS ALONG THE BORDERLAND? ................................................................................................................. 113 4.1 Introduction................................................................................................................ 113 4.1.1 Database.............................................................................................................. 115 4.2 Rescaling Canada – U.S. Transboundary Governance .............................................. 117 4.3 Porous Borders? ......................................................................................................... 127 4.4 Conclusions: Querying the Power of Locals in Transboundary Water Governance . 140 CHAPTER FIVE: LOCAL GOVERNANCE IN BOUNDARY BAY ............................... 143 5.1 Introduction................................................................................................................ 143 v  5.2 Background ................................................................................................................ 145 5.3 Shared Waters Alliance and the ‘Local Trap’............................................................ 149 5.4 Bordered Spaces / Imagined Communities................................................................ 151 5.4.1 Cascadia and the SWA......................................................................................... 153 5.5 Local Representation in Multi-jurisdictional Committees......................................... 155 5.5.1 Information Sharing and Access to Policy Makers............................................. 159 5.5.2 Mitigating Asymmetry........................................................................................ 161 5.6 Environmental Education: Giving Voice to Dirty Water .......................................... 166 5.6.1 The Business of Saving Shellfish ....................................................................... 170 5.6.2 Environmental Education along the Bay ............................................................ 171 5.7 Conclusion ................................................................................................................. 174 CHAPTER SIX: COAST SALISH GATHERING: GOVERNING (TRANS) BOUNDARY WATERS U’WQ “UNITED”............................................................................................... 176 6.1 Introduction................................................................................................................ 176 6.2 Background ................................................................................................................ 178 6.3 Water Protection in the Salish Sea Ecosystem .......................................................... 181 6.4 Rebuilding a Culturally Connected Community: Jamestown.................................... 187 6.4.1 History of Coast Salish Gathering ...................................................................... 188 6.4.2 Governance Structure of the Salish Sea Gathering: U’wq, United ..................... 191 6.4.2.1 The Salish Sea Council and Trends in Environmental Governance ............ 195 6.5 Reaffirming Rights, Reaching Consensus, and Transcending Borders ..................... 198 6.5.1 History of Bounding: Borders, Power, and the State.......................................... 198 6.5.2 Living in a Colonial Construction of Space: Modern Border Crossing.............. 200 6.6 Material Bounding ..................................................................................................... 203 6.6.1 Border Testimony at the Gathering..................................................................... 206 6.7 Performing Unity ....................................................................................................... 209 6.7.1 A Unified Voice to Protect Home....................................................................... 210 6.7.2 Creating Allies: Inclusive Governance ............................................................... 211 6.7.2.1 Partnering for Institutional Capacity............................................................ 213 6.7.2.2 The Politics of Space ................................................................................... 215 6.7.2.3 Beyond Stakeholders ................................................................................... 216 6.7.3 Building Bridges ................................................................................................. 219 6.8 Conclusion ................................................................................................................. 224 CHAPTER SEVEN: THE IJC WATERSHED INITIATIVE: SUPRANATIONAL MEETS LOCAL ................................................................................................................................. 227 7.1 Introduction................................................................................................................ 227 7.2 Responding to a Reference – The Development of Watershed Boards..................... 228 7.2.1 The IJC and the 21st Century Report................................................................... 230 7.2.1.1 Resistance to Watershed Boards ................................................................... 230 7.3 Role of the Watershed Boards ................................................................................... 231 7.3.1 New Role of the Boards: Water Quality and Quantity Boards ........................... 234 7.4 Building on the IJC’s Strengths ................................................................................. 237 7.4.1 Lessons from the Reference Process................................................................... 237 7.4.1.1 Beyond the Reference Role: Benefits of the Boards ................................... 238 7.4.1.2 Cooperation in Time of Non-crisis? ............................................................ 239 vi  7.4.2 Capacity Building and Multi-jurisdictional Integration...................................... 240 7.4.2.1 Vertical Integration ...................................................................................... 240 7.5 Value Added?............................................................................................................. 243 7.5.1 Institutional Support and Funding ...................................................................... 245 7.5.2 The Right Change? ............................................................................................. 246 7.6 Transboundary Watershed -- Transcending Borders? ............................................... 249 7.6.1 Social Construction of Hydrological Borders? ................................................... 251 7.7 Conclusion ................................................................................................................. 253 CHAPTER EIGHT: CONCLUSION .................................................................................. 256 8.1 Introduction................................................................................................................ 256 8.2 Research Summary .................................................................................................... 257 8.3 Connecting the Case Studies...................................................................................... 259 8.3.1 Governance .......................................................................................................... 259 8.3.2 Rescaling............................................................................................................. 261 8.3.3 Social Construction of Borders........................................................................... 265 8.4 Conceptual Considerations ........................................................................................ 267 8.5 Contributions.............................................................................................................. 268 8.5.1 Bridging Town – Gown ...................................................................................... 271 8.5.2 Policy Implications ............................................................................................. 272 8.5.2.1 Drivers of Transboundary Governance........................................................ 272 8.5.2.2 Benefits to Local Participation in Governance ............................................ 274 8.5.2.3 Barriers to Local Cooperation...................................................................... 275 8.6 Avenues for Further Research ................................................................................... 275 BIBLIOGRAPHY................................................................................................................. 279 APPENDIX A ETHICS APPROVAL FORM .................................................................... 304 APPENDIX B TRANSBOUNDARY GOVERNANCE TABLES..................................... 305 General.............................................................................................................................. 305 Pacific Region: British Columbia, Yukon, Washington, Alaska...................................... 309 APPENDIX C LIST OF INTERVIEWS ............................................................................. 325 Phase 1 Interviews ............................................................................................................ 326 Phase 2 Interviews: ........................................................................................................... 327 Phase 3 Interviews: ........................................................................................................... 328 APPENDIX D INTERVIEW QUESTIONNAIRE ............................................................. 329 APPENDIX E TRANSBOUNDARY WATER GOVERNACE WORKSHOP ................. 331 Letter of Invitation ............................................................................................................ 332 Workshop Announcement ................................................................................................ 333 Workshop Agenda ............................................................................................................ 334 Introductory Address and Welcome from Tom Sampson, Coast Salish Leader .............. 335 Workshop Participants ...................................................................................................... 336 APPENDIX F SHARED WATERS ALLIANCE ORGANIZATION LIST ...................... 338 vii  APPENDIX G PARTICIPATING COAST SALISH NATIONS ....................................... 340 APPENDIX H SALISH NATIONS ENVIRONMENTAL ACTION PLAN ..................... 342  viii  LIST OF TABLES Table 3.1 Cooperation Mechanisms for Transboundary Water Governance ........................ 77 Table 3.2 IJC Boards of Control and Task Forces................................................................. 85 Table 3.3 Agreements and MOUs for the British Columbia-Washington Environmental Cooperation Council ............................................................................................................. 102 Table 4.1 Relationship between Scale of Governance and Type of Governance Instrument (2005 data) ............................................................................................................................ 119 Table 4.2 Eras of Canada – U.S. Transboundary Water Management (1945 - 2007) ......... 121 Table 4.3 Regional Variation of Governance Instruments .................................................. 126 Table 4.4 Percentage of Local Governance Instruments per Region................................... 126 Table 4.5 Transboundary Cooperation: Barriers and Drivers.............................................. 129  ix  LIST OF FIGURES Figure 1.1 Map of the Abbotsford - Sumas Aquifer Study Area.............................................. 5 Figure 3.1 Number of International Joint Commission Applications and References Over Time ........................................................................................................................................ 87 Figure 4.1 Map of Canada – U.S. Transboundary Study Regions for Database Analysis ... 116 Figure 4.2 Number of Federal and Subnational Governance Instruments Created per Decade (1900 - 2007)......................................................................................................................... 119 Figure 4.3 Map of Select Transboundary Mechanisms and Events in the Pacific Region .. 125 Figure 4.4 Transboundary Educational Signage of Bertrand Creek ..................................... 136 Figure 5.1 Map of Boundary Bay Basin .............................................................................. 145 Figure 6.1 Map of Salish Sea Basin and Participants of Salish Sea Gatherings.................. 180 Figure 6.2 Map of Salish Sea Basin Freshwater Quality ..................................................... 185 Figure 6.3 Photo of Salish Sea Territorial Drum ................................................................. 189 Figure 6.4 Text of the Salish Sea Territorial Drum ............................................................. 190 Figure 6.5 Map of Tribal Canoe Journey Water Monitoring Routes 2008.......................... 223 Figure 7.1 Map of Identified IJC Watershed Boards.......................................................... 234  x  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to the faculty, staff, and fellow students in the geography department at UBC who made writing this dissertation a meaningful and rewarding project. In particular, I would like to thank my two advisors, Karen Bakker and Matthew Evenden, for their endless amount of support and guidance in all stages of my graduate career. From the first class to the final submission of my thesis, their encouragement and good advice helped me navigate my way through the sometimes daunting project of completing a Ph.D. I appreciate not only their time in reviewing drafts and providing thoughtful and constructive comments, but also their good fellowship which made my time at UBC truly enjoyable. Several other people helped along the way. Thanks to Trevor Barnes and Douglas Harris, who sat on my thesis committee and helped challenge me to think about my work in new and interesting ways and to the external examining committee who provided helpful comments on the later stages of the thesis. Many thanks to Linda Bell Carlson, who generously offered her keen editorial services and to Eric Leinberger, who created the majority of the maps found in this thesis. In addition, I am grateful to the numerous stakeholders and water officials whose participation in this project was truly invaluable. I also raise my hands in appreciation to my colleagues and students at Northwest Indian College who remained supportive of this undertaking from start to finish. In addition, I am sincerely grateful to my friends who provided constant encouragement and good wishes during the entire Ph.D. process. In particular, I would like to thank Kim Peters and Vicki Hsueh for their friendship and support; fellow UBC geographers, Jayme Walenta and Bonnie Kaserman, for their camaraderie and good humor; Juliet Fall for her inspiring work and good company; and Terry Drussel and Rebecca Krueger for providing the gift of time by watching my son, Parker, while I was writing draft after draft of my dissertation. At the heart of this work is my love and admiration for my family. I thank my mother, Ann, for her lifelong commitment to education, my father, Dale, for instilling a deep-rooted curiosity about how the world works, and my sister, Polly, whose love for life is an inspiration. Along the way, our family grew. My son Parker, who joined our family mid-dissertation, provided a new way to view the world. His sense of awe about the world around him, insatiable curiosity, and loving spirit is a true gift. Luke, my quiet passenger during the later stages of the dissertation (and, at the time of writing, is due any day), provided a real incentive to complete this dissertation in a timely fashion. Both Parker and Luke have brought immense joy and profound love into our home and lives. Finally, I extend my deepest heartfelt thanks to my husband, Chad Thomas Norman, whose remarkable patience, unwavering support, and unconditional love sustained me through this whole process. Chad, more than anyone, provided the encouragement to embark on this journey and the daily support to help me see it through to completion. It is to Chad, and the rest of my family, that I dedicate this work.  xi  In closing, I would like to acknowledge the generous financial support of the Walter and Gordon Duncan Foundation, the Weyerhaeuser Foundation, the University of British Columbia, the Canadian Consulate General – Seattle, and the Canadian Embassy – Washington D.C.  xii  DEDICATION  To my loving family  xiii  CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION 1.1 Overview and Context Most environmental issues – ranging from habitat loss to climate change – transcend scales of “local” and “global”. The conversion of forests to rangeland, for example, affects local communities (e.g. through soil erosion and affects on water quality) and contributes to global environmental process (e.g. climate change). However, given the complex interconnectedness of human-environmental issues, current governance systems remain largely ill-equipped to tackle these inter-scalar global issues (Haas 2000; Conca 2006). Water, in particular, exemplifies the difficulties in managing resources at a fixed territorial scale. Water is a local resource yet part of a global system, perhaps more than any other resource (Gleick 2007). As it flows through the hydrological cycle, it becomes part of a wider hydro-social landscape, transcending nested political scales and crossing over and through political borders. Adding to its complexity, water continuously changes physical forms as it circulates through both the hydrological (snow, ice, rain) and the hydro-social (agriculture, manufacturing, resource extraction) cycle. “Hidden” by the complexities of a global system, the amounts of water needed for agricultural production, manufacturing, and mining, for example, are often underestimated. Despite the slippery and sometimes invisible characteristics of water, current water management systems require that water become “fixed” to a territorial scale. Water governance is often fragmented between different sets of political systems, values, and ideals, which meet (and terminate abruptly) at demarcated borders. In an effort to manage water that crosses political borders, a litany of transnational governance mechanisms have emerged. These governing mechanisms range from (bi)national approaches – where federal  1  systems are rigidly upheld – to bioregional approaches – where proponents seek to replace political with hydrologic borders. Along the Canada – U.S. border, the mechanisms established to monitor, protect, allocate, and adjudicate transboundary water have changed significantly over the past century. In particular, local actors have become increasingly present in environmental governance activities.1 Previous research indicates the value of investigating transboundary resource management at a local level. This thesis continues to investigate the inter-scalar components of localized transboundary resources management. I do this through an analysis of localized international governing mechanisms in the Pacific region (British Columbia and Washington) as well as binational trends along the length of the Canada – U.S. border. Drawing on the case studies of the Shared Waters Alliance, the Salish Sea Initiative, and the International Joint Commission (IJC) International Watershed Initiative, I investigate how different scales of governance – from local to supranational – govern water across political borders. Similarly, I explore how the border itself influences the governance of these shared, flow resources. The case studies present an analysis of qualitative and quantitative data drawn from interviews with water managers on both sides of the border, participant observation in transboundary water governance activities, and a comprehensive database of transboundary water governance instruments.2 The discussion of transborder governance also raises several interesting questions regarding the social imaginings of borderlands and the realities of demarcated political (and 1  I define local actors as community-based and First Nation groups, local governments, and elected local officials. I define local governance, broadly, as decision-making processes enacted primarily or solely at the substate or subprovincial scale. 2 I define “instrument” as a device to govern water, such as a treaty, exchange of notes, memorandum of agreement, memorandum of understanding, agreement, order and organization. 2  policed) borderlands. Specifically, this study explores how borders, scale, and space are constructed socially and how the discourse surrounding transboundary governance, as well as governmental offices, environmental nongovernmental organizations (ENGOs), and border communities, frame cross-border issues. Qualitative and quantitative data are used to explore the construction of border identities – specifically, how and if discursively produced border regions translate into transborder identities. Furthermore, this study looks critically at the role of, and impacts on, First Nations, particularly Coast Salish communities, and the disconnection of their experience from the re-imagining of a connected border (bio)region, despite the historical inter-connectedness of the Coast Salish communities. The increased presence of local participants in transnational, yet regional, governance processes raises many interesting and interrelated questions regarding the politics of scale, the social construction of borders, and environmental governance. Three main themes frame my thesis: rescaling transboundary governance; the role of the “local” in environmental governance; and the social construction of borders and scale. The central questions I examine in this thesis revolve around these themes. To set the scene, I first question how the governance of transboundary water across Canada and the U.S. has changed over time; and more specifically, how the role of the local / subnational has become increasingly present in the transboundary governance of water. I then question how rescaling processes – such as devolution and glocalization – play out along the border environment; specifically, I attempt to decouple alleged processes of devolution with local capacity. Lastly, I question how the social construction of the border (and the nation itself) influences the governance of transboundary resources. I outline these questions – and document how I came to these questions – below.  3  1.1.2 Setting the Scene: A Parable of Discovery “The earth is one but the world is not.” World Commission on Environment and Development (1987) The politics of international environmental governance have long captured my interest. My interests turned specifically to transboundary environmental issues as a master’s student at Western Washington University. The site -- perched at the edge of the Canada – United States border -- provided a new perspective to query international resource issues. The border locale highlighted the inherent tension between “boundless” nature and “bounded” territories. It also provoked me to challenge previously conceived ideas of the international as part of a distant locale. Furthermore, from the border, sharply defined scales of “local” and “international” seemed less like separate entities and more like a singular region that happened to be demarcated by a political border. The edges of territorial jurisdictions seemed to magnify the tension between “fixed” territorial scales and the “motion” of flow resources. My interest in these conceptual and material tensions and the inherent incongruence of the motion of resources such as water and the fixity of territorial jurisdictions led my focus on transboundary water management. For my master’s project, I studied the Abbotsford – Sumas Aquifer in southwest British Columbia and northwest Washington, a single case that provokes wider questions both regionally and internationally (see Figure 1.1). The primary focus of this initial analysis was the ability of actors, at a variety of geopolitical scales, to reduce groundwater pollutants. I explored the institutional capacity of organizations to manage multi-jurisdictional water sources and to reduce non-point pollutant inputs in a  4  transboundary setting.3 I concluded that although groups representing smaller regions were more likely to reduce pollution inputs, the community-based success was largely contingent on the willingness of higher-level political groups to recognize, support, and fund scientific research (Spenner 2001; Norman and Melious 2004, 2008). Figure 1.1 Map of the Abbotsford - Sumas Aquifer Study Area  Source: Original map. Based on a map produced by Washington State Department of Ecology. Cartographer: Stefan Frelan, Department of Geography, Western Washington University (2005). 3  In this case, nitrate run off from upland agriculture activities poses a health threat to many rural dwellers in the region that rely on the aquifer for their primary source of drinking water. 5  1.2 Thesis Project The Abbotsford case, as explored above, provided an entry point for the comprehensive analysis of governance of transboundary water presented in this thesis. My initial focus on efficacy spurred me to address larger conceptual questions regarding scale, governance, and borders. My thesis seeks to address these wider questions, and to explore the gaps and disconnections that I found between the practice of transboundary environmental governance and the environmental governance and borders literature. These gaps led me to think more critically about the three main themes (detailed below) that frame my thesis: the rescaling of transboundary governance; the role of the “local” in environmental governance; and the social construction of borders. It is not the goal of the study to measure empowerment of local actors, per se. Rather, a central goal of my thesis is to examine the capacity of local actors to engage the governance process.  1.2.1 Rescaling Transboundary Governance Studies within the field of geography and resource management suggest that actors at a subnational level are increasingly involved in environmental governance activities. In Canada and the U.S., the participation of actors at a subprovincial or substate level is increasingly common in the governance of resources such as water (Allee 1993; Herzog 1999; Liverman, et al.1999; Mumme 1999; Wolf 1999; Day, Gunton and Frame 2003; Day 2004; De Loe, DiGiantomasso and Kreutzwiser 2002). However, the majority of these studies are framed within the context of a single nation; an obvious oversight considering that most environmental issues (including water and air pollution) transcend the container of bounded nations (Norman and Bakker 2009). Given this limited framework, it is not surprising that little empirical evidence exists to document the rescaling of governance within  6  a transboundary context (see Feitelson and Haddad 1998 and Feitelson 2003, 2005 for exceptions). Singular cases, such as the Abbotsford study, enable the documentation of the participation of local actors in transboundary governance within a specific locale. However, little evidence exists with which to document wider-trends across the Canada – U.S. borderland. Contacts at governmental agencies such as Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Environment Canada could point to partial lists, but complete “master” lists were not available (or did not exist) in public format. To remedy this lacuna, as part of my thesis project I undertook the task of comprehensively documenting and analysing the mechanisms established to govern transboundary water between Canada and the United States over the past one hundred years. Through the analysis of these governance trends, I seek to answer two interrelated questions: how has the governance of transboundary water across Canada and the U.S changed over time; and how has the role of the local / subnational become increasingly present in the transboundary governance of water?  1.2.2 Environmental Governance and Local Actors Documenting the rescaling of governance mechanisms addresses only part of the story, however. The next step is to analyze the capacity of local actors to govern resources within a transboundary setting. Within the environmental governance literature, a common assumption exists that the local scale is both necessary and positive in what Corry et al. (2004) call the “new localism”. This perspective suggests that local involvement reinforces “social trust” and helps replace higher scales of government. This perspective also depicts local governments as more attuned to community needs, more empowering, more effective in  7  cooperative practices, and more cost-efficient than “higher” scales of governance (Gibbins 2001; Corry et al. 2004; O’Riordan 2004). However, observations from my Abbotsford study (Spenner 2001; Norman and Melious 2004, 2008) suggest that increased participation of local actors in governance activities does not necessarily imply increased institutional capacity.4 In fact, my findings suggest that in many cases the capacity of local actors to contribute “effectively” to transboundary governance is contingent on the institutional support of higher levels of political scales (i.e. federal support to fund scientific studies and find data). This is not to say, however, that local actors do not contribute to the governance processes. Several positive attributes exist (particularly in terms of raising support for a public issue). However, my focus is not to explore the drivers of cooperation. Rather, I aim to explore the assumption that local actors are more effective than others due to their “on the ground” status. Similarly, results from previous research found surprisingly little contact between water resource managers on either side of the Canada – U.S. border, but much interest in more contact (Norman and Bakker 2005). Investigating how asymmetrical governance mechanisms temper cooperation, helps to explain this disconnect. Moreover, the governance literature often associates processes of devolution with a simultaneous shift toward the supranational scale, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and European Union (EU), in a process sometimes termed “glocalization” (Swyngedouw 1997, 2004). However, the Abbotsford case highlights the virtual lack of engagement with, or 4  Here, I use “institutional capacity” as a composite of institutional resources (i.e. human resources, financial resources); institutional performance (i.e. results, networking, technological knowledge); and institutional sustainability (organizational autonomy, leadership, organizational learning) (Van Sant 2008). 8  recognition of, supranational organizations such as the IJC by actors operating at the local scale. This is particularly curious given the IJC’s long engagement with water issues between Canada and the U.S. and its recent attempt to include local actors through the International Watershed Initiative. This disconnection between the “local” and “supranational” actors suggests a need for inquiry into the patterns of glocalization within a borderland environment. Thus, to complement my initial questions of rescaling, I investigate the assumed coupling of devolution of governance with capacity of local actors. This question helps to facilitate a deeper understanding of transboundary environmental governance by analyzing processes of rescaling in conjunction with discussions of capacity. Following this, I question whether – and how – patterns of glocalization occur along a border environment. This question provides an avenue to explore how asymmetrical governance structures impact rescaling processes (both vertically and horizontally).  1.2.3 Social Construction of Borders Previous research also suggested the need for a critical inquiry into the material and discursive meaning of the border itself. In this context, I was surprised by the naturalized – and a prioiri (or assumed) – view of the geopolitical border and the lack of critical engagement with the border-making process by both scholars and practitioners of transboundary environmental governance. I was struck by the apparent disjuncture between discussions of the social construction of borders found in the borderlands literature, and the actual practice of transboundary governance. Scholars such as Newman and Paasi (1998), Kramsch (2002), Sparke (2000; 2002); and Zierhoffer (2005), for example, clearly show the importance of understanding the history of border-making and the politics of b/ordering  9  geographic space. However, these ideas rarely translate into discussions – or applications – in the field. The need for this inquiry became increasingly apparent as I worked more closely with Coast Salish communities, whose traditional territory spans and predates the Canada – U.S. border.5 As a faculty member at Northwest Indian College,6 my students impressed upon me the need to “re-remember” the significance of the border in all aspects of governance, particularly natural resources (See Razack (2002) for discussion on re-remembering). Although the Coast Salish communities remain connected through ancestral ties, my students relayed to me how different political systems and the implementation of the reserve system strain the socio-cultural connectedness of their communities. In particular, divergent policies towards First Peoples’ rights to harvest marine resources in Canada and the United States disrupt a traditional way of life largely connected to marine resources. Furthermore, degraded marine environments, due to population growth along the coast and over-harvesting of marine resources, have made the governance of “transboundary” water a priority for many Coast Salish communities.  5  The Coast Salish region is generally defined as spanning north toward Powell River in British Columbia and south towards Olympia in Washington. Although “Coast Salish” is not the traditional First Nations name for the people occupying this region, this term is used to include a number of First Nations Peoples including Klahoose, Homalco, Sliammon, Sechelth, Squamish, Halq'emeylem, Ostlq'emeylem, Hul'qumi'num, Pentlatch, Straits (B.C. Ministry of Education 2008)  6  Northwest Indian College (NWIC) is a tribal community college serving First Peoples from the Coast Salish region and beyond. It is located on the Lummi Reservation in Washington State, approximately 15 miles south of the Canada – U.S. border, and has six satellite campuses in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. It serves 600 students representing 101 tribes and bands. The mission of NWIC is “Through education, Northwest Indian College promotes indigenous self-determination and knowledge” (www.nwic.edu). I have served as a NWIC faculty member since the completion of my master’s degree in 2001. I teach courses primarily in environmental studies and American studies. 10  Thus, the disconnection between the politics of b/ordered spaces and the governance at the border led me to question how the social construction of the border (and the nation itself) influences the governance of transboundary resources. In other words, I ask how the physicality of the border – which is simultaneously porous and impermeable – influences transboundary governance. This complements previous work on rescaling governance by including an analysis of the impacts of border-making on governance processes (such as the case with the Salish Sea Council) as well as the impacts of increased securitization on processes of governance (observed in all three cases).  1.2.4 Asymmetrical Governance Structures7 Another important consideration for this thesis is how different legislative and regulatory contexts in Canada and the United States influence the governance of shared resources. In the section below, I highlight several of the key differences, particularly in regards to asymmetrical governance mechanisms. These issues re-emerge throughout the thesis, particularly in the empirical chapters that follow.  1.2.4.1 Canada Water governance in Canada is highly fragmented. As in many federal states, the responsibility for governing Canadian water resources is distributed between different orders of government. The constitutionally-defined distribution of powers allocates responsibility for international waters, fisheries, and navigation to the federal government, whereas water 7  Portions of this section appear in the chapter, “Governing Water Across the Canada-U.S. Borderland” by E. Norman and K. Bakker in Borders and Bridges: Navigating Canada’s International Policy Relations in a North America Context. Oxford: Oxford University Press, eds. G. Hale and M. Gattinger. (Forthcoming 2009). 11  supply and resources are provincial responsibilities (who conventionally delegate water supply to regional or municipal governments).8 Moreover, at both provincial and federal levels, a range of governmental departments and agencies share responsibility for different aspects of the water cycle. This is not unusual given that water is a flow resource which transcends fixed borders (and hence is inescapably multi-jurisdictional), and given the multiple uses of water, which is essential for industry, fisheries, agriculture, tourism and human water supply. However, many experts suggest that jurisdictional fragmentation and the patchwork of federal and provincial laws in Canada have led to confusion over appropriate roles and scales of responsibility (Bakker 2007; Hill et. al. 2008). Over the years, attempts have been made to clarify the role of federal and provincial actors, from the Water Powers Reference of 1928 and the 1945 Dominion-Provincial Conference on Reconstruction -- neither of which made much progress in clarifying roles -to the attempts to strengthen the federal role via the Canada Water Act of 1970 and the Federal Water Policy of 1984-85 (which has yet to be implemented)(Saunders and Wenig 2007). Most recently, Environment Canada launched a series of initiatives under the Action Plan for Clean Water in late 2007 to fulfill political promises to clean up the major lakes and oceans (Environment Canada 2008). Against this backdrop of jurisdictional fragmentation, two trends should be noted. First, devolution of water governance is occurring from the federal to the sub-federal orders of government, in line with more general trends in Canadian environmental governance in  8  At its roots, the provincial responsibility over freshwater resources is part of the general policy of provincial ownership over natural resources, which the legislative rights in the British North America Act of 1867 outline. Although the federal jurisdiction over water extends into treaty-making powers, international trade, agriculture, taxation, trade and commerce, as well as the general doctrine of “peace, order, and good government” (POGG). 12  which federal authority over the past few decades has been ceded both upwards to the supranational and downwards to the subprovincial scale (Parson 2000; Paehlke 2001). Second, increased participation of non-governmental actors is occurring (such as volunteer organizations and NGOs) in environmental policy-making and monitoring, although these organizations remain without significant governing authority in many instances (Dorcey and McDaniels 2001; Harrison 2001; Howlett 2001; Savan, Gore, and Morgan 2004). These two trends have had mixed outcomes. For example, the involvement of non-governmental actors does not necessarily translate into improved environmental outcomes.9 In some cases, devolution has accentuated rather than alleviated jurisdictional fragmentation (Hill et al. 2008)  1.2.4.2 The United States The U.S., like Canada, has experienced a rescaling of environmental governance over the past few decades towards local actors (Alper 1997). Although the federal government maintains legal authority over water quality standards, state and (more recently) substate actors have become increasingly involved in water governance, notably via the increased participation of ENGOs in policy-making, and a greater role for states in the implementation of federal environmental laws (Kraft 2006; Mazur and Welch 1999). This runs counter to the trend of centralization which characterized the federal agenda of the 1970s, which gave rise to the landmark 1972 Water Pollution Control Act and the  9  In some cases, significant cutbacks have occurred in provincial environmental programmes in monitoring and regulation alongside outsourcing to non-governmental actors; for example, in Ontario, provincial Ministry of Environment budgets were significantly reduced in the early 1990s. The negative results of outsourcing of drinking water quality monitoring were documented in the Walkerton Inquiry (O’Connor 2002). 13  1974 Safe Drinking Water Act that gave the American federal government greater control over water resources by setting national water quality goals and establishing a pollution discharge permit system. Since the 1970s, the American federal government has experienced a slow devolution of authority over water issues; one example is the passage of the 1987 Clean Water Act (CWA) Amendments, through which states regained responsibility for the daily management and enforcement of water standards (U.S. EPA 2005). Similarly, the 1996 Amendment to the Safe Drinking Water Act (which sets public drinking water standards and regulates state programs for protecting groundwater) shifts accountability to local actors by requiring local water authorities to distribute annual reports on drinking water safety (U.S. EPA 2005). Within this context, the twin trends of devolution and a shift from government to governance are also evident in the United States. Devolution has encouraged an increase in substate participation in water management and decision-making and an increase in intergovernmental collaboration. And the greater flexibility of programming through state funding has, in recent years, led to more involvement at a regional level through multijurisdictional committees and watershed councils (Sabatier et al. 2005; Singleton 2002).  1.3 Study Area To ground this analysis, I focus on the international border dividing Canada and the United States, colloquially known as the “longest undefended border in the world,” but in reality a space subject to increasing scrutiny, surveillance, and contestation. The Canada – U.S. border is an interesting case because disputes over water diversions and export, downstream and upstream water rights, as well as water quality and pollution issues have played out along the border for more than one hundred years. In response, several distinctive 14  transboundary institutions and political processes have emerged to mediate international conflicts and settle disagreements. This continued engagement with transboundary water management provides an opportunity to analyze long-term trends in water governance. The cultural connectedness of Coast Salish communities presents an opportunity to disrupt the naturalized view of the Canada – U.S. border often found in discussions regarding transboundary governance. To explore the main questions surrounding scale, borders, and governance, I employ several research methods, detailed in the methods sections below. To provide a general picture of rescaling trends across the Canada – U.S. border, I provide a quantitative analysis of governance mechanisms since the enactment of the Boundary Waters Treaty. To deepen the understanding of these trends, I also provide a qualitative analysis of mechanisms designed to govern transboundary water through interviews, expert interviews and case studies. Specifically, I draw on three cases of transboundary governance: The Shared Waters Alliance, the Salish Sea Aboriginal Initiative and the IJC Watershed Initiative. The cases – and the stories behind each initiative – help me to tease out my central questions of rescaling, the role of the local, and the social construction of borders, as outlined above. The first two cases occur in the relatively water-abundant Pacific Coastal region, an area known for “progressive” approaches to environmental governance. The third is a project designed for watersheds across the entire length of the Canada – U.S. borderland. Chapters Five, Six, and Seven provide detailed information on each of these case studies. Here, I summarize key background points about each case. First, the Shared Waters Alliance is a multi-jurisdictional transboundary group whose primary aim is to reduce pollution inputs to Boundary Bay, a small body of water spanning the Canada – U.S. border  15  in the Northwest corner of the United States and the Southwest corner of Canada. Boundary Bay attracts public attention because of its historically productive shellfish beds and current recreational uses. However, excessive bacterial contamination, due to upland pollution, has led to a closure of shellfish harvesting in recent years. I chose the SWA as a case because it provides an example of an organization that is currently addressing transboundary water issues at a local, yet international, scale. It also provides an opportunity to explore the connections between the rescaling of governance patterns and the institutional capacity of local transboundary groups, specifically the impacts of the “local trap”. Furthermore, the multi-scalar (and transnational) governance mechanism creates the opportunity for a deeper understanding of the social construction of scale. As explored in Chapter Six, the Salish Sea Aboriginal Council is a (trans)boundary initiative recently implemented by Coast Salish leaders. The council addresses the growing environmental issues facing the Salish Sea region (which span north of Bella Coola, British Columbia and south to Nisqually, Washington). The council focuses on rehabilitating the degraded marine environment, which has significant cultural, economic, and political implications for their communities. The tribes and bands have committed to working together to address shared environmental issues – drawing on a strong connection to their land, shared ancestors, and a commitment to the revitalization of their culture. I chose this case because it exemplifies the need to include a critical inquiry of borders and the history of border-making process within wider discussions of transboundary governance. In particular, it highlights the importance of the social and material construction of borders on the practice of transboundary governance. This case helps illustrate that borders are not fixed, immutable, or constant spaces. Investigating the relative porosity of the border, and the  16  power relations structuring the porosity of the border, is central to an analysis of transboundary environmental governance, particularly (although not solely) in postcolonial contexts. The IJC Watershed Initiative is an attempt by a supranational organization to provide greater opportunities for local actors to participate in its governance activities. The Watershed Initiative attempts to foster multi-jurisdictional cooperation at a binational watershed scale, provide opportunities for local actors to work closely with the IJC, and allow the IJC to benefit from localized knowledge. Although the design of the IJC Initiative aims to serve watershed communities across the Canada – U.S. border, only three groups are currently in place. I chose the IJC Initiative as a case study because it represents an attempt by a supranational organization to include local actors in its governance structure, thus providing an entry point to inquire about glocalization within a transboundary setting. Furthermore, the Watershed Initiative provides an opportunity to investigate the application of the watershed approach within a transboundary setting. This is particularly important since discussions in water governance literature often indicate the benefits of addressing environmental issues on a watershed basis (Lundqvist, Lohm, and Falkenmark 1985; Gleick 1993; Kliot, Shmueli, and Shamir 2001); however, the framings of these investigations largely occur within a single nation. This case helps to support a key argument in my thesis that transboundary environmental governance is inherently (and perhaps inevitably) multiscalar – but the relative importance of and interaction between these scales shifts over time.  17  1.4 The Art of Data Collection Now that I am in the field, everything is fieldwork. - Paul Rabinow (1977) The process of going into the “field” to “collect” information to analyze is a curious business. Whatmore likens data “collection” to squirrels hoarding their acorns for winter use. Whether interviewing actors in situ, manipulating the digital population of census returns, or trawling documentary archives for traces of past lives, data collection mimics this squirrel-acorn relationship as you scurry about after nuggets of ‘evidence’ just waiting to be picked up, brought home and feasted on at a later date (Whatmore 2003: 89). Similarly, Latour (1999) artfully describes the process of collecting immutable objects and bringing them back to sites of analysis in Circulating Reference, where he emphasizes the “complex space - time of the research event.” This physical act of gathering and storing information has politics surrounding it and is, in itself, not passive. Rose (2000) maintains, for example, that the archive is a place where information is not just stored, it is rather where ideas are also shaped.10 After all, “We all know that field data (or any other kind of data in the human studies for that matter) are not Dinge an sich11 but are constructs of the process by which we acquire them” (Bellah 1977). I started this project with the recognition that in research, pure objectivity and total immersion are impossibilities. As Massey (2003: 75) reflects,  10  Rose suggests three orders to analysis: “that of the archive itself; the visual and spatial resources of its contents (the actual pictures); and the desires and imperatives of the researcher” (Crang 2004: 133). 11 Thing-in-itself (German) 18  There is no such thing as total immersion; there will always still be a perspective, some things will be missed. Certainly, my positionality (i.e. as a female researcher from University of British Columbia and faculty member of Northwest Indian College (NWIC)) influenced my dealings with stakeholders in the field. For example, my role as a graduate student studying transboundary environmental issues helped me gain access to meetings with the Shared Waters Alliance, who were interested in any “useful feedback” for their own organization. Also, my role as faculty member at NWIC has introduced me to several Coast Salish leaders in the region who have generously provided comments and insight into this thesis. My position at NWIC also allowed me to attend the Coast Salish Aboriginal Council meetings, an invitation-only event. However, I attempted to remain cognizant of the politics of my position throughout the thesis research. Furthermore, to help mitigate possible subject-object / town-gown dichotomies inherent in many research projects, I strove for transparency with the stakeholders, community groups, and governmental officials that I worked with. Part of this process included engaging several of the actors in the work at various stages of the project (through a peer-review process and a workshop) – which I discuss at greater length in the next section. With that qualification, I now document the specific methods used to conduct my research.  1.4.1 Methods As stated above, the research focuses on three themes: rescaling, environmental governance, and social construction of borders. In order to articulate these themes with transboundary governance of water across the Canada – U.S. border, I employ multi-method  19  research that combines qualitative and quantitative data collection from primary and secondary sources. The three main forms of primary data collection are interviews, participantobservation, and a one-day expert workshop. The secondary data include the compilation of a comprehensive database of transboundary water governance instruments; analysis of policy reports, bibliographic research, and governmental and nongovernmental websites relating to transboundary governance. The multiple methods of research serve to crosscheck through a form of triangulation technique – which is increasingly common in environmental governance studies (Zimmerer and Bassett 2003). Spatially, I analyze trends along the entire length of the Canada – U.S. border and through three case studies. The comprehensive dataset that I created on transboundary water governance mechanisms helps to provide an overview of rescaling trends along the Canada – U.S. border over the period 1910 to the present. The case studies employ both qualitative data drawn from interviews with water managers on both sides of the border, participant observation in transboundary water governance activities, and quantitative analysis from the dataset. The interviews and direct observation occurred in British Columbia and Washington (primarily), as well as in Washington D.C., Ottawa, and Montreal. The Behavioral Research Ethics Board at the University of British Columbia approved the research methods and the certificate remained current throughout the study project (See Appendix A for copy of initial certificate).  1.4.2 Database Part of my thesis draws on a comprehensive transboundary database of governance instruments, agreements, and mechanisms between Canada and the U.S. at multiple scales:  20  local (subprovincial/substate), provincial/state, national, and binational. The database details one hundred years of governance instruments to manage transboundary water (starting with the Boundary Water Treaty). To the best of my knowledge, no such database exists in a publicly available format.12 I collected the information from September 2004 to May 2007, primarily from public domain secondary sources.13 The database was peer-reviewed by more than thirty experts in the field, ranging from high-level governmental officials to local NGO stakeholders in both Canada and the United States. This process allowed for the addition of several lesser-known governance mechanisms to the dataset. The data is organized by geographical region (Pacific, Western Montane, Central Prairie, Great Lakes, and Atlantic), types of governance mechanism (Treaty, Exchange of Notes, MOU/ MOA, Agreements, Orders), institution (Organization), and temporally. I adopted the geographic designations from the regional divisions employed by Environment Canada14 and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.15 The complete database is available publicly at the University of British Columbia’s Program on Water Governance’s website and the Summary Tables and Pacific region tables  12  Key stakeholders were consulted (including the CEC, DFAIT, EPA, IJC, and State Department); none reported having such a database specifically for North American (or Canada-US water) issues. Partial databases exist, but none are accessible to the public (or even widely available internally). One notable source for information on freshwater transboundary issues is Aaron Wolf’s “Transboundary Freshwater Dispute Database” available at: http://www.transboundarywaters.orst.edu. This database, housed at Oregon State University, is a reliable source for river basins and freshwater conflicts at a global level, but does not go into enough detail for our research purposes – nor does it cover marine issues. 13 I created this database with the assistance of Alicia Tong, Research Assistant to the Program on Water Governance as part of a project with Karen Bakker. 14 Found at http://www.ec.gc.ca/commentreg_e.html 15 Found at http://www.epa.gov/epahome/locate2.htm 21  are Appendix B.16 The database is instrumental to gain a wide understanding of transboundary governance over a period of one hundred years. The analysis of these trends lays the foundation for my initial discussion of the rescaling of transboundary water, which I present in Chapter Four.  1.4.3 Interviews Expert interviews play a significant role in my research. Over the course of two and half years, I interviewed forty-eight people involved in transboundary water governance throughout Canada and the United States (See Appendix C for list of participants by title).17 I chose interviewees who had direct experience in transboundary governance of water at various stages of their career, from early-to-mid professional to retiree. All of the participants had at least five years of professional experience working directly (or secondarily) in transboundary governances of resources. The interviewees represented multiple scales of governance (from local to supranational), as well as multiple levels of political influence (from high-ranking bureaucrats to grass-roots organizers).18 In interviews lasting approximately ninety minutes, I explored a number of openended questions relating to scale and governance, access to resources, and the representation of borderlands in general (See Appendix D for the interview questionnaire). To insure accuracy of content, I digitally recorded and transcribed the interviews.19 Exceptions include  16  Found at http://www.geog.ubc.ca/~bakker/Institute2/transboundary/index.htm. The interviews occurred in three phases: Phase 1 (May 2005-August 2006); Phase 2 (January - April 2006) and Phase 3 (July 2007-February 2008). 18 The breakdown of interviews by scale includes: Supranational (6), Federal (15), Tribal / First Nations (5), Provincial – State (9), and Local (13) 19 The interviews were transcribed for the most part by a professional service (E-script) and by me. In two cases with the assistance of a UBC research assistant working with the Program on Water Governance. 17  22  when the interviewee requested otherwise, or the physical space was not conducive to recording (i.e. too much external noise in an open-air café). The interviews were conducted in two transboundary regions, the relatively water abundant Pacific Coastal (British Columbia and Washington) and the relatively water scarce Western Montane (Alberta and Montana). I also conducted a series of interviews with highranking civil servants in Ottawa and Washington, D.C. The interviews served multiple purposes. For one, the interviews informed my discussion on the changing governance trends across the Canada-U.S. borderland found in Chapters Three and Four. This is important particularly as a way to augment (and ground-truth) the quantitative analysis explored through the database. Secondly, I use the interviews to develop the three cases presented in Chapters Five through Seven. Interviewing actors involved in each of the organizations, in conjunction with participation observation activities, laid the foundation for the case studies. Over the years, I conducted extensive bibliographic research to identify contacts in the transboundary governance field. Throughout my research activities, I built a network of key actors employing research methods such as the snow-ball technique. When I had no personal leads, I used computer searches to find organizations and people engaged in transboundary water governance.20 Contacts that I made through the transboundary governance symposium (described below) also helped build relationships and identify key actors in the field. I approached the contacts through letter and email, with a description of the project and an invitation to participate in the research project. In keeping with confidentiality requirements associated with the ethics approval process, the identity of each 20  Several of these “blind” contacts proved to be extremely helpful; opening up a whole new set of contacts. 23  participant remains preserved. Throughout the thesis, I refer only to the general organization or region where the informant lives. However, a list of participating organizations is available in Appendix C.21  1.4.4 Participant - Observation In addition to interviews, I also engaged in direct observation of meetings and conferences associated with transboundary governance of water. Following protocol associated with UBC ethics standards, I obtained permission to observe the meetings in advance by contacting the chair of the committee (or the equivalent). At the meeting, I identified myself as a Ph.D. student studying the processes surrounding transboundary water governance. I took meeting notes by hand, and supplemented my records with meeting minutes. I also attended several academic and professional conferences relating to transboundary water governance, including: The Georgia Basin – Puget Sound Research Conference (Seattle, Washington April 2005); The Salish Sea Gatherings (Jamestown S’Klallam / Sequim, Washington, November 2005, and Tulalip, Washington, February 2008); The Columbia Basin Trust Governance Symposium (Vancouver, November 2005), and The Commission for Environmental Cooperation’s North American Symposium on Assessing the Environmental Effects of Trade (Montreal, November 2005). Each of these  21  My work builds on two earlier studies in binational governance. As a part of a MS thesis at Western Washington University, I examined transboundary management of the Abbotsford-Sumas Aquifer, a single case that now opens on to broader questions in the region and internationally (Norman and Melious 2005; 2008). More recently, I conducted a study under the supervision of Dr. Karen Baker in which I compared transboundary water governance in the relatively water-abundant British Columbia-Washington borderland and the relatively water - scarce Montana-Alberta borderland (Norman and Bakker 2005). Interviews from these earlier studies proved a useful way to reflect on key themes and issues and helped further shape my dissertation research questions. 24  meetings provided valuable insights into the governance mechanisms and contributed significantly to the analysis of my case studies.  1.4.5 Symposium Another key method for my thesis was a one-day expert workshop focusing on transboundary water governance in the Pacific region. I organized this symposium in order to contribute to a broader understanding of regional transboundary governance as well as to connect counter-parts from across the border in a “neutral” forum – a need identified in a previous study on transboundary governance mechanisms (Norman and Bakker 2005). The symposium brought together water managers and stakeholders involved in transboundary governance of water in British Columbia and Washington. In total, twenty-six actors convened for the daylong discussion. The participants represented a variety of fields, including both governmental and nongovernmental actors at multiple scales of governance. Participants represented geographic regions throughout British Columbia and Washington (as well as national capitals). To ensure the attendance of all invitees, grants deferred the cost of travel to any participant who requested such funds.22 The symposium convened 7 April 2006, at the Peter Wall Institute on the UBC campus in Vancouver, British Columbia. The symposium provided space for a critical examination of transboundary governance mechanisms and provided an opportunity for those involved in binational governance at a local and regional level to engage in dialog on recent changes in water governance in British Columbia and Washington. Specifically, the participants explored four main themes in facilitated, multidisciplinary discussion fora: 1) 22  This was made possible through a grant from the Weyerhaeuser Foundation, who funded the entire cost of the workshop. The Canadian Consulate in Seattle funded a pre-conference reception the evening before. 25  changing trends in transboundary water governance, 2) best practices for transboundary water governance, 3) negotiating asymmetrical governance structures, and 4) drivers of and barriers to cross-border cooperation. I organized each breakout group before hand to assure diverse representation. The groups discussed open-ended questions in two plenary sessions: one that focused on drivers of and barriers to cooperation; and the second that focused on the rescaling of transboundary governance (See Appendix E for Program, Agenda, and List of Attendees). Two rapporteurs helped with note-keeping at the meeting. The rich dialog and discussion in the symposium provided valuable input for my thesis. The wealth of practical experience and knowledge of water governance in the region, coupled with their genuine desire to contribute to the field provided a synergistic environment rich in ideas and reflections. In particular, the information obtained at the workshop helped to shape my central discussion on rescaling and devolution of water governance. The discussion also allowed me to explore how “nested scales” and the “social and material construction of borders” influence the governance of shared resources. The group discussions also provided an opportunity for follow-up interviews and further probing into central themes and questions relating to transboundary governance. In keeping with my commitment to a reflexive research process, I provided the opportunity for each participant to comment on the minutes prior to public distribution. I then incorporated the corrections and / or additions into the minutes and distributed the findings in the form of a policy report.23  23  The minutes were made available on the Program on Water Governance Website: http://www.watergovernance.ca/Institute2/publications/index.htm#transboundary 26  1.5 Thesis Description and Outline The aim of my thesis is to investigate how actors representing different geopolitical scales govern water in a transboundary setting, with a critical examination of the material consequences of (socially constructed) borders on the actors involved in transboundary governance. Central to this is the investigation of the increased role of the local in international water governance. Although evidence clearly indicates that the local has become increasingly present in environmental governance over the past several years, I question whether the local has become “more powerful”. Further, I explore the need to examine the social construction of borders and scale within the context of transboundary governance. This is particularly important for my discussions involving First Nations communities, as it provides the tools necessary to engage critically in the political and cultural implications of transboundary resource governance. I organize the thesis in four parts. The first includes the theoretical and contextual underpinnings of the project (Chapters One and Two). The second aims to illuminate the theoretical questions by presenting an introduction of the modalities of three fundamental transboundary governance mechanisms (Chapter Three) and by presenting a quantitative analysis of rescaling along the Canada – U.S. border (Chapter Four). The third section provides a qualitative analysis of three case studies of transboundary water governance at multiple scales (Chapters Five through Seven). The last attempts to situate the wider trends in water governance and weaves together the theoretical and empirical in the conclusion (Chapter Eight). In the following section, I provide a general outline and description of each chapter.  27  1.5.1 Outline of Thesis Chapter Two, “The Conceptual Approach,” includes the theoretical underpinnings of my thesis and helps define key ideas and terms (e.g. governance, border, scale, and local). It situates the study of transboundary governance of water within wider literatures of environmental governance, the politics of scales, and borderland studies. I discuss central theoretical themes in each of the three subject areas. In this chapter I argue three main points: an analysis of transboundary environmental governance requires a closer investigation of the social construction of scale; transboundary environmental governance is inherently multi-scalar – but the relative importance of and interaction between these scales shifts over time; and borders are not fixed, immutable, or constant spaces – the relative “rigidity” or “porosity” of theses spaces are linked to power relations and influence the governance of shared resources. I then explore how recent discussions in the borderlands literature can provide insights in the environmental governance literature; particularly by transcending the territorial trap commonly found in the regime approach. Similarly, I explore how the environmental governance literature can benefit from emerging discussions on the social construction of scale found in geography. Focusing on rescaling, and the social construction of borders and scale, I help to provide a more critical understanding of the border itself in the dealings of transboundary governance of water. Chapter Three, “The Mandates and Modalities of Transboundary Cooperative Mechanisms,” outlines the development of three fundamental transboundary cooperation institutions along the Canada – U.S. border: International Joint Commission, the Commission for Environmental Cooperation, and the Environmental Cooperation Council. The IJC provides a bi-national perspective; the CEC provides a tri-national perspective, 28  while the ECC provides the perspective of a regional, bilateral governance mechanism relatively autonomous from federal involvement. Discussing the modalities and mandates of each of these organizations, representing different scales, provides a foundation for further investigation, particularly for the next chapter, which explores shifting trends in water governance. Furthermore, by showing the evolution of the “three scales” over time, I show that scales are not fixed or immutable – a theme that reemerges throughout the thesis. Chapter Four, “Rescaling Governance Mechanisms along the Borderland,” examines the changing patterns of water governance across the Canada – U.S. border over the past century. I document rescaling trends through a comprehensive summary of binational water governance mechanisms based on a database compiled by the author. The database comprises 166 mechanisms, both formal (Treaty, Exchange of Notes) and non-formal (Memoranda of Understanding, Organizations) and begins with the Boundary Waters Treaty. Through analysis of this data set, I document the shifting scales of governance mechanisms from federal to local; explore the distribution of the mechanisms (relative depth and breadth); and compare the trends to wider political-economic phenomena (e.g. dam development, sustainable development era, etc.) I draw on concepts of “hollowing out of the state” and “glocalization” to explore – and frame – these changes in governance. Chapter Five, “Local Governance in Boundary Bay,” specifically focuses on local cooperation and management of transboundary resources. Drawing on empirical evidence from interviews and direct observation, I measure the extent to which local players have become involved in international, yet local, management of water. I draw primarily from the experience of the Shared Water Alliance (SWA), an international group working toward improving the water quality for the shared waters of Boundary Bay in British Columbia and  29  Washington, to assess the extent to which local communities are able to participate actively, engage, and affect transboundary governance of water. Specifically, I query how the local non-governmental communities mobilize themselves in the governance process. In this chapter, I challenge the concept of new localism and provided evidence to decouple processes of rescaling with local capacity. Chapter Six, “Coast Salish Gathering, Governing (Trans)boundary Waters U’Wq ‘United,’” explores the development of the Salish Sea Aboriginal Council as a tool to address environmental issues of shared concern. In this chapter, I highlight how the new governance structure acts as a way to reconnect the geographic space known as the Salish Sea – a space fragmented, politically, economically, and socially, with the demarcation of the Canada – U.S. border and the implementation of the reserve system. The chapter highlights how the Salish Sea Council acts as a way to (re)construct socially a new borderland (the Salish Sea region), thereby challenging / disrupting imposed nation-state borders. I show how this act – motivated by a shared concern for the social and cultural implications of a degraded physical environment – helps participants to reconnect with other bands and transcend b/ordered spaces. This chapter also provides a critical examination of the impacts of border-making on First Nations communities in the Pacific west, emphasizing borders, power, and the state – specifically, how the production of divergent political systems in Canada and the U.S. has impacted environmental governance, particularly access to and management of water resources for First Nations communities. In so doing I situate the transboundary governance process within the wider historical context of the borders’ development. This discussion provides an important example of a governance structure that, at its very core, rejects the “territorial trap”.  30  Chapter Seven, “The IJC Watershed Approach: Supranational meets Local,” explores the changing role of the IJC in the transnational governance of water. The IJC – established with the Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909 – is the oldest continuous transboundary governance mechanism between Canada and the U.S. Internationally, water managers often depict the IJC as a “success story;” however, closer to home, several questions surface regarding the relevance of the aging institution. This chapter explores the recent emergence of their International Watershed Initiative – a new governance mechanism that the IJC launched in the late 1990s as a response to a changing socio-political climate that increasingly includes local actors in governance models. This approach is significantly different from the formal IJC process, as it attempts to view the borders as hydrological rather than political; it includes subnational players; and it adopts a proactive rather than reactive approach. In this chapter, I question whether the Watershed Initiative’s emphasis on hydrological borders implies a “softening” of political borders, thereby contributing to my discussion on social and material construction of borders. Chapter Eight, “Conclusion and Reflections,” helps weave together main themes of my thesis. Particularly, I reflect on trends of transboundary governance of water at a local scale, how the social construction of border identities influences bioregional resource management, and issues surrounding borders, power, and the state. Lastly, I suggest further research projects and highlight how this thesis contributes to specific sub-disciplines within geography.  31  1.6 Contributions This thesis contributes to the water governance literature and the practice of water governance by investigating the ability for actors (at multiple scales) to manage transboundary water resources. In particular, I focus on the local scale, a sector increasingly involved in governing natural resources over the past twenty-five years. Why is the study of multi-scalar water governance important? First, as a flow resource, water transcends and transgresses geopolitical and jurisdictional boundaries, and thus requires management at multiple scales. This is complicated in the case of transboundary waters. Second, over the past few decades, communities have increasingly become involved in water management. However, few studies investigate their interactions with other scales of governance with respect to water, particularly with respect to transboundary waters. Third, and most simply, water is a basic human need and a human right. Degraded hydroscapes (both marine and freshwater environments), and a growing concern for water scarcity and equitable access to drinking water has precipitated an increased demand for “effective” water management practices through out the globe.24 My thesis speaks to these points in a number of ways. For one, transboundary waters presents us with an interesting lens through which to ask whether the “geometry of power” amongst actors involved in water management is changing in light of rescaling of environmental governance, and through which to challenge the “local trap” prevalent in much of the water management literature. This discussion contributes to debates in 24  The growing international commitment to water governance is reflected in environmental agreements such as Agenda 21 and its successor, the Millennium Development Goals, at global meetings such as the 2002 Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development, as well with the increased presence of local watershed communities (Wapner 2003; Carr and Norman 2004; Frantzius 2004). 32  environmental geography and borderlands studies by highlighting the (changing) role of local environmental governance across international boundaries – a topic that has attracted relatively little attention.25 Secondly, infusing discussions of borders and scale into discussions of transboundary environmental governance helps push us beyond the '”territorial trap”. This is important particularly considering the tendency for studies within environmental governance to operate within a nation-state framework, despite the fact that the environmental issues clearly transcend these nested scales. Third, bringing discussions of borders and scale into conversation with discussions of transboundary environmental governance will widen the theoretical approach usually found within the environmental governance literature. Specifically, this opens up space to include the cultural politics (and materiality) of border-making into transboundary environmental governance, which is important particularly (although not solely) in post-colonial contexts.26 Fourth, environmental policy-makers often assume that communities have the capacity and interest in water governance, but this is not necessarily the case (as my thesis demonstrates). Proponents of community water management often essentialize (“or even romanticize”), the role of the local (Bakker 2008). My thesis helps to remedy this by decoupling scalar devolution with presumed efficacy. 25  For exceptions, see Day, Boudreau, Hackett 1996; Alper 1996, 1997; Mumme 1999; Schwartz 2000; Fall 2005. 26 Resource-poor communities often experience greater difficulties associated with water pollution and access to clean water (Chaterjee 2004; Corbridge et al. 2005). For communities (such as the Coast Salish), whose traditional way of life rely on marine resources, a degraded marine environment has wide-reaching economic, social, and cultural effects (Columbia River Intertribal Fish Commission 1994; USEPA 2002; Suquamish Tribe 2003; Donatuto 2005). For example, studies reveal that First Nations communities consistently have lower water quality standards than other sectors in Canada (Butler 2008; Environment Canada 2008). 33  This thesis also provides empirical contributions to the field, as it is accessible and applicable to parties involved in the practice of transboundary governance of water. Specifically, I contribute to environmental policy by compiling a comprehensive database of transboundary water governance mechanisms between Canada and the United States over the past one hundred years. Making this dataset available publically provides opportunity for future research of transboundary water governance along the Canada – U.S. border as well as an opportunity for comparative analysis with other regions (for example, by pairing this dataset with Wolf’s database housed at Oregon State University). My thesis also brings ideas forward within the governance literature that are largely absent in the practice of transboundary governance – highlighting these disconnections contributes to academic and policy discussions of transboundary governance of water. In sum, the international, yet regional, nature of this thesis stimulates discussions about sustainable resource management and international cooperation of shared resources. A thesis defined in this way documents the local and regional dynamics that have shaped international transboundary water management issues between Canada and the United States, as well contributes to international discussions about the problems of water governance across boundaries.  34  CHAPTER TWO: CONCEPTUAL APPROACH 2.1 Introduction This thesis draws on three bodies of geographical scholarship that do not often intersect: environmental governance, the politics of scale, and the social construction of borders. Although each needs to be addressed on its own terms, my empirical research seeks to pull them together and generate in the process new and useful intersections. Environmental governance at the border, I suggest, has much to do with the politics of scale and the social construction of borders. Three main arguments arise from the intersection of scale, environmental governance, and borderlands. First, an analysis of transboundary environmental governance requires a closer investigation of the social construction of scale. Second, transboundary environmental governance is inherently (and perhaps inevitably) multi-scalar – but the relative importance of and interaction between these scales shifts over time. Third, borders are not fixed, immutable, or constant spaces. Understanding these shifts in the relative porosity of the border – and in the power relations structuring the porosity of the border – is central to an analysis of transboundary environmental governance, particularly (although not solely) in postcolonial contexts. In this chapter, I bring the politics of scale literature to bear upon the environmental governance literature, and thereby offer insights into the processes (and assumptions) of rescaling environmental governance. This discussion enables my analysis in subsequent chapters. For example, I discuss the multi-scalar aspects of transboundary governance and the shift in scales of governance in Chapters Three and Four. This discussion on rescaling  35  helps to show how scales are not immutable, and in fact, changes overtime. Furthermore, I explore the social construction of scales through a discussion of the “local trap” in Chapter Five and a discussion of re-b/ordering space in Chapter Six. This inquiry also informs my discussion of glocalization and my discussion of the IJC Watershed case (Chapter Seven). Furthermore, I suggest that a critical examination of the border itself is an essential (yet rarely studied) component of transboundary governance of resources. Theorizing politics spatially from the border offers insight into important questions regarding identity, nationalism, and power relations and follows Paasi’s on-going call for a more nuanced, less universalizing view of boundaries (2002).27 In general, the investigation follows Conca’s (2006) observations that in water governance, generalizations regarding the inclusion of stakeholders rarely disclose the contested nature of authority relations surrounding water. For First Nations communities, often outside the dominant discourse, the implication for the power structure at the border has deep and far-reaching implications (as discussed in Chapter Six). The integration of these three approaches provides a new framework with which to analyze the governance of shared resources. This new framework is unlike other models for several reasons. For one, it folds the discussion of the social construction of borders into the discussion of transboundary governance – an approach that is rarely seen in the governance or resource management literature. Secondly, this new approach provides analytical space to explore power-relationships at the site of borders (both political and cultural). Borders clearly hold different meanings for different people. This approach allows for a closer 27  A brief foray into social justice literature indicates that the border embodies substantially different meanings for its travelers – the relative porosity or rigidity determined by such factors as socio-economic status and ethnicity (Bandy and Smith 2005; Chukwumerije 2008; Pellow 2007). 36  reading – and validation – of these nuances. Thirdly, bringing the discussion of scale into the transboundary governance analysis helps to disrupt the often implicit idea that scale is a fixed unit. This is important particularly for the management of flow resources, which transcend sharply defined jurisdictional units. Taken alone, each of these approaches are not new ideas. However, the integration of these three concepts is an important contribution to the field of resource governance. This new approach provides a framework for scholars of transboundary resources to include a more critical analysis of the border itself (and the social and political implications of borders spaces) into their analysis.  2.2 Environmental Governance The question that must be addressed…is not how to care for the planet, but how to care for each of the planet’s millions of human and natural neighborhoods. -  Wendel Berry (1990) 2.2.1 Sovereignty and Global Governance  The inherent limitations of a sovereign state system greatly affect the process of governing resources that transcend borders. Despite the clear intent of many international environmental agreements to help reduce the impacts of transnational environmental issues, doctrines of state sovereignty protect the interests and rights of individual states. They also limit the enforceability and regulatory ability of international agreements. This is no minor point, considering the pervasiveness of international environmental treaties over the last several decades -- 150 signed since the 1972 Stockholm Summit (Susskind 1994). Although public pressure often keeps the countries in compliance with the general terms of a treaty, there is no recourse under the current system against instances of blatant disregard for rules and deadlines (Susskind, Moomaw, and Gallagher 2002). 37  Frustrated with the lack of enforcement powers of these agreements, prime ministers of France, Holland, and Norway presented an ambitious proposal to The Hague in 1989. Their plan called for the creation of a new global environmental legislative body with power to impose new environmental regulations and carry out binding legal sanctions on countries that failed to adhere to them. Although the proposal failed, twenty-four heads of state did adopt a declaration calling for the strengthening of the United Nations allowing them to act even without unanimous agreement (French 1992). However, as states ardently uphold their individual rights and privileges, these calls for binding global governance systems with “political teeth” meet consistently with resistance (Susskind 1994). One school of thought within International Relations suggests that international agreements organizations are simply irrelevant because nation-states consistently act within their own self-interest (Susskind, Moomaw, Gallagher 2002). Others, however, suggest that this self-interest in fact keeps states working together. Stein, for example, likens the selfinterest of states to a well-functioning market that ultimately leads to efficient behaviours and outcomes. Those less optimistic of state capacity to govern beyond borders, suggest that non-state approaches are the likely agent of change for transboundary issues (Keck and Sikkink 1998; Taylor 2004). While still others suggest a need to develop solutions within the nation-state system, opting to “green the states” from within the current power structure, rather than trying to create new multi-state or nonstate options (Eckersley 2004).  2.2.2 Regime Approach Some suggest, however, that legal mechanisms provide only the backdrop for more informal behaviour-modifying norms. From this perspective, the power rests not in the written law, per se; but rather in the normalization of a common set of assumptions,  38  understandings, and norms that shape behaviour around the legal mechanism. This approach suggests that change is more likely to occur through the establishment of an international regime or set of agreed upon common rules that promote behaviour modification in the absence of a centralized governing body (Zürn 1998; Breitmeier, Young, and Zürn 2006; Conca 2006). Breitmeier; et al. (1996: 2) define international environmental regimes as a “social institutions consisting of agreed upon principles, norms, rules, procedures, and programs that govern the interactions of actors in specific issues area.” Young and Zürn (2006: 121) further consider international regimes as “social institutions created to respond to the demand for governance relating to specific issues arising in a social setting that is anarchical in the sense that it lacks a centralized public authority or a government in the ordinary meaning of the term.” However, the rate at which regimes successfully modify behaviour varies widely. A “successful” regime ameliorates the issues for which it was originally designed, whereas, an “unsuccessful” regime has little impact on behaviour (Young and Levy 1999). A common example of a successful international regime is the Antarctic Treaty System. Like other international treaties, the Antarctic treaties operate through models of consensus and voluntary cooperation (Susskind, Moomaw, and Gallagher 2002).28 Through the years, the regime was able to adapt to changing political and environmental conditions without compromising its agenda (Young and Levy 1999:2). This flexibility, along with the shared interest and clearly defined goals largely accounts for the Treaties’ success. Other “success stories” include the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, The  28  In operation since 1959, the shared desire to protect the South Polar Region outweighed divergent political views – even the U.S. and The Soviet Union put aside their contentions differences to work towards these shared goals. 39  Mediterranean Action Plan, and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and other regional agreements to combat acid rain and protect enclosed seas (Conca 2006: 12). The success of these regimes support Gianfranco Corti’s argument that the commons is best looked after by those sharing an immediate, well-defined interest in it who will likely incur costs with its neglect (1997). Conversely, a number of unsuccessful regimes failed to make an impact on the global environment. One such example is the biodiversity convention signed with such fanfare at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit. The vague language in the convention, and the failure to define the specific obligations of individual states, doomed this project to failure from the start. The two-decade long international effort to combat desertification is another example of a failed regime. Despite the efforts to prevent the spread of deserts, only a handful of imprecise and weak commitments are in place currently (Conca 2006). Given the energy and attention the regime approach has received in international environmental politics over the past several decades, why does it remain so ineffective in tackling the worlds’ most pressing environmental issues? I suggest that a key failing in the regime approach is the inability to break out of traditional conceptions of state power. Other scholars share this view. Boyd (2003), who writes on Canadian environmental law and policy, suggests that tackling transnational environmental issues requires a cultural paradigm shift in economics, ethics, and environmental law. Furthermore, Conca (2006) contends that the narrow definition of fundamental concepts of territory, authority, and knowledge contribute to the failings of the regime approach. Central to this line of reasoning is the recognition that the regime approach is a vehicle for state politics. Within this framework, agreements and protocols reproduce state  40  power through inherent assumptions about the legitimacy and power of state authority. Furthermore, the regime framework operates under a constricted definition of territoriality, with tidy (and artificial) separations between domestic and international issues. This approach leaves little space for the increasingly global impacts of the accumulation of local issues. Thirdly, the construction of authoritative knowledge – or set of facts and assumptions under which they operate -- limits the regime approach. The authoritative approach to problems and solutions limits the scope of issues that resource managers can addresses, as “answers” and “solutions” are often pre- determined. This approach leaves little room for highly contestable (and variable) issues (Conca 2006: 22-23). Agnew’s concept of the territorial trap bears directly on this problem (1994, 1999). The territorial trap has become canonized in IR theory through the reproduction of the state as a clearly demarcated territory in which the state exercises power (Paasi 2005: 21). This line of reasoning assumes that: •  The sovereignty, security, and political life of the modern state entail clearly bounded territorial spaces;  •  A fundamental distinction exists between domestic and foreign affairs;  •  The territorial state acts as the geographical “container” of modern society (i.e. the boundaries of the state are the boundaries of political and social processes (Agnew 1998).  2.2.3 Non-State Approaches to Governance Given the limitations of the regime approach associated with the territorial trap, it is useful to explore alternative, non-state forms of governance to respond to the worlds’ environmental issues. Non-state approaches exist in a variety of forms including, but not  41  limited to networks, coalitions, transnational campaigns and grassroots activists. A wide range of views represent the possibilities (and scale) of non-state actors to become agents of changes in the global environmental arena. Some scholars emphasize the power of technical experts to influence governments. Peter Haas, for example, describes “epistemic communities” as a group of technical experts functioning in networks that use their power to influence policy changes (1990, 1992, and 2000). Similarly, Liftin (1998), describes the power of “knowledge entrepreneurs” whose ability to construct discourses surrounding international environmental issues can either facilitate (or hinder) cooperation. In addition to knowledge-based communities, some non-state actors connect through a common set of values and shared discourses that transcend geopolitical borders. Keck and Sikkink (1998), for example, describe “transnational advocacy networks” in their seminal work Activists beyond Borders. Similarly, Wapner (1997) identifies transnational (or supranational) organizations such as the Worldwide Fund for Nature and Greenpeace as evidence of a budding global civil society (described below). Boyd (2003) suggests that greater public awareness of domestic budgets and subsidies will likely result in public pressure for change. He proposes the appointment of civilian-based, independent tasks to check public policy. Each of these approaches offers insight into the politics of non-state actors. However, as Conca (2006: 24) points out, despite the growing body of work on the participation of non-state actors in (global) environmental governance, the governance institutions themselves receive little scholarly attention. This is not surprising given the ardent attempt to disassociate the institution with the state. However, creating a body of literature that looks specifically at the institutions – the set of norms, laws, and structures that give the  42  organization shape – is a valuable contribution for both the practitioners of environmental governance and those interested in the theoretical conception of the possibilities of transnational environmental governance. In response, several scholars have attempted to create a body of theory to explain how environmentally focused institutions operate in an international setting. In the section below, I briefly outline these contributions and explain how my thesis builds on (and departs from) their theoretical framings.  2.2.3.1 Common Pool Resources Since Garret Hardin introduced the concept of the “Tragedy of the Commons” in his celebrated article in Science (1968), the expression has come to encapsulate the idea that efforts of individuals to protect common pool resources can be undermined by the failings of others – downstream or downwind – to do their part (Ostrom 1990, Conca 2006). The phrase – or more specifically the idea of “tragedy of open access” – has also become synonymous with the expectation that environmental degradation will likely occur when individuals use a scare resource (Ostrom 1990:2). Although Ostrom, and other authors (such as Birkes 1989) have effectively debunked the “tragedy of the commons” argument, other models such as the prisoner’s dilemma (Dawes 1973, 1975) and the logic of collective action (Olsen 1965) aims to explain – and predict – individual behaviour in relation to common resources. Central to each of these arguments is the concept of the “free-rider problem”; that is, when one person cannot be included in the benefits that the others provides, motivation exists for that individual not to join the group effort and to free-ride on the efforts of others. Researchers often employ these models to describe the perils of global environmental issues. Despite the clear contributions of these models, their application is often limited due 43  to what Ostrom describes as a tendency to treat the models as metaphors (1990: 7-10). When this occurs, the researchers often describe the actors as helpless individuals who are “caught in an inexorable process of destroying their own resources” (Ostrom 1990: 8). This is problematic because it generalizes individual (and collective) responses to a complex set of human-environmental dynamics. In an attempt to create a more nuanced understanding of the relationships between common pool resources and individual or group action, scholars such as Ostrom (1990), Haas, Keohane, and Levy (1991). Young (1999), and Conca and Dabelko (2004) contribute to an evolving body of theoretical work on governing shared environmental resources. Ostrom spear-headed this project by attempting to develop a theory of human organization that offers a “realistic assessment of human capabilities and limitations in dealing with a variety of situations that initially share some or all aspects of a tragedy of the commons” (Ostrom: 1990: 24). The others followed suit through empirically supported studies of cooperative environmental institutions, each attempting to contribute to a theoretical understanding of how institutions – and the people within them – manage the governance of global environmental issues. My thesis benefits from these earlier contributions, as it provides a framework for investigating international environmental institutions. I depart from these earlier works, however, by not studying the efficacy of international environmental institutions, per se. Rather, I investigate the ability of states, ENGOs and binational institutions to govern water that transcends borders at multiple scales. This inquiry contributes to the early scholarship as it includes processes of rescaling and critical border studies into the discussion of environmental governance. Furthermore, by situating the study at the site of the border, discussions on power, privilege, and the nation-state become integral to the analysis.  44  This analysis also contributes to the discussion on supranational institutions in environmental governance. Many scholars have noted that supranational institutions lack the political structure to engage effectively and reliably in transborder cooperation, and that minor networks with bottom-up approaches are often more adept at border governance. In the next section, I seek to explore the rescaling phenomenon (and inherent assumptions surrounding the process), specifically within the North American context. However, before discussing rescaling I briefly turn to a more general discussion of civil society.  2.2.4 Civil Society and International Environmental Governance29 The term civil society generally refers to the formal or informal social and advocacy associations that inhabit the space between the individual and the state and/or market (McIlwaine 1998; Mohan 2002). If thriving, civil society influences government by enhancing political responsiveness. This occurs both through the distillation of public desires through non-governmental associative groups and through the protection of the public against arbitrary government abuse (Schmitter 1997; Lipschutz 2000). Civil society has long played a role in politics. In particular, informal civil associations serve as a vehicle to check state power as citizens fill the interstices of space between states and individuals (Gibbon 2001 and Loy 2001). Tocqueville, for example, purported that civil society’s role was to ensure individual freedoms by holding accountable the liberal political and economic spheres, especially the increasing actions of the territorial state. In its pure form, civil society consists of non-governmental organizations and  29  This section appears in a slightly altered form in, “Global Civil Society? The Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development”, published by the author and Dr. David Carr (2008), Geoforum Volume 39 (1): 358-71. The publisher granted copyright permission for this reproduction. 45  associations operating freely and distinctly from the state. Ideally, civil society organizations unite diverse interests; encourage interaction, co-operation and a respect for diversity (Hyden 1997; O’Kane 2001). Traditionally, civil society organizations rarely transcend nation-state boundaries (Clark, Friedman et al.. 1999; Muetzelfeldt and Smith 2002). Increasingly, however, an emergence of “global civil society” (GSC) is present with increased ties and networks between non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and International Governmental Organizations (IGOs) at a supranational level (Van Rooy 1997, 2004; Taylor 2004). However, it is unclear exactly how global civil society plays out within the international state system. Some interpret the power shift to multilateral organizations and the international network of NGOs as a way to broaden hegemonic power within the context of neoliberal globalization (e.g. Pasha and Blaney 1998). Others, however, suggest that GSC can represent actors that challenge the arguably undemocratic and incapacitating practices of neoliberal globalization (Taylor and Naidoo 2004). Some question whether a global (or transnational) civil society can truly exist. Those adhering to the social movement theory, found within the mainstream political sociology and international relations tradition, uphold the legitimacy of state-centric politics (e.g. McAdam, McCarthy, and Zald 1996). This camp argues that “the structural preconditions for the genesis of a global civil society are lacking – primarily because there is no ‘global state’ and the power and influence of the nation-state remains dominant” (Taylor 2004: 4). As Halperin and Laxer (2003: 13, 16) argue in the Global Civil Society and its Limits “[T]he state remains the central locale of power and potential control ….national politics remains the most effective vehicle [for anti-globalism resistance]”. In the absence of this global state,  46  scholars such as Tarrow (1998, 2001) argue that collective action, global mobilization and identity formation are severely limited. Simply, as the nation-state dominates both politics and society, how can a civil society shift scales from national to transnational to global? Keck and Sikkink (1998) also engage in these questions of locality and transnational civic engagement. After investigating several transnational activist groups, they maintain that a truly global civil society has not emerged yet. Rather, they conceive the transnational civil society as a contested site, an arena of struggle where, as Hurrell and Woods (1995: 468) note, “the politics of transnational civil society is centrally about the way in which certain groups emerge and are legitimized (by governments, institutions, and other groups).” Conversely, Taylor argues that the nation-state system does not provide a barrier to global civil society; rather supranational NGOs can serve as a grounding body – or state. Keck and Sikkink (1998) who are more cautious in their approach (using language such as transnational rather than global) also argue that domestic and international civil society organizations function similarly. Working through networks and coalitions, civil society organizations united through shared causes that easily transcend political spheres of the nation-state (Taylor and Naido 2004). Despite the contestable nature of the possibilities of a global civil society, it is clear that the “NGOization” of the political landscape influences environmental governance throughout the globe. Civil society has become increasingly common in discourses of environment, society, and development, partially due to the increased role of NGO’s in augmenting state responsibilities. Increased privatization and decentralization in the 1980s, consistent with decreasing confidence in the efficiency and financial security of investments in state structures, has brought about a mushrooming of NGOs and their financial backers.  47  This is true the world over, but particularly in development efforts in the Global South. During the 1980s, for example, NGOs’ funding for development projects increased five times faster than their governmental counter-parts (Fowler 1992). This international relief-anddevelopment effort affects the international state system – evidenced by the fact that NGOs now dispense more money in aid and development than the World Bank and the United Nations (Tvedt 2004). Some scholars argue that increasingly the willingness of local NGOs to cooperate with donor institutions influences the makeup of local NGOs, rather than providing the embodiment of a plural and autonomous representation of their constituents’ ideas (Fowler 1992; Hudock 1999; Hearn 2001). As Locke and later Mohan (2002) noted, the powerful influence of large institutions and the state in shaping the agendas of civil society associations means that civil participation does not necessarily lead to improved governance. After all, civil society in its applied form does not exist apart from states and institutions, but in conflict and compromise with them (Keane 1988; Markovitz 1988), and increasingly with other CSOs (Robertson 2000). The recognition of strong donor influences, points to the need to question rigidly divided categories of state - non-state and private – public found within the transboundary environmental governance literature. Aware of the top-down traditional aid paradigms, and the growing chasm between national and global structures from individuals, a celebration of the “local” has emerged in the civil society rhetoric of international organizations. Such efforts, laudable for their sensitivity to diversity in local conditions and interests, can also lead to an unqualified conflation of local actors with good governance. I describe this phenomenon, sometimes referred to as the “local trap” in the following section.  48  In the section below, I shift from the discussion of environmental governance and civil society to rescaling and the role of the local in governance. Incorporating a discussion of the politics of scale – although clearly relevant to environmental governance - is often omitted in studies of transboundary environmental governance (see, for example, Kiy and Wirth 1998; Brown and Mumme 2000; Kliot, Shmueli, and Shamir 2001); notable exceptions include Giordano, Giordano, and Wolf 2002; Kramsch 2002; and Fischhendler and Feitelson 2005. Thus, a discussion of the politics of scale helps to provide a more critical and nuanced treatment of transboundary governance of water.  2.3 Politics of Scale30 The “scale question” posed by Lefebvre thirty years ago is still ongoing within the social sciences. Delaney and Leitner (1997: 3), for example, summarize an ongoing agenda: “[G]eographic scale is conceptualized as being socially constructed rather than ontologically pre-given…the geographic scales constructed are themselves implicated in the construction of social, economical and political processes.” Furthermore, Swyngedouw (1992: 60) formulates that “geographic scales are both the realm and the outcome for the struggle for control over social space.” Applying questions of scale to transboundary governance – to which I turn next – provides fertile ground to investigate processes of rescaling and the ascribed role of the local.  30  The section under Politics of Scale (with the exception of the section introduction) is part of the manuscript “Transgressing Scales: Transboundary Water Governance along the Canada – U.S. Borderland” co-authored with Dr. Karen Bakker (2009), in the Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 99(1): 99 – 117. The publisher granted permission for this reproduction. 49  2.3.1 Rescaling Transboundary Water Governance in the Borderlands Many recent water management initiatives in Canada and the United States entail the involvement of local actors -- usually subprovincial or substate, and often community-based - in water management. This trend parallels the devolution of environmental governance31 to the subnational level (Feitelson and Haddad 1998; Gibbins 2001; Feitelson 2003; Maddock 2004; Marine and Environmental Law Institute 2006). In Canada and the U.S., devolution has led to an increased role of citizen participation in environmental governance, particularly for water resources (Allee 1993; Herzog 1999; Liverman et al.1999; Mumme 1999; Wolf 1999; DeLoe et al. 2002; Day, Gunton and Frame 2003; Day 2004). In many instances, this poses a challenge to conventional theories of governance such as the regime approach that naturalizes the scale of the nation-state as the primary or sole locus of political power (Agnew 1999). This is particularly true for scholars working within the International Relations (IR) tradition and those operating within an international regime framework (Bulkeley 2005; Furlong 2006). Within these frameworks, the scales at which environmental governance takes place are often treated as hierarchical and distinct, “as selfenclosed political territories within a nested hierarchy of geographical arenas contained within each other like so many Russian dolls” (Brenner, Jones, MacLeod 2003: 1). When deploying a regime approach, the state remains relatively unproblematized and indeed often becomes both naturalized and abstracted as a bounded demarcation of political power (Brenner, Jones, MacLeod 2003; Brenner 2004). 31  Scholars often use “environmental governance” as a blanket term for complex interrelationships between land-use planning, resource use, and environmental conservation (Jonas and Bridge 2003), thereby conflating governance and management. In this thesis, governance refers to decision-making processes whereby stakeholders provide input, decisions are made, and decision-makers are held accountable, whereas water management refers to the operational principles and approaches, through which water resources are managed. 50  Until recently, the process of rescaling received relatively little attention in the IR literature. This absence is largely due to the pervasiveness of the regime approach. Largely state-centric in orientation, the literature focuses on formal instruments such as treaties and agreements (Toset 2000; Kliot et al. 2001; Giordano, Giordano and Wolf 2002; Wolf, Yoffe and Giordano 2003; Dinar 2004; Epsey and Towfique 2004). Although much recent debate on fresh water resources examines the need to improve governance, as distinct from management (see, for example, UNWWAP 2003), the question of appropriate scales of management other than the nation-state is rarely a central focus. Rather, bilateral or multilateral transboundary water governance instruments dominate the conceptual frame (Sadoff and Grey 2002, Taylor 2004, Conca 2006). This suggests that the conventional IR approach to transboundary water governance is ill-equipped to analyze the emergence of scales other than the nation-state. The politics of scale literature offers useful insights into exploring alternative scales, such as the rise of the local (Howitt, 1988, 2000, 2002; Smith, 1992, 1993, 1995; Jonas 1994, 2006; Swyngedouw 1997; Brenner, 2001; Jessop 2003, 2004). First, this literature insists that there is “nothing inherent about scale.” Rather, scale is produced, contingent, and transient – as work on “regions” in geography has, for example, demonstrated (Brown and Purcell 2005, 608; Smith, 1984, 1988; MacLeod 2001; Jones and MacLeod 2004). This perspective opens up analytical space to explore the production of, and interconnection between, new scales of water governance, such as the local and the watershed scale (Betsill and Bulkeley 2004; Bulkeley 2005). Second, the focus on the relationship between space, scale, and the political economy of capitalism has provided important insights into the evolving role of the nation-state  51  (Harvey 1989; Pred and Watts 1992; Smith 1995; Cox 1997; Swyngedouw 1997; Escobar 2001). In particular, the concepts of glocalization32 (cf Swyngedouw) and the hollowing out of the state (cf Jessop) suggest that the phenomenon of rescaling is multi-scalar and intimately connected to the emergence of non-state actors such as NGOs, while implying significant changes in the role and extent of nation-state activity and influence. These insights suggest that an analytical strategy to avoid the territorial trap would entail an analysis of the evolving role of the nation-state in governance, and of the “power geometries” amongst stakeholders. The second section of this thesis - the empirical analysis - expands on, and grounds, these issues. Prior to that, however, I explore the analytical counterpart of the territorial trap in the water management literature, the local trap.  2.3.2 The Rise of Local Water Governance: The Local Trap A large proportion of watersheds transect international boundaries: Wolf et al. (1999) estimate that international boundaries transect 261 river basins, representing 45.3 percent of the land surface of the earth.33 The difficulties that arise in managing water, a flow resource, which distributes negative environmental externalities (as well as captured benefits) differentially amongst upstream and downstream users across national boundaries, have been well documented, as have the shortcomings of conventional multilateral and bilateral governance frameworks (see, for example, Conca 2006). In response, one strand of the transboundary water governance literature asserts the need for a “watershed approach” 32  The term “glocalization” describes this simultaneous shift upwards to the supranational and downwards to the local. Swyngedouw defines glocalization as the “recent politicaleconomic transformations re-characterized by a parallel and simultaneous movement to the smaller and the larger scale and the local and the global” (1997: 141). However, Swyngedouw (1997: 142) further suggests that these scales act simultaneously rather than hierarchically and that the concepts of “global” and “local” should be problematized. 33 Excluding Antarctica 52  (Gleick 1993; Newson 1997; Pentland 2006), effectively substituting hydrological boundaries for political borders. Indeed, the watershed approach will likely come to be increasingly central to transboundary water governance in North America.34 This trend is apparent along the Canada – U.S. border as the International Joint Commission (IJC), which has historically addressed disputes in a formal nation-to-nation setting, moves towards adopting a watershed approach via watershed commissions (IJC 1997, 2000, 2005).35 Discussions in water governance literature often indicate the benefits of addressing environmental issues on a watershed basis (Gleick 1993; Lundqvist, Lohm, and Falkenmark 1985; Kliot, Shmueli, and Shamir 2001). A common, and often implicit, presumption is the ability for managers to integrate environmental and social decisions through water basinbased governance instruments, rather than through political jurisdictions. In many instances, appeals to the Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) literature legitimate these assumptions. IWRM proponents often assert the necessity of multi-agency integrated management of land and water resources on a watershed basis, thereby implying governance across jurisdictional and political boundaries and prioritizing the involvement of multiple local actors in water management (Biswas 2004; Shrubsole 2004; Mitchell 2005).36  34  This trend is part of worldwide phenomena. For example, in Europe, the Water Framework Directive mandates a watershed approach to all rivers within the EU, over fifty percent of which are transboundary (European Commission 2000). In India (van Koppen and Shah 2007) and continental Africa (Lautz and Giordano 2005) the use of a watershed approach and Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) are also increasingly common in waterrelated projects -- partially driven by requirements to receive international funding. 35 The creation of the 1909 Boundary Waters Treaty established the IJC, thereby marking the earliest Canada – U.S. binational approach towards transboundary water governance. 36 For an up-to-date overview of water-related issues, see Peter H. Gleick’s The World’s Water (2006-2007): The Biennial Report on Freshwater Resources. Washington D.C.: Island Press. 53  The assertion of the importance, even primacy, of the local scale in IWRM coincides with an important strand of the broader environmental management literature, which Corry et al. (2004) describe as a new localism, in which the involvement of local actors tends to legitimize policy and environmental programs (Raco 2000; Raco and Flint 2001). The new localism advocates local involvement as necessary and positive, and as a means to supplant higher order levels of government and to reinforce the emergence of “social trust” in which both public and private needs are met and local democratic institutions are enabled. From this perspective, scholars portray local governments as being in touch with community needs, more empowered, more effective in cooperative practices, and more cost-efficient than “higher” scales of governance (Gibbins 2001; DeLoe et al. 2002; Corry et al. 2004; O’Riordan 2004). Three questionable assumptions arise in this literature. First, calls for watershedbased governance often contain an implicit assumption about the positive benefits of downscaling governance to the local level. This is problematic insofar as it implies that the inclusion of stakeholders on an equitable basis across the watershed is possible (and, indeed, assumed to be probable). With respect to water resources, scholars often suggest that the river basin is the most appropriate scale for water governance (Lundqvist, Lohm, and Falkenmark 1985; Gleick 1993; Kliot, Shmueli and Shamir 2001). As Fischhendler and Feitelson (2005) note, scholars and water managers often endorse the river basin scale as the most appropriate scale as it “allows land, water and human development issues to be integrated, thereby potentially internalizing all externalities, regardless of political boundaries” (792-3). This is in line with more general arguments by scholars such as Gibbins (2001), who maintain that it is imperative to bring local communities and their governments  54  into the fold of evolving federal systems, as local stakeholders are playing an increasingly important role in federal government structures in the United States and Canada. Indeed, the assumption that the local is somehow a better scale for environmental management prevails throughout much of the water governance literature. However, this assumption may overlook limited local institutional capacity, or merely serve to endorse the purpose of rescaling tactics of higher orders of government – which may “downshift” responsibility without an associated allocation of resources necessary to undertake newly delegated responsibilities (Cochrane 1986). Some scholars, however, have challenged the uncritical acceptance of the rhetoric of the local in environmental policy (Evans 2004; Sabatier et al. 2005). Brown and Purcell (2005), for example, articulate the dangers of a local trap. This analytical counterpart to Agnew’s territorial trap assumes that organization, policies, and action at the local scale are inherently more likely to have desired social and ecological effects than activities organized at other scales.37 As Cochrane (1986: 51) claims, “governments seem to use community as if it were an aerosol can, to be sprayed on any social programme, giving it a more progressive and sympathetic cachet.” Second, the water management literature rarely problematizes the process of rescaling of governance, which must occur if watersheds become the locus of water management. Yet these rescaling processes may have significant implications for the ability of actors, at local, national and supranational scales, to engage effectively in water governance. Governance mismatches, or asymmetries, in the case of transboundary watersheds further complicate  37  This concept, although originally applied to political ecology, is transferable to the work within environmental governance, as both have limited engagement with politics of scale literature. 55  these issues. Water is a flow resource and a multi-use resource, and thus almost inevitably transgresses geopolitical and jurisdictional boundaries. IWRM presents a complex challenge for transboundary water management regimes, which have generally been state-centric, operating through formal instruments such as treaties, with little scope for local involvement of non-governmental actors. Third, calls for the watershed approach frequently imply that nation-states necessarily lose a degree of power and influence when transboundary waters are managed on the basis of watersheds, and that devolution of responsibility and authority to local and supranational scales also implies an increasing porosity or fluidity of borders to local actors (Coates 2004). In other words, embedded within the water management literature (and environmental management literature more generally) are the implicit suppositions that transboundary watersheds emerge inevitably from processes of decentralization, and that this rescaling necessarily increases the power of local scales at the expense of the nation-state. This raises the risk of treating the involvement of local actors in water management in a relatively uncritical fashion, particularly with respect to assumptions of equitable and meaningful participation, significant influence over decision-making, and accountability or capacity (Van Rooy 1997, 2004; Taylor 2004).  2.3.2.1 Challenging the Fixed and Territorially Bounded World These critiques are to some degree anticipated, and certainly enriched, by recent debates in borderlands studies. Indeed, the mutual constitutiveness of borders and of processes of rescaling governance are the subjects of increasing attention in borderlands studies. Within the past decade, border scholars have begun challenging the idea of a fixed and territorially bounded world and started unpacking issues of power, space, and territory. 56  Newman and Paasi (1998) highlight this shift in border studies and identify four emerging major themes: 1) the suggested “disappearance” of boundaries; 2) the role of boundaries in the construction of sociospatial identities; 3) boundary narratives and discourse, and 4) different spatial scales of boundary construction. For example, one of the key arguments in Paasi’s seminal work Territories, Boundaries and Consciousness (1996) is that regions and territories evolve from processes of social construction in which the nation-state is actively involved. Approaching the process of border creation from a historical perspective, Paasi documents how the creation of a border is simultaneously discursive and material, a vehicle for the internalization of state power and nation-building, in which national identity is simultaneously materially bounded and discursively self-policed. Geopolitical borders reinforce national identity by physically keeping citizens in (and outsiders out). Nation-building narratives help citizens to internalize and reify national identities. Other scholars have made similar arguments, calling for geopolitical borders to be situated within wider historical frameworks and to be recognized as socially constructed spaces of power (see, for example, Anderson 1991; Newman 1999, 2003; Sparke 2000, 2002a; Kramsch 2002; Fall 2005). This is particularly important in transboundary discussions, which often neglect to problematize the inherent asymmetrical power relations in the boundary-making process, which has particularly significant consequences for indigenous communities who predate the construction of many state borders. When analyzing processes of rescaling, it is important to consider the material and constructed characteristics of scales of governance and borderlands. First, it implies the importance of treating scales of governance as interconnected, socially constructed, and evolving, rather than distinct, naturalized, and immutable spaces. Second, it implies the  57  acknowledgement of the simultaneous social construction and materiality of scale, and examines how water management scales are socially constructed, yet have material impacts that shape, and in turn shape governance practices. In other words, insights from the borderlands approach imply that we need to approach the social construction of scale as a material as well as political process, with both material and discursive effects (Brown and Purcell 2005). This is particularly relevant to resource sectors that have experienced significant rescaling of environmental governance in recent years (see, for example, Mansfield 2001, 2005). This, in turn, justifies an interrogation of the implications of rescaling for local communities and hydro-social cycles. It also implies skepticism with respect to assumptions often embedded in prioritization of the watershed scale in water governance debates. Implementing watershed governance does not, for example, automatically imply equitable representation of all stakeholders, or more power for local stakeholders vis-a-vis higher orders of government. Rather, this perspective reminds us of the simultaneous fixity and porosity of borders, and documents how local actors simultaneously undermine, yet are constrained by the container of the nation-state. Indeed, ironically, local actors are often less able to transcend the border than their nation-state counterparts. In short, this approach implies the need to query certain assumptions prevalent in the transboundary water governance literature as it pertains to local and watershed based management, such as the notion that borders have become more porous over time, or the assumption that scaling downward to the local implies that the border is more fluid, and less fixed (Rhodes 1996; Coates 2004). I explore these questions in the empirical chapters that follow and continue with a discussion on the social construction of borders in the following section.  58  2.4 Social Construction of Borders Territory is not; it becomes, for territory itself is passive, and it is human belief and actions that give territory meaning. - Knight (1982) A critical investigation of the border and an inquiry into border politics is fundamental, yet rarely applied, to inquiries into transboundary environmental governance. At first brush, this might seem a redundant exercise. How can one talk of transborder issues without talking of the border? Observations in the field and through literature reviews reveal that, in fact, it is quite common to omit border politics in discussions of transboundary governance (see, for example, Kiy and Wirth 1998; Rincon and Emerson 2000; Kliot, Shmueli, and Shamir 2001; Brown and Mumme 2000). In fact, the naturalization of borders as a priori containers of state power is pervasive throughout the governance literature (Newman 2002). However, as discussed in borderlands literature, political borders are not passive, unproblematic backdrops that neatly bound national identities and peoples (Anderson 1991, 1996; Newman and Paasi 1998; Newman 2003). Rather, contemporary political borders are active sites, which provide great insight into political processes and power relations. As borders are closely linked to issues of power and identity, investigating the border helps to unpack the social projects that are inscribed upon them (Fall 2005) as well as to help open up wider questions regarding identity, citizenship, and nationalism (Anderson 1996). In the case of the Canada – U.S. border, the inclusion of a politics of space is salient particularly for Native communities whose traditional territories span and predate the border. In many cases, nation-building techniques and the subsequent formation of national identities have essentially over-written the histories of the original inhabitants. Thus, including the 59  politics of border making into the discussion of transboundary governance is an important addition to the governance literature as it helps to “re-remember” the politics of the landscape (Razack 2002). It also contributes to a less narrow interpretation of the border as a nation’s container. Furthermore, this investigation contributes to the understanding of the current political climate of re-b/ordering in North America, where in a post-9/11 landscape, increased security measures have made borders increasingly material. Yet, the growing pressures of global environmental issues increasingly subvert these rigidly upheld / conceived borders. This tension between the resurgence of rigidly conceived borders and the pervasiveness of environmental issues that “leak” beyond the container of a nation-state is a fundamental driving force of this thesis. The origins and consequences of the nation-state system, which I discus below, have clear implications for the governance of shared resources, yet have minimal treatment within the context of transborder governance.  2.4.1 B/ordering Landscapes Throughout the world, the modern conception of an (inter)national political border is largely inspired by Western European examples of statehood, which emerged during the seventeenth and eighteenth century (De Vorsey and Biger 1995; Burghardt 1996; Agnew 2001, 2007). The Treaty of Westphalia (1648), which ended thirty years of war in Europe, often demarcates the formal beginning of the modern state. As Blake (2005: 20) notes: The treaty established the power of the state to exercise its own functions within its own territory to the exclusion of all other states, thus confirming the link between sovereignty and territory.  60  This anchoring of society to place in the nation-state became what Robert Sack (1986) considers one the clearest expressions of “mythical-magical consciousness of place” in the 20th century. The positioning of European countries as hegemonic powers over the past two centuries – and their subsequent empire-building activities – resulted in the emulation of territorial statehood models and political economic systems throughout the globe. This model of statehood delineates the edges of its political system with distinct territorial lines; sometimes these lines are concomitant with geographic features such as mountain ridges or rivers, sometimes not. As Agnew (2007: 398) reflects: This European (and, later, American) hegemonic practice has, in turn, ‘written the script’ for the development of the global nation-state system. Thus, European-based political ideals, and sociopolitical (and economic) practices perpetuated the establishment of a nation-state system, which dominates the current political geographic landscape. This model is in contrast to prior frontier models, where edges of power were more fluid (Alvarez 1995). Of course, before the rise of the nation-state system to global dominance, a mixture of policies co-existed throughout the world (e.g. the empire, city-state, nomadic network, dynastic state, or religious polity). Each of these bounded geographies are historically constructed, created and recreated into various spatialized spaces, accompanied by conceptual totems (Fall 2005: 20). Reinforcing these territorial lines and the national identities they bind are on-going projects, however. For example, as nations emerged in Western Europe, the willingness of the villagers to identify themselves as part of a nation was necessary in order for the nation to exist. Thus, the creation of the nation-state system requires the political purchase of the local as well as the political and administrative elite at the core. Shifting their identity towards a 61  larger (and less tangible) scale required a range of nation-building techniques. To this end, practices of “Othering”– ranging from war, map-building, and patriotic songs – served to transform the discursive to the material (Harley 1992). As Verini reflects: In the formation of national states, the task of intellectuals seems in fact to be that of providing arguments (historical, geographical, political) to sustain the idea that a [national] frontier exists. The role of politicians is to transform the affirmed frontiers into a political-administrative border (1996: 80, emphasis his). The ideology that “modern nations were built from political centers outwards” (Agnew 2007: 399) is not shared by all. Sahlins, for example, argues instead that “the dialectic of local and national interests…produced the boundaries of national territory” – this, in turn means giving up local identities and territories as “local society brought the nation into the village” (1989: 7-8). This oppositional model of borders, where the “Other” defines the very notion of a nation-state border, is a pervasive framework within border discussions. One version of this model considers the relationship between neighboring nation-states as “necessarily total, adversarial, and typically, asymmetric” (Agnew 2007: 400). Through this framework, antagonistic and hostile relationships, or “friend-enemy” relationships, define national identities (Schmitt 1985). Juxtaposing “hard borders against discrete enemies” helps to achieve this goal (Shapiro 2004: 133). This framework reinforces national identities while making secondary local or nonterritorial identities (e.g. class, gender, religion).38 I argue that transboundary environmental governance literature often reinforces this oppositional model of governance, thereby reifying nationalistic ideals. By employing a borderlands approach – 38  Another, slightly less rigid version of this model views oppositions between groups as part of, rather than defined by identity. Furthermore, this tempered approach considers the need for groups (either strong or weak) to set limits, not as a necessarily hostile act nor necessarily territorial. 62  which focuses on the local processes and functions at the site of the border – I aim to mitigate the over-generalizations of the oppositional approach. I discus the borderlands approach and the rise of nationalism in the section below, but first I turn briefly to a discussion on “natural” and “rational” borders.  2.4.1.1 “Natural”, Bona Fide, and Fiat Borders It is tempting to consider borders based on topographical features as more legitimate than borders demarcated by clearly human constructs such as meridians and geometric lines (e.g. the 49th parallel demarcating the Canada – U.S. border). The proponents of the watershed approach, for example, argue that the watershed scale is a more “natural” scale to govern water-resources. However, as Olsen (2001) indicates, even the seemingly naturebased spaces are not immune to politics and power.39 There is, in fact, a slippery-slope behind naturalized borders and the concept of a pre-determined, “rational” border. As Fall reminds us, the concept of a “Natural” border “has haunted geography since the first maps were drawn” (2005: 17). Smith (1995: 475) helps outline the distinction between different types of borders by delineating borders as either bona fide (Latin for “in good faith”) based on physical characteristics or fiat (Latin for “let it be”) produced by human demarcation (as cited in Fall 2005: 15).40 These definitions help illustrate the pervasive dichotomous perception of borders. Proponents of the watershed and bioregion approach, for example, often justify the ecologically defined borders as bona fide. This dualistic framework is pervasive both in the  39  I make this point in the following discussions of transboundary institutions and indigenous identity below. 40 Bona fide boundaries borders, although often linked to “Natural” borders, are not one in the same (See Fall 2005: 18). 63  governance literature and in the practice of environmental governance. However, in most cases the unexpected consequences of these dualisms remain largely under-theorized. Critics warn of distinct dangers associated with the naturalization of borders. For example, Olsen, a strong critic of the bioregional approach, suggests possible unexpected results of justifying borders through Naturalism. Drawing on the example of right wing ecology movements in Germany, he questions the process of employing rightful ties to Place arguments to the bounding of naturally-defined spaces. Olsen (2001: 74) argues that: Such a defence of particularize can all too easily become a narrow and politically dangerous idea opposed to one of modernity’s greatest legacies – a commitment to the union of a universal humanity, which by its very definition, is non-rooted. While bioregionalism aspires laudably to “reclaim a sense of home in nature,” it has a sinister side as well (Fall 2005: 27). In extreme examples, darker political projects may materialize into such things as “violent separatism, apartheid, and ethnic cleansing” (Olsen 2001: 82). Although I do not suggest that the transboundary projects that I investigate in this thesis necessarily are at risk for these nefarious projects of Naturalization, Olsen’s warning of remaining critical of any naturalization is an on-going and necessary project.  2.4.2 Borders and Nationalism The rise of the nation, and in turn, nationalism, is a project that followed the development of the nation-state system. Mann (1995: 44) defines a nation as a “community affirming a distinct ethnic identity, history and destiny, and claiming its own state.” Whereas, nationalism is defined as an “ideology whereby a nation believes it processes distinct claims to virtue – claims which may be used to legitimate aggressive action against other nations.” Armstrong (1982), similarly, defines nationalism as the nation’s conscious demand for  64  political expression. There is rich theoretical debate regarding the rise of the modern nation and nationalism. Gellner, who led these debates on modern nations, suggested that industry is the basis for nationalism (Hall and Jarvie 1996). At the heart of his theory, he insists that an “industrial society depends upon a common culture” (Hall 1995: 10). Baechler, Hall and Mann (1988) on the other hand, depart from Gellner’s perspective, suggesting his approach unnecessary narrow. Taking an earlier look at the rise of nationalism and civil society in 18th century Europe, they suggest that nationalism is more closely linked with the bureaucratic capacity to govern peoples. There ideas – similar to those put forth by Foucault in his essay on Governmentality – purport that the capacity to govern top-down, inculcating political ideals with the practice of governing is at the root of nationalism. These two theoretical camps provide a broad over-view of the historical roots of nationalism and build on Max Weber’s ideas of territory and sovereignty. However comprehensive these ideas, they do not engage with ideas of nationalism and the nation-state re-writing histories of dominance. For this, we turn to scholars of Native geographies. Native scholars Wilkinson (1987), Deloria (1984, 1995) and Wilkins and Lowawaimawho (2001), in the United States, and Dickason (1995, 1997), C. Harris (2000, 2002), D. Harris (2000, 2001), Jenness (1967), Littlebear (2000), Miller, J. (2001), and Ray (1974) in Canada, for example, have all made substantial contributions to discussion of the Native experience within the nation-building project. There contributions allow for a more in-depth exploration of the power geometries and social construction of the human settlement to a fixed territorial unit.  65  2.4.3 B/ordered Spaces and Power Geometries In addition to the contributions put forth by Native scholars, Buchanan and Moore’s (2003) investigation of the interrelationships between political borders and ethical traditions provide a nuanced interpretation of power geometries of bordered spaces. They suggest that in many cases, borders created under the ethical tradition – between member and nonmember – do not coincide frequently with political boundaries. That is, the strong territorial claim in political boundaries does not apply necessarily to boundaries between membergroups based on common values or traditions. They suggest that state boundaries are necessarily coercive and that state policies, rules, regulations and discursive practices uphold the state’s territorial claims. Whereas, the boundaries constructed by ethical or religious traditions are often subjective and voluntary. This concept of member and non-member, voluntary and coercive, ethical and political borders provides an important intercede into the discussion of bordered spaces, national identity, and power. In the case of the Canada – U.S. border, this point underscores the divergent experiences of people who became part of the state as a “newcomer” – either in the frontier days or in recent waves of immigration – verses Native communities – who often predate and span the border. The first group embodies, for the most part, the idea of a voluntary member of a nation-state and a relatively unproblematic conception of the national border. For the later group, the nation was built around (or over) their communities, where the border likely represents a contested and hostile geography that serves as a material reminder of social, cultural, and economic fragmentation. I suggest distinguishing between “member” and “non-member” (i.e. voluntary / nonvoluntary) members of the nation-state in discussions of environmental governance – is an important contribution to transboundary environmental governance. For one, it opens up 66  space for multiple interpretations of, and experiences with, a shared landscape. Secondly, it challenges the a priori assumption of the border as a naturalized container of power. Thirdly, it allows for a more critical interpretation of the power geometries of the act of bordering and the inclusion / exclusion of national identity. A key component of my thesis is applying this more critical (and expanded) lens towards the border and the people inhabiting the borderlands region. To achieve this, I build on the borderlands approach outlined below – locating my study at the site of the border – while remaining cognizant of the politics of the act of b/ordering.  2.4.4 Borderland Approach For borderlanders – those living “on the border” – the border is in the fore of the geographic imagination. However, as Wilson and Donan (1998: 4) suggest, the focus on every day life, and the cultural construction which give meaning to the boundaries between communities and between nations, is often absent…in the social sciences. The emergence of ethnographic study of borderlands in the 1950s and 1960s depicted the regions as bounded communities in cultural isolation. The border was not part of the study area; it merely acted to frame the cultural areas (Alverez 1995: 453). More recent approaches to the study of “borderlands,” however, offer a more critical and nuanced understanding of the distinct cultures and processes occurring within the border region. Although the borderlands approach has largely occurred with a U.S. – Mexico context, increasingly scholars are applying this approach throughout the world – including the Canada – U.S. border (Nicol 2005; Konrad and Nicol 2008). The need to include a closer inquiry into the border and border politics follows the suggestions from border scholars such as Kramsch and Mamadouh (2003) who offer an 67  alternative to nation-state or capitalistic interpretations of border analysis. They suggest that focusing on scale and democratic politics from the border, rather than from the state or economic center, can offer new insights into cross-border governance. Similarly, as mentioned above, there is a recent call within borders studies to frame the border as part a larger historical process (Newman 2002, Sidaway 2002a, 2002b; O Tuathail 2003; Paasi 2002, 2004). Situating the border within the context of its delineation allows for a more critical inquiry into these issues of power and place. Alverez (1995: 458) reflects on the ahistorical treatment of borders: An irony of the new borderlands genre isn't the tendency to …. neglect the social and historical continuity of border life. Much of our work has been ahistorical. History is more than context, yet we have not incorporated historical interpretation into our border studies. In our question to expose and illustrate the importance of difference and contrasts, the role for the border in people's creation of bonds and social networks over time has been neglected. Although Alverez is reflecting on the borderlands genre within the field of anthropology, his reflections are applicable across disciplines. Situating the study of borders within the wider political processes under which they were developed is particularly important for those in less-privileged (or non-dominant) socioeconomic and social conditions, where the border offers a different set of material consequences than those in a “dominant” or “privileged” position. Borders – serving as sites of passage and privilege – tend to magnify issues of power, class, and race (Anderson 1996). Although commonly understood, this observation rarely makes its way into the transboundary environmental governance literature. My thesis seeks to remedy this lacuna by employing a borderlands approach, bringing border politics into conversation with environmental governance.  68  2.4.5 Borders and Power: Whose Border? The borderlands approach allows for a closer reading of the histories and power geometries at the site of the border, while remaining attune to the wider political over currents. For example, the application of the nation-state system as a project of occupation raises several sets of issues surrounding colonialism, power, and privilege. In the North American context, the settlement of the border dispute between England and the United States and the demarcation of the 49th parallel had direct and immediate impacts on the Native communities. In many cases, groups connected culturally became part of divergent, foreign systems whose power and authority had severe impacts on their way of living. Social structure, education, access to resources, and physical placement all changed as a result to the creation of the United States and Canada as individual countries. The delineation of the Canada – U.S. border and its subsequent provinces, states, and regions is part of the construction of a cultural landscape (and identity) built by culturally specific meanings. As Canada and the U.S. built their cultural identity as bounded nations, the cultural experience of the newcomers and the Native communities that pre-existed the demarcations influenced each other through reflexive processes. As power and privilege led to the formation and normalization of a matrix of new laws, policies, and landscapes, traditional indigenous interpretations of the landscapes were over-shadowed (Harris, D. 2001). Overtime, the newly defined governance systems designed to manage people and resources became institutionalized and engulfed as part of the dominant worldview. The impacts of the border did not materialize immediately in all cases. For example, the border between Alberta and Montana remained virtually open for several decades after the demarcation of the border. The vast prairie environment and sparse population provided 69  the conditions necessary for a less controlled or bound border. Thus, there was a slight delay in the full impacts of the bordered environment for Native groups such as the Blackfeet and Blackfoot inhabiting the region (see McManus 2005). In the coastal Pacific region, however, with denser populations and more prominent centres of political power, the demarcation of the Canada – U.S. border, and the subsequent delineation of the reserve system had direct and immediate impacts on the Native communities. The Coast Salish groups – culturally connected through a common dialect – were subject to a new set of rules and policies that governed their way of life. The divergent policies in Canada and the U.S. disrupted this connection and harboured long-term impacts on their traditional governance mechanisms, social structures, and access to resources. However, this relationship is far from stagnant. As detailed in Chapter Seven, ongoing projects such as the Salish Sea Aboriginal Council provide a counter-narrative to the dominant discourse and aim to bring Native interpretations of the landscape back to the fore. In short, considering the acute politics of borders (and the act of b/ordering), it is essential to consider two points when discussing transboundary governance: The Canada – U.S. border is a recent cultural phenomenon, and not all social groups recognize the border. Upon first brush, these ideas might seem facile. However, after surveying governance literature (both academic and applied) the unproblematic treatment of political borders is quite clear (Kiy and Wirth 1998; Brown and Mumme 2000; Rincon and Emerson 2000; Kliot, Shmueli, and Shamir 2001). In fact, transboundary environmental organizations, whose primary aim is to transcend political divides for “nature’s sake,” often reify rather than lessen national identities. This reification occurs as transboundary organizations paradoxically promote “boundless nature” within “bounded nations”.  70  By performing the management of a “shared” ecosystem, transboundary organizations often perpetuate a bifurcated geography entrenched with nationalist ideals rather than a “borderless” geography based on bioregionalism. Although this shoring up is largely unintentional, it highlights the importance of recognizing the power and privilege of the dominant discourse even in seemingly “socially-beneficial” projects. The national perspective is unsurprising considering, as White (1999) points out, national perspectives frame most environmental texts (histories). Wilson (2003), reflecting on this nationalperspective in the environmental field notes: Although clearly the old adage “nature knows no boundaries” holds true, it is prudent to recognize that most decisions surrounding the environment are made at a nation-state level. Thus, as efforts to (re)create a bioregion spanning a political divide may attempt to prioritize ecological over national boundaries, the efforts remain largely grounded in – and reinforced by – a state paradigm. Matthew Sparke’s investigation of “Cascadia,” which I highlight in Chapter Five, provides evidence of this tendency (2000, 2002b). This privileging of “nature” over “culture” is particularly evident when comparing the parallel, but non-intersecting, discourses of Coast Salish communities (whose cultural continuum spans and pre-dates the Canada – U.S. border) and transboundary environmentalists (whose efforts are grounded in and by the border). Thus, I aim to “reremember,” as Sherene Razack calls it, the history of the border-making process by situating it within the practice and theory of transboundary governance (see also, Smith, L.T. 2003).  71  2.5 Conclusion In this chapter, I discussed the three main themes framing my thesis: environmental governance, rescaling, and social construction of borders. I suggested that bringing environmental governance literature into conversation with the rescaling literature allows for a deeper understanding of governance processes. Additionally, I suggested the need for a more critical investigation of the border itself and the politics of b/ordering. First, I documented the prevalence, and limitations, of the “territorial trap” in the environmental governance literature. In particular, the regime approach, canonized in the IR theory, reifies the state as the container of power. Considering the failings of the regime approach within the practice of international environmental governance, I suggested a closer investigation of non-state approaches. I build on contributions of institutional theorists such as Ostrom (1990), Haas, Kehone, and Levy (1991) and Conca (2006) who investigate the role of the individual in governing the commons. I agree with their assessment of the need to depart from state-centric models and treat individuals as agents of change. However, I depart from these earlier works by focusing on the multi-scalar characteristics of the institutions designed to govern shared resources, rather than the efficacy of international environmental institutions. This approach allows for a closer look into wider processes of rescaling, as well as a sustained discussion on the role of political borders (material and discursive) on the governance of shared resources. I then suggested that investigating the role of local actors in transboundary governance provides an opportunity to move beyond the regime approach. The politics of scale literature offer useful insights into exploring alternative scales, such as the rise of the local. However, within this discussion, I suggested the need to decouple the trends of devolution with the assumption of local capacity. For this, I turned to Corry et al.’s (2004) 72  description of a new localism, in which the involvement of local actors tends to legitimize policy and environmental programs. From this perspective, the common portrayal of local governments is more in touch with community needs, more empowered, more effective in cooperative practices, and more cost-efficient than “higher” scales of governance. However, these assumptions of capacity do not always correlate with the realities of governance, as suggested by Brown and Purcell (2005) concept of the “local trap”. My thesis employs both the concept of the “local trap” and the “territorial trap” in my investigation of transboundary governance. In short, although rescaling processes may have significant implications for the ability of actors, at local, national and supranational scales, to engage effectively in water governance, the water management literature rarely problematizes the process of rescaling of governance. I attempt to remedy this lacuna in my thesis. Lastly, I focused on the social construction of borders literature. I maintain that the politics of borders and the act of b/ordering is critical component of transboundary governance, yet is largely absent in the governance literature. I suggest that adopting a “borderlands” approach helps to look more critically at the border and situates the border within the wider historical processes that helped shape it. This follows suggestions from border scholars such as Newman and Paasi (1998) and Kramsch and Mamadouh (2003) who purport the need for a greater critical inquiry to the social construction of borders. In addition to adopting the borderlands approach, I suggest Buchanan and Moore’s (2003) investigation of the interrelationships between political borders and ethical traditions provides an excellent entry point into power geometries of bordered spaces. Their approach is particularly salient when discussing bordered spaces, national identity, and power. The discussion of Native communities relationship to border (and cultural) politics is used as an  73  example of the need to problematize the naturalized view and often myopic view of borders. Lastly, I suggest that this critical investigation helps in the process of what Razack calls “reremembering” the history of the border-making process.  74  CHAPTER THREE: MANDATES AND MODALITIES OF TRANSBOUNDARY COOPERATIVE MECHANISMS 3.1 Introduction For more than one hundred years, disputes over pollution, water quality, downstream and upstream water rights, and water diversions and export have played out along the 49th parallel. In response, distinct types of transboundary institutions have emerged to address disagreements. The first institution designed to address binational water issues between Canada and the United States was the International Joint Commission (IJC), created through the signing of the Boundary Waters Treaty in 1909. Since the creation of the IJC, the governance of these boundary waters has grown to include several other instruments. These new governance instruments represent various scales of resource governance (tri-national, nation-to-nation, provincial-state, and local) as detailed in Table 3.1. This chapter seeks to provide an introductory overview of the mandates and modalities of three fundamental transboundary institutions that govern water along the Canada – U.S. border: The International Joint Commission, the North American Free Trade Agreement’s Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC), and the British Columbia – Washington Environmental Cooperation Council (ECC). The discussion of these three institutions, representing various scales of governance, helps to lay the foundation for the empirical work and analysis of rescaling that follows. The overviews of each of the institutions illustrate how broad trends in environmental governance materialize into specific institutional modalities. As the governance literature indicates, the devolution of environmental governance to the local level is a relatively recent phenomenon in Canada and the United States (Feitelson and Haddad 1998; DeLoe et al. 2002; Day 2004; Marine and Environmental Law Institute 2006). Analyzing these three transboundary 75  institutions provides insight into how these processes play out at various scales. This analysis also provides an entry point to apply “construction of scale” arguments, as the scales that I present are not immutable, and have evolved over time. Furthermore, outlining the conditions under which these mechanisms were developed is consistent with calls for a wider historical framework of border studies (Newman 2002, Paasi 2002, Sidaway 2002a, 2002b, 2005; Kramsch and Mamadouh 2003, O Tuathail 2003). The chapter starts with a discussion of the creation of the Boundary Waters Treaty (BWT) of 1909 and the creation of the IJC. The second and third sections are more contemporary in focus, with brief overviews of the development of the supranational CEC (1994) and the subnational ECC. The IJC provides a bi-national perspective; the CEC provides a tri-national perspective; while the ECC provides the perspective of a regional, bilateral governance mechanism relatively autonomous from federal involvement.  76  Table 3.1 Cooperation Mechanisms for Transboundary Water Governance Governing Mechanism NAFTA Commission for Environmental Cooperation  Scale Tri-national Federal Canada –U.S.– Mexico  Function  Advisory role, non-binding • Helps prevent potential trade and environmental conflicts • Promotes the effective enforcement of environmental law, all as part of its mandate under the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation Binational • Advisory role, non-binding International Joint Federal • Operates through Reference System Commission Canada–U.S. • “Prevent and resolve transboundary environmental and water-resource disputes …. through processes that seek the common interest of both countries” Binational • Advisory role, non-binding Environmental State– • “Help mitigate and address environmental Cooperation provincial issues of mutual concern” Councils Binational and • Participatory ENGO / Citizen domestic • Action-oriented Groups • Non-binding, non-regulatory Local • “Consensus based negotiations, and Watershed implementation of policies through local voluntary efforts” Source: Adopted from Norman and Bakker (2005) •  3.2 Creating the Boundary Waters Treaty (1909) On 11 January 1910, in Washington D.C., the United States secretary of state, Elihu Root, and the United Kingdom’s (His Majesty’s) ambassador to the United States, James Bryce, signed the Treaty between the United States and Great Britain relating to Boundary Waters, and Questions arising between the United States and Canada - more commonly known as “The Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909” (BWT). The BWT represents the culmination of years of diplomatic negotiations to insure friendly relations between countries and increased public pressure to address growing transboundary water issues. Some describe  77  the treaty as the most long-standing and equitable instrument for governing transboundary water in the world. Others, however, are more skeptical of the Treaty’s efficacy. The main water-related issues facing Canada and the United States during the Treaty’s negotiation are similar to those today: navigation, hydroelectric power generation, pollution, and allocation of boundary waters for industrial and agricultural uses.41 Recognizing the importance of these water-related issues, public pressure from individual citizens, lobby groups, and water resource technocrats, provided the initial push to develop the BWT (Dreisziger 1981). Initially, this push led to the International Waterways Commission (IWC), which was born out of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1902. Although the IWC’s focus was regional, mainly concerned with the Great-Lakes-St Lawrence system, it provided a platform for the development of a commission that would address water issues across the entire 49th parallel. Those advocating for the development of a shared water treaty argued that it would become increasingly difficult to negotiate a “fair” treaty given the growing asymmetry of power between nations. In fact, my interviews with current representatives of the Canadian Foreign Affairs and the U.S. State Department revealed a consensus that there was only a brief time in the history of Canada – U.S. relations for the negotiation of a treaty such as the BWT. Several interviewees reflected that, “the Treaty simply could not be negotiated in today’s political climate.” These comments suggest that recent U.S. administrations would not likely concede authority to “level the playing field” for the sake of equitable representation.  41  Specifically, the three main issues that influenced the negotiations were the transportation of the St. Lawrence Sea Way Project, water allocation of the Saint Mary and Milk Rivers, and pollution in the Chicago Drainage Canal. 78  Like any international mechanism, issues of state sovereignty are central to the negotiation of treaties. Finding approaches that are mutually beneficial – but do not restrict sovereign rights to resources – is a delicate balance in international negotiations (Susskind 1994). For the BWT, negotiating a treaty on a continental scale required Britain (on Canada’s behalf) and the United States to agree on the relative authority and scope of its mechanisms.42 A critical point in the negotiation was determining the strength of the commission. The settlement of the Treaty was delayed as the governments debated whether to assign the commission “real arbitral power or merely to assign a more limited mandate to recommend courses of action, which the governments could accept or reject as they saw fit” (Carroll 1981: 44). The stalling point was the relative strength of the commission. Canada preferred the stronger version (the Gibbons-Clinton draft), which allowed for a commission with authority over the final decision and the creation of a supranational court to adjudicate boundary water disputes. The United States opted for the weaker version (Dreisziger 1981: 17). The U.S. position is unsurprising given that during the time of treaty negotiation, the Harmon Doctrine43 – which maintains that a country is sovereign over the portion of an international watercourse within its borders (McAffrey 1996) – was at the forefront of American thinking. 42  Although the British were one of the signatories and designers of the Treaty, they ultimately had no part in the development of one of its main developments. Despite their lack of direct governance within the IJC, the power relations between the UK, Canada, and the U.S. had a significant impact on the negotiation of the Treaty and the boundaries of the Commission. At the time of Treaty negotiation, there was a delicate balance between UK and America. Other foreign events such as the negotiation for Alaska Territory also shaped the final version of the Treaty. 43 U.S. Attorney General Judson Harmon, in response to Mexican protests, noted that “the fundamental principle of international law is the absolute sovereignty of every nation, as against all others, within its own Territory” 21 Op. Attorney General. 281-282 (1895). For a review of the impacts of the Harmon Doctrine on Canada-United States relations, see Austin (1959) and McCaffrey (1996) 79  The development of the doctrine, which occurred as a response to Mexican protests against diversions from the Rio Grande, colored the governance structure of the IJC. Under this climate, the U.S. rejected the original Clinton-draft of the BWT, which gave the IJC greater authority, in favor of the weaker model, which limits the arbitral powers of the IJC and clearly upholds nation-state boundaries. U.S. Secretary of State Elihu Root articulated this preference in a letter to British ambassador James Bryce in 1908. Root stated: The difficulty of the United States in assenting to an agreement that all questions within the broad field described by the Gibbons-Clinton draft shall be referred for final determination to such a commission as is proposed, is in the main that such questions necessarily involve, not merely questions of fact and of law suitable for the determination of a commission or arbitral tribunal, but many questions of policy, of mutual concession and of the of the give and take which is in so great a number of cases the efficient means of reaching possible settlement of difficult controversies. Such questions of policy, of concession, of discretion make it impossible for the Government of the United States to commit to any commission under our system of government. (quoted in Carroll 1981:44) Ultimately, the version with less authoritative power prevailed. Although some considered the limited scope of the Treaty a major concession by Canada at the time, some water policy managers maintain that the limited arbitral capacity is actually a key contributor to the longevity of the BWT. This line of reasoning suggests that the governments would likely shy away from the IJC if the mechanisms were too binding or authoritative. This follows the observations within international environmental governance literature, that upholding state sovereignty limits international agreements (Susskind, Moomaw, Gallagher 2002; Adamson 2005). This is observable with the numerous failed agreements and regimes that were discussed in Chapter Two. Those more critical of the BWT suggest that despite its longevity and flexibility, the treaty has yet to reach its full potential (Dreisziger 1981; Carroll 1981). In fact, many current  80  water managers that I interviewed – particularly at the subnational level – argue that the limited authority of the commission is a key reason why the BWT consistently fails to live up to its original mandate. However, supporters of the Treaty, often describe it as a “resilient document” with the flexibility to adapt to changing border demographics and new demands for water use. Part of this “success” follows Corti’s (1997) observation that the commons is best looked after when an immediate and well-defined interest exists and the states are likely to incur costs with its neglect. The socio-economic and political costs associated with the numerous shared waterways suggest that perhaps the success of the BWT was a political inevitability. At the very least, the creators of the BWT recognized that conflict involving transboundary water was inevitable – especially in light of the extraordinary length of the border and the large number of shared resources between Canada and the United States (Holmes 1981). Addressing this point, the BWT puts in place mechanisms to regulate, and if possible, resolve what they refer to as “endless and normal” transboundary disputes.44 Most notably, Chapter X of the BWT outlines the creation of the International Joint Commission (IJC), an independent commission to regulate, review, and resolve issues relating to the boundary waters of Canada and the United States.  44  Within the Treaty, the Boundary Waters define the waters “from main shore to main shore of rivers, lake, and other waterways along which the international boundary possess”. 81  3.3 International Joint Commission I do not anticipate that the time will ever come when this Commission will not be needed. I think that as the two countries along this tremendous boundary become more and more thickly settled the need for it will increase…- Elihu Root, Secretary of State (1909)45 The primary purpose of the IJC is to help prevent and resolve issues relating to the boundary waters of Canada and the U.S. The IJC adopted a functional approach to address boundary water issues (of both water quality and allocation). Under the BWT, an array of responsibilities are assigned to the IJC, including: administrative, quasi-judicial, arbitral, and investigative. The administration powers, detailed in article VI, include activities such as directing and measuring boundary waters (i.e. the St. Mary and Milk Rivers in Alberta and Montana). The quasi-judicial powers found in articles III, IV, and VII involve reviewing applications and granting permission for projects that would divert, use, or obstruct treaty waters (Willoughby 1981: 24). Article X outlines the arbitral powers relative to questions arising between Canada and the U.S. Article IX deals with investigative powers affording the commission the right to examine and make recommendations on water issues along the boundary. Logistically, the IJC comprises six members, three appointed by the government of Canada and three by the President of the United States. Administrative staff supports the work of the Commission in offices in Ottawa, Washington, D.C., and Windsor (due to the proximity of the Great Lakes). However, the work of task forces and governing boards (described below) conducts much of its work.  45  Quoted by Munton (1981) 82  Historically, the IJC addresses a small number of major disputes in a formal nationto-nation setting. The scope of the IJC is determined, in part, by the underlying premise that the “authority over water in its own territory is absolute.” Thus, to insure that the IJC does not over-step its authority and become a form of “continental government,” the IJC operates through a reference system (Holmes 1981). Under this system, the IJC becomes involved in an issue only at the request of both countries. The receipt of a reference – or formal request by each country – leads to the creation of a panel of experts with an equal number of representatives from each country to study the issue and make nonbiased recommendations. To insure neutrality, the technical experts operate in their professional capacity as experts in the field, rather than as representatives of a specific agency, or in the interest of their national origins. The St. Mary-Milk International Task Force is an example of a recent reference, established in 2005 to study the disputed allocation of river water between Alberta and Montana.46 The responsibilities of the IJC are mainly limited to investigations and long-term management of works.  3.3.2 Boards Boards facilitate the majority of the IJC’s work, engaging in responsibilities around a diverse range of issues (from water allocation to water pollution) within specific transboundary water basins (See Table 3.2 for complete list of boards). To ensure unbiased recommendations, an equal number of Canadian and U.S. technical experts sit on the boards. The board members have a wide rage of responsibilities, including: preparing technical  46  This reference is part of an on-going discussion regarding water allocation between the Alberta and Montana. This issue was addressed in the original BWT document. 83  studies, reports and plans, monitoring sites, and regulating water works. The Great Lakes Water Quality Board, established in 1978, is an example of a long-standing board designed to advise the IJC on water quality issues surrounding the Great Lakes.47 When conceived in 1913, the boards dealt with issues of water quality and quantity issues as separate entities. However, concomitant with wider trends in environmental governance that materialized during the Comprehensive Management Era and Sustainable Development Era, the IJC proposed a more inclusive and integrative approach to water governance in the late nineties. This approach integrated water quality and water quantity issues and afforded greater inclusion of non-state actors. The development of this new approach emerged from a reference to conduct a selfstudy. The reference asked the IJC to “examine its important mission in the light of relevant agreements and references, and to provide…proposals on how the Commission might best assist the parties to meet environmental challenges in the 21st century within the framework of their treaty responsibilities.” In turn, the IJC developed a new type of international watershed board called the International Watershed Initiative, which created ecosystembased international watershed boards at a binational, regional scale. A central aim of the watershed boards is to coordinate with citizen groups and include stakeholder representatives familiar with the particulars of the geographic region. Furthermore, the boards employ a proactive approach to governance, attempting to stave off potential water issues before they occur. This is in contrast to the reactive reference system, which allows IJC involvement  47  The IJC currently facilitates three boards in Washington State and British Columbia: International Boards of Control for Osoyoos Lake, Kootenay Lake, and the Columbia River. These boards have monitored the water levels of the Grand Coulee reservoir at the border and administered regulatory Orders for the Zosel and Corra Lin Dams since the 1930s and 1940s. 84  only after an issue arises. Currently only three regions have adopted this approach. Despite the limited number of established boards, the creation of the structure shows an institutional willingness to engage in new forms of governance and an acknowledgement of the increasing number of local and regional transboundary relationships (IJC 1997). The IJC Watershed Initiative is explored in detail in Chapter Seven. Table 3.2 IJC Boards of Control and Task Forces IJC Boards of Control/ Pollution Boards • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •  Accredited Officers for the St. Mary-Milk Rivers Council of Great Lakes Research Managers Great Lakes Science Advisory Board Great Lakes Water Quality Board International Air Quality Advisory Board International Columbia River Board of Control International Kootenay Lake Board of Control International Lake of the Woods Control Board International Lake Superior Board of Control International Niagara Board of Control International Osoyoos Lake Board of Control International Rainy Lake Board of Control International Rainy River Water Pollution Board International Red River Board International Souris River Board International St. Croix River Watershed Board International St. Lawrence River Board of Control International Upper Great Lakes Study Board Watershed Initiative  Current Task Forces • Health Professionals Task Force • International St. Mary and Milk Rivers Administrative Measures Task Force  Completed Task Forces •  •  •  •  •  • • •  International Lake Ontario - St. Lawrence River Study Board (Completed 2006) Upper Great Lakes Plan of Study Revision Team (Completed 2005) International Missisquoi Bay Task Force (Completed 2004) Indicators Implementation Task Force (Completed 2000) International Red River Basin Task Force (Completed 2000) Nuclear Task Force (Completed 1999) Lake Erie Task Force (Completed 1996) Indicators for Evaluation Task Force (Completed 1996)  Source: Information obtained from International Joint Commission (2007)  85  3.3.3 Adapting to a Socio-political Change: Declining Role of References Several of the water managers interviewed described the Watershed Initiative as the IJC’s institutional attempt to remain relevant in a changing political environment. Part innovation and part preservation, the new Boards are part of the IJC response to wider trends of governmental devolution and increased local participation. These trends have influenced the main instruments used to enable the Commission – the references and applications – which, over the past several decades, have experienced notable decline.48 A recent Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs conference reported this decline, where an IJC official presented a telling graph of IJC references over time (Figure 3.1). The declining references, and overall change in IJC governance structure, emerged as central topics in many of the interviews. For example, one senior governmental water analyst reflected: They’ll still get some references from time to time, on big issues where there’s kind of an impasse. You can imagine -- I’ll give you an example, the Pembina River, there’s flooding and, in Manitoba, and it’s been there for years and they haven’t been able to solve this problem, so the farmers started building dikes along the border and started flooding the other country and all that. And then you get farmers out there with guns, you actually do, they get guns, shooting at each other and all that sort of thing. So, you may from time to time get these implacable issues that the IJC will be brought in to kind of buffer or sometimes you’ll get the IJC brought in to study a problem away. You have high water on the Great Lakes, so give the IJC a reference for five years, and by the time they finish studying it, the water will have gone down. This quote underscores, albeit dramatically, the level of crisis necessary for some to request an IJC referral. The gun-slinging farmers highlight the growing resistance to current IJC governance models. 48  It was largely reported, however, that the operational duties, such as regulating water levels and allocation in shared lakes and rivers (e.g. Lake Ontario, Lake of the Woods, and Columbia River), have not diminished and that they will remain a mainstay for the IJC. 86  Figure 3.1 Number of International Joint Commission Applications and References Over Time  25  References Applications  Numbers  20 15 10 5 0 1909-  1930-  1950-  1970-  1990-  Source: Canadian Section of the IJC (2007), Presented at a Department of Foreign Affairs, Canadian Conference, Ottawa 3.3.3.4 Why Decline in References? There are several theories for the decline in IJC references. For one, the increased agency of subnational actors may limit the number of references. As states and provinces become increasingly involved in governance, the tendency to invite federal (supranational) representatives to assist in regional issues tends to decline. Secondly (and related to the first point), the shifting trends of water governance – from designing mutual projects in the Development Period to multi-jurisdictional participation in the Sustainable Development Period – plays a part in declining references (see Table 4.2). As one senior water analyst reflected, “game theory” politics has a lot to do with these trends:  87  Well, I think you don’t have the same situation, like in the Development Period, you had this, everything was mutual interest, mutual advantage. And it was in both countries’ advantage to give the IJC references, they both gained from it. So they sought out how to develop these projects into an advantage. And in the Comprehensive Period, you had common problems like purification of the Great Lakes and so on, common problems to be solved, and the IJC was given a role in that. And you came through the Sustainable Development period, they got less and less references because it became more a gaming theory thing, where the different interests in different countries were in a gaming situation, trying to get the best of each other, kind of, and one country or the other, sometimes one country wanted a reference and the other one didn’t and vice versa. So you had, you know, maybe the downstream country wanted the reference where there was a mining project in the other country. But it wasn’t to the mutual advantage of both countries, so one or the other didn’t want it. A third reason for the changing role is a “fear of the truth” – or, a fear of what the IJC will conclude at the end of the reference process. Although the IJC decisions are not politically binding, the public nature of the process will make a rejection of the IJC’s decision “politically uncomfortable”. Thus, as a way to “save face” and keep their project intact (as seen in the Flathead Basin example below) some parties simply do not engage with the IJC. The IJC’s requirement for both countries to request a reference compounds this trend. Furthermore, the quote below from a senior water manager in Canada highlights how national interest and shifting trends in governance both affects the reference process: But there still are those kind of situations that will come up where you want to study a problem the whole way or you want to diffuse an issue. Those kinds of things will still come up and it won’t happen; it’ll never happen if it is not in the U.S. national interest. It’ll sometimes happen if it’s not in the Canadian national interest because we don’t have the same floats, so we’re kind of dragged in. We’re not equals, in a sense, but you can imagine situations where it will still happen. But it won’t happen in the same sort of fulsome way that it used to where you were looking for a common mutual advantage. It’d be more of a gaming situation.  88  The decline in references and applications to study is particularly noteworthy considering this system has long been viewed as “the backbone of the IJC”. As one senior water analyst commented: That’s really their role, the reference role. They’ve had 106 or 110 references. And in what, 99 percent of those cases, they’ve got common facts and common recommendations. And in almost all those cases, they’re acted upon. Similarly, a former Canadian Commissioner commented that obtaining the “facts” consistently paves the way for consensus: The strength of the IJC is national fact finding - it has always been and always will be. So ninety percent of the time, when you have an issue, a boundary water issue, if you know the facts, the solution is very easy. A U.S. Senior Water Policy Analyst concurred: The IJC plays a role of national fact finder. They agree on the facts. Once you agree on the facts, there’s almost always a solution, you always start out with a different perception of the facts. Considering this striking trend, it is unsurprising that the organization is seeking to redefine its role through the Watershed Initiative. In this time of transition, the IJC is attempting to carve out a new future. Whether the IJC is able to translate its strengths into this new governance model is yet to be determined. In Chapter Seven, I highlight some possible avenues for the IJC to apply its institutional strengths (such as their reference and fact-finding role) to the new Watershed Initiative that is seen by many as good politics.  89  3.3.4 IJC Capacity Although the IJC’s recommendations are not legally binding, the public nature of the process often provides the necessary pressure for the participants to act according to the IJC recommendations. The voluntary, non-binding system aims to encourage participation in the governing process. However, many criticize this approach as too conservative, restricting the IJC for reaching its potential as a binational governing board (Dreisziger 1981; Holmes 1981). Although member countries follow the board recommendations in most cases, some cases exist where governments simply ignore the recommendations. Alternatively, the possibility of an unfavorable review from the IJC prevents some actors to initiate a reference process. In these cases, the limited ability of the IJC for proactive behaviour and enforcement power provides a real limitation to the governance structure. The ongoing conflicts surrounding the Flathead basin, which spans the border between British Columbia and Montana, illustrates one aspect of the limited capacity of the IJC. In this case, companies in British Columbia are interested in mining the mineral deposits along the Flathead River, which flows southeast into Montana. Concerned with downstream water pollution, citizen groups, Montana state officials, and U.S. federal representatives adamantly oppose this project. In 1988, the IJC received an invitation to help resolve the issue. After extensive review, the six-member task force unanimously agreed that the mining activity should not proceed due to down-stream pollution. Two decades later, however, British Columbia is once again exploring the idea of mining – much to the alarm of Montana. The United States has invited the IJC to reopen the case – largely due to the active lobbying of Montana state officials. However, Canada (specifically, British Columbia officials) are reticent to ask for another review from the IJC 90  because they did not agree with the findings of the previous task force. Showing promise of a possible resolution, Premier Gordon Campbell rejected a British Petroleum proposal to extract methane in the Flathead basin, which was a long-standing concern. However, the possibilities of open pit coal mining are an ongoing concern (Hume 2008). Here, the nonbinding nature of the decision and the inability to engage in a task force without both parties’ consent has caused an impasse. The limitations of the IJC structure have, in some cases, prompted citizen groups and local representatives to become increasingly involved in their local, transboundary issues. In this case, the Flathead Coalition – an alliance of community, tribal, business and conservation groups – reemerged in 2004 to address the Flathead Basin controversies.49 This shift in governance, and increased involvement of local actors, is explored in detail in Chapters Four and Five.  3.3.5 Change Over Time: Water-related Issues and Glocalization One of the main differences in contemporary water issues compared to the early 1900s is the shift in concern for water quantity to water quality. During the early years of the IJC, the majority of the negotiations and references centered on allocation of water resources and avoiding flood damage. Towards the latter part of the century, public attention to water quality issues has prompted a more holistic approach to the governance of water. As discussed above, the IJC responded to these changes by widening its approach to include mechanisms such as watershed boards. They have also attempted to diversify their pool of experts, who until the mid-eighties largely represented engineers and water technicians. Now the experts, IJC staff, and committee members represent a wider range of disciplines, 49  See, http://www.flatheadcoalition.org/ accessed December 29, 2007. 91  including social scientists and economists, who treat water-related issues in a more comprehensive manner. Related to the widening scope of transboundary water governance is an increased participation of subnational actors in international water issues. This shift in organizational structure represents wider trends identified as glocalization (Swngedouw 2004). The increased ability for actors at a local scale to participate in transnational governance, while supranational actors remain active in international discussions exemplifies these rescaling trends. In the next section, I turn to the example of the British Columbia – Washington Environmental Cooperation Council as the primary example of transboundary governance of water at a provincial – state level. To set the scene, I briefly introduce two earlier examples of binational cooperation at a regional level – the Great Lakes Council of Governors and Premiers and the Gulf of Maine Council.50 These examples also provide insights into the realities of shifting scales overtime and rescaling processes such as glocalization.  3.4 Regional Binational Governance of Water-related Issues Since the enactment of the International Joint Commission in 1909, subnational participation in transboundary governance of water has become increasingly common throughout North America and beyond (Alper and Monahan 1986; Alper 1996; DeLoe et al. 2002; Day 2004; Norman and Bakker 2007, 2009).51 This increased presence of subnational (regional / local) actors is part of a wider trend in environmental governance. In the Global 50  Examples of other agreements at a provincial – state level include: Poplar River Bilateral Monitoring Arrangement (1980); Oil Spill Task Force of the Pacific States (1989); Osoyoos Lake Tributary Systems (1987); and the BC-Idaho Environmental Cooperation Arrangement (2003). 51 I quantify this shift in Chapter Four. 92  South, for example, Integrated Watershed Management techniques – which rely on the watershed scale as the primary locus of power – have become increasingly prevalent in water related projects (Lautz and Giordano 2005; van Koppen and Shah 2007). Similarly, in Europe, the creation of the Water Framework Directive mandates a watershed approach to all rivers within the European Union, over fifty percent of which are transboundary (European Commission 2000). In North America, the Great Lakes and the Gulf of Maine are two of the first regions to participate in transboundary governance of water at a subnational scale. The Great Lakes Council, which started as a multi-state agreement in 1983, became binational when the Council of Governors joined with the Premiers of Ontario and Quebec to sign the Great Lakes Charter. The Charter is a “good faith agreement to collectively manage Great Lakes water used to make certain that the levels and flows of Great Lakes water were not unduly disrupted” (Council of Great Lakes Governors 2007). The development of the Great Lakes Charter Annex in June 2001, which required 18 months of careful negotiation, is a recent example of the continued coordination – or “collective management” – between the Governors and Premiers in the Great Lakes region. More generally, it reflects a strong willingness to engage in problem solving of these regional, yet international, issues, at a provincial-state level. Similarly, the development of the Gulf of Maine Council emerged as a regional response to declining environmental quality of the Gulf. The jurisdictions bordering the Gulf of Maine – Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia – committed their respective governments to binational coordination of water issues with the 1989 Agreement on the Conservation of the Marine Environment of the Gulf of Maine  93  (GMA) and its subsidiary, the Gulf of Maine Council. The Gulf of Maine Council provides a network of multi-jurisdictional, government and non-governmental organizations working to maintain and enhance environmental quality and “to allow for sustainable resource use by existing and future generations” (Gulf of Maine Council 2007). The Council adopts several outreach strategies to achieve these goals, including: organizing conferences and workshops; providing science translation to management; conducting environmental monitoring; conducting environmental education; connecting people, organizations, and information; and offering grants and recognition awards (Pederson and Vanderzwaag, 1997). The enactment of binational governance mechanisms at a subnational level marks a new era in transboundary governance of water. The Gulf of Maine Council and the Great Lakes Governors and Premiers’ Council exemplify the burgeoning multi-jurisdictional, subnational approach to transboundary water issues. On the Pacific Coast of North America, the regional governments also engaged in regional transboundary governance, spurred on, in part, by the inability of existing national or regional governments to respond to transboundary environmental crisis.  3.5 The British Columbia – Washington Environmental Cooperation Council The rescaling of environmental governance is not necessarily a linear process; rather, it is a process of informal diffusion of responsibility in which different scales can reassert authority at critical moments. Both strong leadership and the presence of crisis are likely agents of change. In British Columbia and Washington, for example, strong leaders play an important part in shaping transboundary governance, irreverent of scale (Day 2004, Blatter 2001, Alper 1997). Key leaders from the governor and premier, to local mayors and NGO directors provide critical roles in shaping transboundary environmental governance agendas 94  (Van Rooy 1997; Norman and Melious 2004, 2008). For example, it is often suggested that the friendship and shared commitment to environmental issues of then-governor Booth Gardner and then-premier Mike Harcourt was instrumental for the creation of BC – WA Environmental Cooperation Council (Jolly 1998). Harcourt himself reflected that the political similarities between himself and Gardner were instrumental in moving the idea from conception to reality (phone interview with author 2007). Thus, in many ways, their political will and shared vision drove the conception of a binational institution – an example of how informal governance mechanisms beget mechanisms that are more formal. Like strong leadership, crisis consistently serves as an impetus for political change. The environmental governance literature clearly documents this phenomenon (Nevarez 1996; Gandy 1997; Bakker 1999; Bridge and McManus 2000; Kaika 2003). Kaika (2003) for example shows how the naturalization of water as a “scare resource” drove political change in the 1989-91 Athens drought. Similarly, Nevarez (1996) shows how the “environmental crisis” – a drought in Santa Barbara, California – helped to streamline political agendas. In the case of the BC – WA Environmental Cooperation Council, a crisis served to transition dialog into action. The leaders of the days conceived the ECC; however, in order for the vision of transnational environmental governance to transition into action a concrete impetus was required.  3.5.1 Oil and Water On 22 December, 1988, 230,000 gallons of high-grade gasoline oil spilled into the ocean near Grays Harbour, Washington. The spill affected more than 110 miles of scenic coastline on the Olympic Peninsula and the coast of Vancouver Island (Jolly 1998; Blatter 2001). The thick oil covered the wings and feathers of wintering shorebirds such as the  95  black-bellied plover and the western sandpiper (Larsen and Richardson 1990). Scores of volunteers and wildlife biologists convened at the beaches in an attempt to clean the grounded birds and the surrounding environment. The international scale of the spill – coupled with the lack of plans to deal with such a disaster – prompted officials in Washington and British Columbia to put in motion a series of actions to coordinate transboundary water issues. The Director of the Washington State Department of Ecology at the time, Christine Gregoire, considers the Grays Harbour spill a key event for the development of regional governance of shared resources. At a keynote address to participants of the Georgia Basin-Puget Sound conference in Seattle, Washington (2005) the now Governor Gregoire reflected: As the oil spread from Washington coast waters into British Columbia, I thought to myself….OK. What next? Who do I call? What actions do I take? This is now bigger than the State of Washington. This frightening experience led me to think critically about how we coordinate these types of issues. Ultimately, it led us to develop new systems for managing binational resources. In response to the Grays Harbor Spill, state and provincial officials created the British Columbia-Washington Oil Spill Task Force to investigate the prevention of future oil spills, to coordinate emergency responses to future spills, and assess methods for expediting compensation claims. However, an even bigger spill led to the creation of a more expansive binational governance system in the Pacific region. On 24 March, 1989, the Exxon Valdez ran aground in Prince William Sound, Alaska. Ironically, The British Columbia-Washington Oil Spill Task Force held its first meeting just one day before the Valdez spill. The timing of this event, and the high-profile media coverage of the Valdez spill, helped create a swell of momentum for the creation of a more comprehensive governance mechanism to address multi-jurisdictional governance issues 96  surrounding oil spills and water quality. The original task force grew to include Oregon, California, Alaska, and later Hawaii in what is now called the British Columbia/ States Oil Spill Task Force (Jolly 1998) – a mechanism that remains active today.  3.6 Environmental Cooperation Agreement / Environmental Cooperation Council The success of the Oil Spill Task Force and the momentum gained through the concern for future environmental crisis helped provide impetus for British Columbia and Washington to expand their efforts into general environmental areas of shared concern (Jolly 1998). The political climate and leadership of British Columbia and Washington also aided the expansion at the time. Governor Booth Gardner and Premier Michael Harcourt formalized this relationship in May 1992 with the signing of the British Columbia-Washington Environmental Cooperation Agreement (ECA). This agreement committed the two jurisdictions to “promote and coordinate mutual efforts to ensure the protection, preservation and enhancement of our shared environment for the benefit of current and future generations” (ECC 2007). It also committed the governments to develop, and implement, a governance instrument to address environmental issues of mutual concern. As a result, the British Columbia-Washington Environmental Cooperation Council (ECC) was established. The ECC provides a forum where officials, mostly representing regional or state / provincial governments, can bring initiatives forward and share information. It also provides a process for formally established task forces, work groups, and committees to address identified priority areas. Five areas of immediate concern outline the ECC structure: Georgia Basin / Puget Sound water quality, Columbia River/ Lake Roosevelt water quality, flooding of the Nooksack River in Northwestern Washington, regional air 97  quality, and groundwater management in the Abbotsford, British Columbia, and Sumas, Washington, area. A task force represents each of these priority areas.  3.6.1 Structure of the Environmental Cooperation Council The structure of the ECC reflects the priority of maintaining a strong state – provincial relationship within a binational context. The council has four members: two cochairs and two members. The co-chairs represent agencies at the provincial – state level, including Department of Ecology and Ministry of Environment. The two members represent regional offices of federal agencies, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (region 10) and Fisheries and Oceans Canada (Pacific region). This structure aims to provide a balanced perspective between the countries at both a federal and subnational scale. The ECC conducts the majority of its work through task forces and committees. The members of the task forces represent multiple scales of government and non-governmental actors, including: federal (within the regional offices), state-provincial, city, county and district, as well as citizen and industry groups. Each task force has two co-chairs, with representatives from British Columbia and Washington. The ECC and its task force committee chairs meet every six months (with venues alternating between British Columbia and Washington) to report the status of their projects. The committees report to the council and the council reports directly to the Premier of British Columbia and Governor of Washington. The governance processes aim to be transparent, with agendas and meeting minutes publicly available through websites52 and meetings open to the public.  52  See, http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/spd/ecc/index.html accessed 05 January, 2008 98  Two “lead agencies” deal with the day-to-day operations of the ECC: The British Columbia Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks (Ministry)53 and the Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology).54 These agencies are responsible for the implementation of the goals outlined in the ECA. They provide the necessary institutional support, and staffing, to manage the council and coordinate the international task forces. They also engage in other activities promoting transboundary environmental governance, such as coordinating the biannual Georgia Basin-Puget Sound Research Conference. This subgovernance structure, where subnational actors take a more prominent role than federal actors, is indicative of rescaling processes found throughout North America (which I explore in detail Chapter Four). What is interesting, however, is that the documentation of rescaling of environmental governance mechanisms is pervasive within a domestic setting (Toset 2000; Kliot et al. 2001; Giordano, Giordano and Wolf 2002; Wolf, Yoffe and Giordano 2003; Dinar 2004; Epsey and Towfique 2004), few studies look specifically at rescaling in a transboundary setting (see Fischhendler and Feitelson 2005 for an exception).  53  The Ministry’s primary vision is for a “clean, healthy and naturally diverse environment” (MOE 2007). Its mandate is to protect the clean air, fresh water and productive land in the province, and to nurture the abundance of natural areas, wildlife and scenic beauty” (MOE 2007). To that end, the Ministry’s primary responsibilities include: managing freshwater fisheries and wildlife, establishing and operating a network of protected areas, managing publicly owned lands, and controlling toxic, solid and liquid wastes. 54 The Department of Ecology is Washington’s main environmental protection agency, with primary responsibility for “air and water pollution control, hazardous waste management, coastal and shoreline protection, water resources allocation, toxic site cleanup, and technical and financial assistance to local governments for environmental protection” (ECC 1996). The Department’s mission is to protect, preserve, and enhance Washington’s environment and promote the wise management of our air, land and water for the benefit of current and future generations. 99  3.6.2 Memorandum of Understanding and Agreements The Environmental Cooperation Agreement provides the general framework for binational cooperation and the creation of its council. In 2006, the lead agencies developed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to detail further their specific roles in binational governance.55 The MOU serves as a framework to assist in the implementation of the ECA and to serve as a link among specific agreements. Specifically, the provincial / state agencies agree to: • • • • • •  designate lead liaisons for cross-border communications who serve as primary contacts on issues related to the ECA; establish communications among staff members (upon request by the other jurisdictions); enable open information sharing and awareness of processes for public review; comment on environmental issues with cross-border impacts; refer appropriate agencies within the state and province when an issue needing resolution does not fall within the responsibilities of the lead agency; and create working relationships with regional representatives of federal agencies to assist with transboundary cooperation.  Furthermore, the state and province agree to support the implementation mechanisms prepared by the lead agencies:  • • • • •  exchange draft permits on proposed major projects that could have cross-border impacts; include the regional office of the other jurisdiction in the distribution of environmental assessments for major projects within a close radius to the border; develop early notification procedures to identify problems or sources of controversy to residents or government agencies in the border region; establish procedures to cooperatively respond to emergencies that could cause environmental harm or damages; and cooperate in the development of environmental information, including education, training and technical support.  55  See, http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/spd/ecc/documents/bcwamou.pdf accessed 29 December, 2007 100  The primary MOU between British Columbia and Washington outlines the operations necessary to address the numerous transboundary environmental issues. It serves to guide the International Task Forces – or lead agencies if no task forces exist – in their work.56 One telling component of the MOU is the commitment to resolve disputes or conflicts at the lowest possible staff level. The ground-up approach attempts to “ensure the rapid resolution of disagreements before negative impacts on the environment or economy occur” (ECC MOU 2006). If the issue does not resolve at this lower level, however, a plan is in place for the involvement of senior management to achieve resolution. This initial deferment of responsibility to lower scales of governance is indicative of broader trends of devolution found throughout the region (Allee 1993; Herzog 1999; Liverman 1999; Mumme 1999; Wolf 1999; DeLoe et al. 2002; Day, Gunton and Frame 2003; Day 2004).  56  If the lead agencies determine a need for additional support, other parties may be included in the binational governance process. 101  Table 3.3 Agreements and MOUs for the British Columbia-Washington Environmental Cooperation Council Agreement Title Environmental Cooperation Agreement57  Date  Signatories / Parties  1992  Premier, Province of British Columbia; Governor, State of Washington  Aim / Scope  General environmental agreement between British Columbia and Washington. Main purpose is to ensure coordinated action and information-sharing on environmental matters of mutual concern. Outlines support mechanisms and provides procedures. 1994 Director, Air Sources Pledges British Columbia and Interagency Branch, BC Ministry Washington to control air pollution Agreement of Environment that flows across the international Air Quality (MOE); Manager, Air boundary; defines the respective roles Quality and Source and responsibilities of signatories; Control, Greater specifies procedures and schedules Vancouver Regional and appropriate contacts within each District (GVRD); Air agency; facilitates timely information Quality Program sharing; consults in advance Manager,Washington concerning activities that might cause Department of significant transboundary air pollution Ecology (DOE); as well as to take steps to avoid or Air Pollution Control mitigate the effects of air pollution; Officer, Washington establishes shared Airshed Task Force. Northwest Air Pollution Authority 1996 Regional Director, Aim is to “assure continued Interagency 1995 Kootenay Region, coordination and cooperation relative MOU B.C. MOE to major environmental issues within Columbia Regional Director, the international portion of the River Eastern Region, WA Columbia River drainage.” DOE Specifically, prior notification of waste discharges, opportunity for comment on planning documents with transboundary impacts, and timely notification of spills. 1996 Deputy Minister, Outlines responsibilities to support MOU on B.C. MOE; Director, Environmental Cooperation Environmental WA DOE Agreement Cooperation Source: British Columbia-Washington Environmental Cooperation Council (2008) 57  See, http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/spd/ecc/documents/bcwaccord.pdf accessed 11 January, 2008 For information on the agreements found in Table 3.3. 102  Agreement Title Date 1996 MOU of Referral of Water Right Applications  Signatories / Parties Deputy Minister, B.C. MOE; Director, WA DOE  Aim / Scope Details requirements for information sharing and coordination of waterrelated activities and water right applications between the MOE and DOE 2001 Deputy Minister, B.C. Inter-jurisdictional cooperation (and MOU on Environmental Assessment information sharing) regarding the Environmental Office; practice of environmental Assessment Director, WA DOE assessment and environmental review. Parties agree to give prior notification and information exchange related to major project proposals in the vicinity of the other jurisdiction. 2001 Deputy Minister, B.C. Background document for Implementing Environmental Assessment clarification of MOU. the MOU on Office; Facilitate information sharing and Environmental Director, mutual understanding of the Assessment Environmental Assessment and Environmental Review laws, policies, and processes of each jurisdiction; facilitate notification and information exchange regarding major project proposals in the vicinity of the other jurisdiction. Aims to promote strong communication between WA and BC regarding major project proposals, complements existing bilateral notification arrangements between BC and WA agencies. Source: British Columbia-Washington Environmental Cooperation Council (2008)  103  3.6.3 Increasing Regional Governance Nearly a decade after the enactment of the British Columbia-Washington ECC, the Pacific region saw the creation of two other state-provincial agreements: The British Columbia-Montana agreement and British Columbia-Idaho agreement. These provincialstate agreements, solidified in 2002 when Premier Campbell signed agreements with the respective governors of Idaho (Kempthorne) and Montana (Martz), are part of the growing trend of subnational governance of transboundary water resources. However, the success of these agreements varies from issue to region. In the empirical chapters that follow, I decouple the growing trends of devolution with their assumed institutional capacity. In the next section, I turn to another form of transnational environmental governance in North America – the trinational Commission for Environmental Cooperation, developed under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).  3.7 Supranational Governance: Commission for Environmental Cooperation During the same period that regional participation in international environmental governance increased in North America, supranational governance also began to emerge. This shift in governance downwards to the local and upwards to the supranational – commonly referred to as “glocalization” (Swyngedouw 1997) – was present throughout North America in the late Eighties and early Nineties. The creation of NAFTA in 1992 (enacted in 1994) and its subsequent “green side agreement” exemplifies this shift in governance.  104  3.7.1 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) NAFTA seeks to create a continental free trade market by eliminating the majority of tariffs on products traded between Mexico, the United States, and Canada. North America became the largest trade bloc in the world – in terms of combined gross domestic product of its members – when the members signed the agreement in 1992. Although the agreement primarily deals with trade disputes, a provision – Article 2004 – also provides for disputes dealing with environmental issues. The provision aimed to ensure that each member country knew about, and agreed to, the potential environmental hazards associated with trade issues. Specifically, the provisions allowed for the creation of panels of environmental experts, the submission of scientific advice, and the inclusion of public commentary (Marchak 1998: 142). In the Pre-9/11 discourse of globalization and the disappearance of borders – exemplified by entrepreneurs such as Ohmae (1995) – it was perhaps easier to imagine (and enact) a tri-national environmental agreement.  3.7.2 North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation NAFTA was the first major international trade agreement to include a separate accord for environmental protection. The North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC) – NAFTA’s side agreement – aims to help prevent potential trade and environmental conflicts and promote effective enforcement of environmental law (CEC 2007). Subsequently, NAAEC created the tri-national Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) and two binational organizations focusing on the Mexico-U.S. border: the North American Development Bank (NADBank) and the Border Environmental Cooperation Commission (BECC) (Diaz-Bautista, Alper, and Martinez 2008). The  105  Montreal-based CEC is one of the primary governance mechanisms to address transboundary environmental issues under NAFTA. The CEC was established “to investigate allegations of nonenforcement of national environmental laws and for monitoring the adverse environmental impacts of the NAFTA trade system” (Mumme 1999: 2) and to “address regional environmental concerns, help prevent potential trade and environmental conflicts, and to promote the effective enforcement of environmental law” (CEC 2008).  3.7.3 CEC Structure The CEC complements NAFTA by incorporating provisions relating to the resolution of environmental concerns arising from free trade (Marchak 1998; Norman and Melious 2008). The formal obligations of the countries include “periodic publication of reports, education, scientific research, and assessment of environmental effects and promotion of environmental goals” (Marchak 1998: 144). The CEC comprise the Council, the Joint Public Advisory Committee (JPAC) and the Secretariat. The Council is the CEC’s main governing body, which includes the federal environmental ministers (or equivalent) of the member countries. The JPAC is a 15-member, independent volunteer body that provides public input and advice to the Council on issues within the scope of NAAEC. The Secretariat comprises professional staff that provides technical and operational support to the CEC, the Council, and its committees. The Secretariat is responsible for conducting research pertaining to the North American environment, environmental law and standards, and environment/trade issues; implementing CEC initiatives; and processing citizen submissions on enforcement matters (CEC 2008).  106  3.7.4 Public Process Through the JPAC, the CEC provides a mechanism for the public to play an “active whistle-blower role.” The Citizens Submissions on Enforcement Matters provides a process for the public to submit a claim to the CEC for review when a member-country’s compliance to their environmental policies is under question. Following the review, the CEC may then choose to investigate the matter further and report on its findings, subject to the Commissions’ approval (CEC 2008).58 Another method for engaging civil society in this process is through a publicly available digital database. The CEC has catalogued approximately 350 transboundary environmental issues along the Mexico – U.S. and Canada – U.S. borders. Users can search the database by subject, agreement name, or by parties to the agreements. A list of 200 environmentally-related North American agreements is also available. The database provides digital links to the full text of the agreements, as well as to other Internet sites that provide related information. Most recently, the CEC developed an interactive Google Earth mapping tool, which creates a picture of industrial pollutant data across North America. This tool allows any user “whether in Manitoba, Mississippi, or Michoacán” to access the pollution profile of participating industries throughout North America.59  3.7.5 CEC Effectiveness Despite the inclusion of sustainable development terminology into the preamble of NAFTA and the creation of the environmental side accord, the relative “greenness” of NAFTA is highly contested (Johnson and Beauliu 1996; Audley 1997; DiMento and 58  See, http://www.cec.org/citizen/index.cfm?varlan=english accessed 18 January, 2008 See, http://www.cec.org/news/details/index.cfm?varlan=english&ID=2764 accessed 19 January, 2008  59  107  Doughman 1998; Spalding 1999). Many criticize the environmental side accord for lacking “political teeth.” The process relies on individual countries to adhere to domestic environmental laws, rather than raising international standards or instilling enforcement mechanisms. Thus, the CEC effectiveness is only potentially as strong as each country’s environmental policies. This limitation reinforces the critiques about environmental regimes and nation sovereignty outlined in Chapter Two. Another issue associated with CEC capacity is that the Council and JPAC members are political appointees. The members, therefore, are subject to swings in the political climate and may reflect the current administrations’ view on the environment, rather than serve as advocates for the environment. In the U.S., for example, appointees from the Bush Administration represent organizations such as the U.S. Army, General Electric, and the western cattle / sheep ranchers’ association. Under the right political climate, however, the public nature of the accord can act as a lever to “shame leaders into action” (Malkin 2000). This has been successful in certain high profile cases – particularly along the Mexico – U.S. border (Mumme 1999). The gap between the CEC and the public, however, has provided limited engagement with civil society despite efforts to engage the public in hearings and meetings (Interview with CEC representative, 2008). Despite these weaknesses, many accept the contributions of the CEC “as a useful monitor of environmental trends in the region and as an important advocate of trinational environmental solutions that advance regional sustainable development” (Mumme 1999: 3). In particular, the CEC’s work on establishing a trinational agreement regarding transboundary environmental impact assessment is a milestone in regional environmental  108  cooperation. Their work on “green building” has also provided a framework for North American businesses to participate in conservation activities relevant to their industries. Most importantly, for environmental governance, the CEC’s granting agency provided hundreds of grants for binational environmental projects, several of which were grant recipients in the western Pacific regions of Canada and the U.S.60 However, as of June 2007, the CEC ceased accepting grant applications with no expectation of reopening. At a conference on North American borders held January 2008, I discussed the closure of this grant office with a CEC representative. The representative indicated that increased costs of border security linked to budget cuts caused the closure of the environmental programming (CEC representative, 2008). The closing of this funding opportunity marks a significant loss for many environmental groups dealing with transboundary issues at a regional level. Interviews from stakeholders who had received CEC funds reported a significant decline in ability to continue local, binational projects. In the chapters that follow, I explore how increased securitization of borders and the subsequent decline in funding opportunities for transboundary environmental projects impact governance activities post-9/11.  3.8 Immutable Scales? Although three separate scales of governance organize this chapter, it is important to underscore the fact that these scales are not fixed or immutable. Each of the scales presented in this chapter evolved over time and will most likely continue to evolve. For example, the IJC’s creation of the International Watershed Initiative is indicative of their attempt to widen decision making activities from a primarily government-to-government governance model to  60  The CEC website lists the past grant recipients: http://www.cec.org/grants/index.cfm?varlan=english accessed 15 December, 2007 109  include more subnational actors. Similarly, the Environmental Cooperation Council, which originally operated at a state and provincial level, has increasingly devolved to function through a series of issue-based, multijurisdictional subcommittees. Furthermore, the local groups, whose members represent regional areas at a subprovincial and state level, are increasingly reliant on ties to federal governments for support and continuity. These shifts offer a perspective that the “local” are ultimately the creature of higher scales of governance; and, conversely, higher scales of governance are increasingly reliant on “local” actors for legitimacy. Thus, viewing these “slippery” scales as social constructions rather than “fixed” entities is a necessary starting point for this thesis. This line of reason follows Marston’s assessment that “scale is not necessarily a preordained hierarchical framework for ordering the world – local, regional, national, and global” (2000: 220). Rather, it is reliant on the interface (and tension) between human actors and structural forces. Although I agree with Marston’s problematization of the scalar categories, I maintain that the categories remain useful to analyse transboundary organizations. I approach the categorization with the recognition that such categories are not fixed, and indeed change over time.  3.9 Conclusions This chapter sought to provide an introductory overview of the mandates and modalities of three fundamental transboundary institutions that govern water along the Canada – U.S. border: The International Joint Commission, the North American Free Trade Agreement’s Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC), and the British Columbia – Washington Environmental Council. Although a different set of political-historical  110  circumstances created each of these institutions, all three share the aim of providing tools for coordinating shared environmental issues. The enactment of the Boundary Waters Treaty often marks the beginning of the binational cooperation of water issues between Canada and the United States. Although the BWT remains a central document for the governance of transboundary waters, there is a call from both governments to increase the capacity of its main body, the International Joint Commission. A common criticism for the IJC is that it does not “live up to its potential.” In response to this criticism – and in reaction to general trends of localization in environmental governance – the Commission adjusted its governance structure through the creation of the International Watershed Initiative. The British Columbia-Washington Environmental Cooperation Council provides an example of a recent, regional approach to transboundary governance of water. Together with its predecessors – the British Columbia / States-Oil Task Force, The Gulf of Maine Council, and the Great Lakes Governors and Premiers Council – the ECC is part of a growing cohort of provincial-state organizations designed to address transboundary environmental issues. The presence of strong regional leadership, an aligned political climate across the borders, and an environmental crisis – in the form of transnational oil spills – all helped to create conditions conducive for the creation of the ECC. The ECC and its contemporaries aim to deal with shared environmental issues with relative autonomy from the federal governments. I also suggest that the increased presence of subnational actors in transboundary governance (or processes of devolution) does not suggest necessarily increased institutional capacity. In the empirical chapters that follow, I seek to decouple these trends.  111  The trinational CEC, on the other hand, is linked closely to its respective governments’ polices and political climate. Born out of NAFTA, the CEC is a unique contribution to transboundary environmental governance. It is an example of an attempt to add-on environmental protection mechanisms as part of a wider trade agreement. The limitations, however, are that the council members are political appointees, that the environmental mechanisms are only as strong as each individual country’s environmental laws, and that the public is not as engaged in the process as was originally conceived. Conceptually, the CEC should contribute to the efforts of transboundary environmental governance. However, the recent closure of the main funding mechanisms tempers the regional transboundary efforts. The CEC continues to highlight efforts such as the “green building” movement and provide educational tools on their website. Overall, the contributions of the first environmental side accord to a major trade agreement are limited. In this chapter, I provided a discussion of some of the main actors in transboundary water governance. In the next chapter, I continue this discussion by analyzing the dynamics of rescaling and the changing roles of actors. In chapters Five through Seven, I look more closely at the institutional capacity of these transboundary governance mechanisms as well as the increasing prevalence of groups operating at a local scale, within a watershed scale, and within an inter-tribal scale.  112  CHAPTER FOUR: RESCALING GOVERNANCE MECHANISMS ALONG THE BORDERLAND?61 4.1 Introduction In the previous chapter, I provided an introductory overview of three main environmental governance mechanisms along the Canada – U.S. border. In this chapter, I look more specifically at the broad trends of water governance over the past one hundred years. The primary purpose of this chapter is to analyze the degree of rescaling (and the changing role of actors) and the role of subnational scales in transboundary water governance.62 In conducting the analysis, an attempt is made to avoid both the territorial trap (through querying the nature of the involvement of non-state actors and local scales in governance) and the local trap (through analyzing the degree to which rescaling has led to greater capacity on the part of local actors). This analysis leads to the argument that although rescaling of water governance to the local level is indeed occurring, this process is not necessarily empowering for local actors. This finding is at odds with an assumption prevalent in much of the water governance literature that rescaling to the local level will be empowering and that this will in turn lead to better water management outcomes. Subsequently, I question several assumptions underpinning water-related studies as part of this analysis. Specifically, I query two assumptions: that a shift in scale downwards to the local implies greater capacity for local actors; and that rescaling implies that nation-states become less important in water management.  61  The content of this chapter is based largely on the following article, Norman, E. and Bakker, K. "Transgressing Scales: Transboundary Water Governance across the Canada – U.S. Border." Annals of the Association of American Geographers 99.1 (2009): 99 – 117. 62 Understood as decision-making processes through which stakeholders provide input, decisions are made, and decision-makers are held accountable. 113  This analysis occurs through both a quantitative and qualitative analysis of governance trends. In the first part of the chapter, I present a quantitative analysis examining whether rescaling of transboundary water governance has occurred along the Canada – U.S. border, and to what degree. The analysis indicates that rescaling of transboundary water governance has occurred over time, with a significantly greater number of subnational (state, provincial, and substate/provincial) governance instruments being created for Canada – U.S. transboundary water management from the 1980s onwards. However, these results tell us little about the relative strength and effectiveness of local transboundary governance, nor do they indicate whether the rise of the local undermines, or rather complements ongoing bilateral activity at the federal level. The second section of the chapter seeks to build on the quantitative analysis by presenting qualitative evidence on the effects of rescaling on the capacity of local actors, gathered through interviews and participant observation. The two indicators selected to represent “capacity” in the analysis are: institutional capacity (where “institutions” are defined in the sociological sense as rules, norms, and customs, and institutional capacity refers to the ability of actors to create, interpret and enact institutional change); and the degree of involvement of local actors in water management decision-making processes.63 This section presents the argument that downscaling of governance to the local level has not necessarily resulted in greater capacity. Moreover, I present evidence that suggests that the rescaling of water governance to the local scale has not led to a reduction in power for the nation-state. In sum, the chapter details how glocalization is occurring differently on either 63  “Capacity” thus does not refer to the outcomes of governance, in terms of the quality of decisions, or their impact on water regimes. Rather, capacity refers solely to the degree to which actors are able to participate in, and influence, governance (i.e. decision-making) processes. 114  side of the Canada – U.S. border, showing that the differential pace of rescaling of governance across the border is an important factor in limiting the potential of locally-led transboundary water governance.  4.1.1 Database The analysis draws upon a comprehensive database of governance mechanisms that I compiled over the course of two years with the help of a research assistant.64 This database details one hundred years of governance instruments used to manage transboundary water along the Canada – U.S. border starting with the 1909 Boundary Water Treaties.65 The dataset represents a range of mechanisms designed to address binational water issues, restricted to water quantity (such as water allocation) and water quality issues.66 It consists of formal and informal transboundary water governance instruments operating between Canada and the U.S., and/or constituent states/provinces, municipalities, and First Nations/Tribes. The data are organized by geographical region (Pacific, Western Montane, Central Prairie, Great Lakes, and Atlantic); type of governance mechanism (Treaty,  64  Full details of the database are available at the University of British Columbia’s Program on Water Governance Website: http://www.watergovernance.ca/transboundary/index.htm. I created the database as a part of a transboundary project under the supervision of Dr. Bakker. Alicia Tong, Water Governance Research Assistant, helped to compile portions of the table. Alice Cohen, Water Governance Research Assistant, also helped with the editing during later stages. 65 Key stakeholders were consulted (including the, Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Environmental Protection Agency, International Joint Commission, and U.S. State Department) to review the database. Partial databases exist, but none are accessible to the public or even widely available internally. Aaron Wolf’s “Transboundary Freshwater Dispute Database” is a notable exception, and is a key source for information on transboundary river basins and freshwater conflicts at a global level. 66 Both water quality and quantity issues are included in the dataset because of the widening scope of water-related issues within transboundary governance. The shift from single-issue to more holistic approaches at a watershed scale is part of the trends discussed later in the paper. 115  Exchange of Notes, MOU/ MOA,67 Agreements, Orders) and institution (Organization); and temporally (see Figure 4.1).68 A total of 166 government instruments were identified, and analyses of temporal trends and content are presented. Figure 4.1 Map of Canada – U.S. Transboundary Study Regions for Database Analysis  Source: Original Map. Data based on Environmental Protection Agency and Environment Canada regional delineations. Cartographer: Eric Leinberger, UBC Geography Department.  67  Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) This dataset only includes binational agreements between Canada and the U.S. Other international water agreements, where Canada and the U.S. are signatories, are not included in this analysis. 68  116  4.2 Rescaling Canada – U.S. Transboundary Governance In Chapter Two, I explored several assumptions prevalent in the two main literatures dealing with transboundary water governance: international relations and integrated water resources management. I argued that these literatures respectively fall prey to a territorial trap and a local trap, and presented insights from recent work in geography on rescaling and the borderlands that offer alternative conceptions of scalar processes and outcomes of transboundary water governance. In order to flesh out these critiques, I present the case of Canada – U.S. transboundary water governance. In this section, I present an analysis as to whether and how rescaling has occurred. The analysis draws on the comprehensive database of binational, water-related governance mechanisms between Canada and the U.S. managed at multiple scales: local, provincial/state, national and international. Table 4.1 explores the relationship between scales of governance and type of governance instrument. Overall, 166 water-related governance instruments were found: 57 percent were federal and 43 percent were subnational (state-provincial, multi-level, or local). When disaggregated into formal and non-formal (treaty/ non-treaty), it is clear that the federal instruments rely more heavily on formal agreements (77 percent), whereas subnational or multiple-scaled groups rely more on organizations (57 percent) and informal agreements (16 percent). This is unsurprising, given the limited capacity for local organizations to create “binding” or “formal” agreements in an international setting. In lieu of binding agreements, the subnational, particularly at the multi-scale and local level, rely heavily on organizations.69 Through the creation of groups dealing with a singular issue (i.e. 69  Here, I use the Oxford international law dictionary to define these instruments. E.g. Treaty is defined as “An international agreement in writing between two states (a bilateral treaty) or a number of states (a multilateral treaty).” Similarly, Vienna Convention of the Law of Treaties, 1969, Article 2 defines a treaty as "an international agreement concluded between 117  The Environmental Cooperation Council’s Flooding of the Nooksack River Task Force in the Pacific region) or basin-wide issues (i.e. Gulf of Maine Council in the Atlantic region), these organizations are able to create networks for information sharing and problem-solving with relatively little infrastructure. Interestingly, the interviews revealed that these organizations and networks tend to mobilize in times of crisis, but remain connected even in non-crisis times through intermittent meetings. The data clearly reveal that, overall, the number of instruments designed to manage transboundary water have substantially increased over time, as has the rate of growth of new instruments over the past three decades (Figure 4.2). The rate of growth of instruments was relatively slow in the first half of the century. From the 1940’s through the 1970’s, the growth in instruments stayed steady, averaging about 15 new instruments per decade. However, through the 1980s, the number of new instruments doubled to 26, and then increased again to 37 during the 1990’s. The establishment of 25 instruments occurred from 2001 to present. This rate is congruent with the 1991-2001 rate, with an average of 3.6 instruments per year. Moreover, treaties, agreements, and exchanges of notes dominated the period up until the 1940s, whereas the subnational level represents the majority of instruments created since the 1980s, as described below.  States in written form and governed by international law, whether embodied in a single instrument or in two or more related instruments and whatever its particular designation." Other names for such agreements include: conventions, pacts, protocols, final acts, arrangements, and general acts. Treaties are binding in international law and constitute the equivalent of the municipal-law contract, conveyance, or legislation. MOU is defined as an “An informal record or memorandum of international understandings arrived at in negotiations. It is frequently a preliminary step in concluding a treaty.” Non-Governmental Organization: “A private international organization that acts as a mechanism for cooperation among private national groups in both municipal and international affairs, particularly in economic, social, cultural, humanitarian, and technical fields.” 118  Table 4.1 Relationship between Scale of Governance and Type of Governance Instrument (2005 data) Federal Number % Binding 73 76.84 Non-Binding 3 3.16 Organization 19 20.00  State-Provincial Multi-level Number % Number % 15 42.86 0 0.00 12 34.29 2 6.45 8 22..86 29 39.55  Local Number % 0 0.00 1 0.17 5 0.83  Total Sub-National Number % 15 20.55 15 20.55 42 57.33  Source: Canada – U.S. Transboundary water governance instruments database (2007) Notes: ‘Binding’ refers to formal mechanism such as Treaty, Agreement, Order, and Exchange of Notes; ‘Non-Binding’ refers to Memorandum of Understanding, Memorandum of Cooperation and Memorandum of Agreement, ‘Organization’ refers to multi-stakeholder and local (subnational) transboundary groups.  Figure 4.2 Number of Federal and Subnational Governance Instruments Created per Decade (1900 - 2007)  Source: Canada – U.S. Transboundary Water Governance Instruments Database (2007)  Analyzing the data temporally also reveals some interesting trends regarding the changing roles of federal and subnational actors in water governance. Figure 4.2 shows a trend of declining new instruments designed at the federal level and an increased  119  involvement of local mechanisms, in terms of number of organizations/ instruments. Even when evaluating solely governance instruments, excluding organizations, the trend clearly indicates a rise in local participation over the past two decades.70 This analysis reveals that the federal role peaked in the 1940s, during what Pentland and Hurley (2007) refer to as the Cooperative Development Period. During this time, an emphasis on the development of hydroelectric power facilities in both Canada and the U.S. presented opportunities to create large-scale projects requiring binational cooperation. Furthermore, the creation of hydropower facilities in Canada exceeding domestic need because of “pre-build” policies, led to creation of export markets in the U.S. Thereby, committing the two countries to decades of cooperation over water and energy related issues (Pentland and Hurley 2007). In fact, the trends found in this analysis coincide closely with the transboundary water periods identified by Pentland and Hurley (2007) (Table 4.2). During the Comprehensive Management Era in the late sixties to early eighties, local governance instruments become more prevalent and the federal role begins to decline. Comprehensive river planning and more “environmentally friendly” projects typifies this period. The creation of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement in 1972 (and revised in 1978) is a leading example of comprehensive style governance.  70  When organizations are included in the graph, the trend is even more pronounced. However, in order to stave off the possibility of “presentism”, in which more contemporary organizations are reported than those from the past, we excluded organizations in this particular analysis. Even without organizations, the overall trend remains the same (declining federal involvement and increasing subnational). 120  Table 4.2 Eras of Canada – U.S. Transboundary Water Management (1945 - 2007) Transboundary Water Era Cooperative Development  Time period 1945 – 1965  Role  Example   Projects of mutual benefit  Federal government encouraged hydroelectric development  Columbia River Treaty; St. Lawrence Seaway  Comprehensive Management  1965 – 1985   Issue – based  Comprehensive river basin planning and more ‘environmentally conscious’ framework  Water expertise built up at Federal level  Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement  Sustainable Development  1985 – 2000   Linking economy and environment  Issues more integrative, anticipatory and preventive  Great Lakes Annex  2000 –  Increased local participation Watershed current Boards Source: Adapted from Pentland and Hurley (2007). Pentland and Hurley identify the first three periods; I contribute to their classification by adding the Participatory Era. Participatory  However, not until the 1990s, in the middle of the Sustainable Development Era, and the beginning of what I refer to as the Participatory Era, did the role of the local reach its zenith (Norman and Bakker 2009). During this period, government programming began to focus on the cumulative impacts of environmental pollution and the legislation became more “integrative, anticipatory, and preventative” (Pentland and Hurley 2007: 174). For example, since this period, environmental management plans are more likely to consider the entire chemical life of pollutants and pollution prevention measures are more of a priority. When analyzing this trend pre and post-NAFTA (1992), a trend of greater local involvement emerges a decade after the signing of NAFTA. This is significant given the role of NAFTA’s environmental side agreement, which established the Commission for  121  Environmental Cooperation (CEC).71 As discussed in the previous chapter, several of the recently established organizations received funds from the CEC, including multi-level groups in the Pacific and the Atlantic regions.72 These trends in water governance parallel trends reported by the IJC. In a recent Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs presentation, representatives from the IJC reported that the instruments used to enable the IJC, such as references and applications, have steadily declined over the past several decades (Figure 3.1). Arguably, the development of the IJC’s new watershed approach is emblematic of their intention to allow for greater multi-level and specifically local participation (see IJC 1997, 2004). I discuss the specifics of the watershed approach and its wider implications for transboundary water governance in Chapter Seven. Tables 4.3 and 4.4 outline the regional variation in the proportion of federal and subnational instruments. The Pacific region holds the highest number of local instruments; however, the Atlantic and Western Montane regions have the highest percentages of local instruments as a proportion of the total. The Great Lakes – St Lawrence region has the lowest proportion of local instruments. This result may occur from the scale of the lakes where fewer bodies of water means fewer instruments, the large number of actors, which complicates any local agreements, and/or the level of IJC involvement keeping activities focused at the federal scale. Despite the proportionally small amount of local level  71  As I mentioned in Chapter Three, the funding opportunities through the North American fund for Environmental Cooperation closed as of April 2007. A review of past grant recipients are available on the CEC website: http://www.cec.org/grants/index.cfm?varlan=english. 72 To make a direct link between NAFTA – CEC and greater presence of transboundary cooperation further study is required. Anecdotally and through interviews, the CEC was not linked to greater mobilization for transboundary water groups (at any scale). The availability of funds for these groups provides increased capacity for short-term projects, but did not make significant changes in the capacity of binational relationships. 122  participation, the Great Lakes region was one of the first to include multi-level stakeholders in transboundary water governance with the establishment of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission in 1955. In terms of Provincial – State relationships, the Pacific region led the way with the founding of the Environmental Cooperation Council in 1992 (See Figure 4.3). Montana and Alberta as well as British Columbia and Montana emulated this binational organizational body more than a decade later. Another important aspect of this analysis examined the spatial clustering of governance instruments around watersheds, rather than regions. This analysis reveals that a few basins make up a large proportion of the governance instruments. For example, 61 percent of the transboundary governance instruments were created for 8 (out of 30) watersheds (Great Lakes, 23; St. Lawrence River, 17; Columbia River, 15; Niagara River, 10; Red River, 9; Rainy Lake, 8; Georgia Strait-Puget Sound, 8; St. Croix River, 7).73 In fact, the top 5 watersheds make up almost 50 percent of the governance instruments. A significant amount of this activity occurred during the Cooperative Development Period in preparation for shared hydroelectric development. However, in the Great Lakes region, where there is the greatest number of governance instruments, the efforts have been both sustained and dynamic. The transboundary instruments date back from the beginning of binational cooperation with the Boundary Water Treaty and the International Lake Superior Control Board (1925), to the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (1972), to, most recently, the preparation for the Upper Great Lakes Study Board (2007). The second most active geographic region, the Pacific, looks notably different from the Great Lakes – St. Lawrence River Region. In the Pacific, the development of water governance instruments 73  Here, I list the top 8 watershed basins with actual number of instruments, e.g. 23 instruments in the Great Lakes. 123  has emerged largely during the 1990s in the Sustainable Development and Participatory Era. Leading the way in binational cooperation at the provincial-state level, the Pacific developed a significant amount of its instruments to work with stakeholders at various scales. A notable exception is the Columbia River, where many of its binational governance instruments were developed in 1940s to support its role in generating hydroelectric power and managing flood control (although it did not materialize until the 1960s). However, like the Great Lakes, the governance instruments are dynamic, with efforts to become increasingly participatory in recent times (e.g. the Columbia Basin Trust (est. 1995) and the Columbia River Transboundary Gas Group (est. 1998).  124  Figure 4.3 Map of Select Transboundary Mechanisms and Events in the Pacific Region  Source: Original Map. Information from Transboundary Database (2005). Cartographer: Eric Leinberger, Department of Geography, UBC 125  Table 4.3 Regional Variation of Governance Instruments CountryWestern Central Great Basin Region Wide Pacific Montane Prairie Lakes Atlantic Federal 2 3 1 7 5 1 Organization 2 3 0 4 7 0 Treaty 1 3 0 0 7 3 Agreement 1 0 0 0 2 0 MOU/MOA Exchange of 4 5 2 2 9 5 Notes 0 8 1 4 3 0 IJC Order State-Provincial 0 5 2 0 0 1 Organization 0 5 2 0 5 3 Agreement 0 4 2 2 1 3 MOU/MOA Multi-Level 0 8 2 7 6 5 Organization 0 0 0 0 1 1 MOU/MOA NonGovernment 0 2 1 0 0 2 Organization 0 0 0 0 1 0 MOU/MOA 10 46 13 26 47 24 Sub-Total Source: Canada – U.S. Transboundary Water Governance instruments database (2007)  Table 4.4 Percentage of Local Governance Instruments per Region % Local/ Total 10 0 0 Country-wide 22 24 52 Pacific region 4 9 69 Western Montane 17 9 35 Central Prairie 33 14 30 Great Lakes - St Lawrence 9 15 63 Atlantic Source: Canada – U.S. Transboundary Water Governance instruments database (2007) Region  Federal  Local  126  4.3 Porous Borders? In the above section, I documented the reconfiguration of governance instruments for transboundary water. The trend of a declining federal role and an increasing local role was clearly exhibited (Figure 4.2) and contributes to the discussion of rescaling introduced in Chapter Two. I also found significant regional variances in governance instruments across the border, where a relatively small number of watersheds comprised the majority of governance instruments (such as found in the Great Lakes region and the Columbia River). Now, I question whether this reconfiguration has led to borders that are more porous and more capacity (increased institutional capacity and involvement in water management decision-making processes) for local actors. Although the majority of respondents identified an increased participation of local actors in water governance over the past fifteen years, they consistently articulated the opinion that this increase failed to translate into greater local institutional capacity. Nor has it enhanced their ability to travel across the Canada – U.S. border (particularly post-9/11). I also found this result at the binational water governance symposium in Vancouver, British Columbia, where the participants concurred that the local scale is increasingly involved in binational governance. However, several of the respondents warned of over-glorifying this decrease in scale; rather in many cases, it is the result of a “downloading of responsibility by senior government.” The respondents identified the Columbia River in Washington State and British Columbia as an example where a shift from federal responsibilities to mixed arrangements between state, province, NGOs, and tribal governments has occurred with mixed results. One group in the Vancouver transboundary workshop reflected:  127  Yes, local involvement and importance has increased, but the greater good has to be considered. We cannot let “single-issue” groups make decisions. However, local stakeholders must be involved or else things just don’t happen. Similarly, a second focus group at the workshop noted that: [L]ocal governments are more susceptible to local political pressures, such as land development, if there is no state or provincial standard to be met. These findings are not limited to the Canada – U.S. border. In a recent study including eighty-three river basin organizations worldwide, it was found that although decentralization to the “lowest appropriate level” is an internationally accepted principle of river basin management, the “actual application often encounters obstacles due to the varying interests of different stakeholder groups” (World Bank 2007, see also Cassar 2003). This section explores the root causes for the lack of increased capacity for transboundary water governance at the local scale. The analysis indicates that mismatched or asymmetrical governance structures, limited institutional capacity, and lack of intrajurisdictional integration all play an important role in limiting the extent and effectiveness of transboundary cooperation. I present a list of barriers and drivers of transboundary cooperation identified through interviews and focus groups in Table 4.5. Respondents also argued that asymmetrical governance structures at the local scale were aggravated by the different pace and timing of rescaling in Canada and the United States. Specifically, in the U.S., interview respondents indicated that despite state-wide programming aimed to include local stakeholders in water governance activities, such as the 1987 Water Act Amendments, “water governance has decidedly not shifted to local communities.” Some respondents stated that, “there was actually less power for the local communities today than fifteen years ago.” Although the 1987 Amendments aimed to bring more power to local communities through  128  state capacity, some water managers felt that the “local communities had their hands tied by the amendments” and that, “the idea that local communities have more power is [simply] illusionary.”74 Table 4.5 Transboundary Cooperation: Barriers and Drivers Drivers  Barriers  Specific issues Mismatched governance structures Leadership Different governance cultures Informal contacts Different mandates Established networks Lack of institutional capacity Crisis Lack of financial resources Personal relationships Asymmetrical Participation Public availability of data Data, lack of / difficulty accessing Proximity Lack of intrajurisdictional integration Legal obligations Gaps in knowledge of the ‘other’ country Opportunity Spatial distance Transparency Federal jurisdiction tempers regional action Practicality Mistrust Respect / fairness Lack of leadership Source: Transboundary Governance Workshop (April 2006) and Water Manager interviews (2005 – 2007) Several of the U.S. respondents further indicated that state employees tend to have little involvement in the transboundary process – “it was either local or federal.” Many state employees felt restricted in terms of involvement in transboundary water issues, as reflected by one respondent, “They [the feds] limit our opportunity – we could get involved, but then they [the feds] could just take over.” For the local groups and ENGOs in the study region, I found that limited financial resources and over-extended staff tempered binational cooperation. One of the difficulties was the constituent base, which was often reticent to have  74  However, several workshop participants noted that NGOs are playing a greater role in shaping agendas, but that these NGOs are not necessarily transboundary. 129  their donor dollars stretch across international jurisdictions.75 These barriers tend to limit the scale and scope of the groups’ projects and limit their involvement in transboundary governance in general. In Canada, by contrast, jurisdictional fragmentation has led to confusion over appropriate roles and appropriate scales of responsibility for water governance. The interviews echo the observations from Parson (2001: 131) that this fragmentation is exacerbated by a process of rescaling in which “environmental authority is being ceded at once downward to the provinces and upward to international institutions” (see also Paehlke 2001). In particular, the private sector and local governments have experienced an increase in responsibilities because of this devolution. Several interviewees described how this devolution of provincial authority has led to greater local participation in water governance as well as greater federal responsibilities. In the words of one provincial respondent, “the local is becoming more responsible for water governance issues as a flow-over from provincial downsizing.” This reconfiguration has impacted volunteer organizations and Canadian NGOs, whose increased participation in environmental governance is well documented (Gibson 1999; Harrison 2001; Dorcey and McDaniels 2001; Howlett 2001; Savan, Gore, and Morgan 2004), and growing influence in environmental policy-making and monitoring is recognized (Savan, Morgan, and Gore 2003). Several provincial employees concurred that “more and more people are becoming involved in water governance issues” and that “there has been an increase in cooperation at the local neighbor – neighbor level.” However, this participation 75  These findings are consistent with an earlier study by Norman and Melious (2004). However, a notable exception is the Gulf of Maine Council, where although 80 percent of the donor dollars come from the U.S., the project funds are equitably distributed between Canada and the U.S. 130  has its limits; as one interviewee reflected, “Canada has a strong government-to-government mentality, which provides a barrier for citizen participation in transborder issues.” Thus, although NGOs are more present, and have increasingly more influence, the devolution of power has not yet translated to direct governing authority for non-governmental actors. These observations are important for several reasons. First, they decouple the “hollowing out of the state” from “glocalization” by showing that an increase in local and non-state participation does not necessarily lead to a lessening in federal power (despite declining federal involvement). Secondly, they speak to the “local trap” by showing that an increase in local involvement does not equate to increased power of the local. Specific examples from the case studies, both in the interviews and focus groups, help flesh out these trends. The case study reveals that the border remains a significant barrier to co-managing shared water resources, despite the programming and energy expended towards transboundary governance at a local level. Several respondents attribute this lack of fluidity, or ability to move easily across the border, to limited institutional capacity. Issues such as inability to make phone calls internationally, travel across borders, purchase data, and generally work with counterparts contributed to this phenomenon. For example, one respondent noted that despite working on an international river basin for several years, s/he, until very recently, was unable to call out of the country – the office was able to receive international calls, but not able to make them. This type of limited capacity also occurred with data acquisition. One interviewee highlighted the nuisance in getting departmental funds to purchase data from Canada pertinent to his/her work on an international river basin. As “the data were not public domain” and his/her department “was not quick to spend the money” to acquire the information, the respondent reported that s/he was forced to “bypass  131  the organization and purchased the data using personal funds.” Another respondent reflected on how intractable binational governance could seem: When I ask if I can get data, they [the Canadians] say “you can buy it or we don’t have it.” Then, I find out later they really do have it, but just didn’t share it or they didn’t know that it existed. It is frustrating…… In Alberta, they have great websites, very flashy and looks nice, but the raw data is not there – it doesn’t seem to be easily available.….We do things differently on our side. We have more public information – USGS has a public website where you can get any information – it is free public information for anyone at anytime to access.76 Coastal Pacific respondents reported similar issues with data. As one interviewee notes: There is a lot more capacity in the United States [for water governance]. Even from the data perspective, they [the U.S.] have more data to work with.77 This lack of data or availability of data (especially in Canada) reportedly accentuated post-9/11. In the past, the public availability of data in the U.S., has contributed to an increased participation of local players in water governance.78 For example, one respondent noted that the capacity of the United States Geological Survey to share its water data with the public in real time has “greatly fostered local level of participation of water management.” One federal water manager suggested that the ability of local citizens’ groups and watershed associations to monitor their regions use (and availability of) water has revolutionized “the  76  Although the respondent noted that after 11 September, 2001 some of the sites are no longer public domain – particularly information regarding reservoirs. Respondents noted that even state employees have difficulty with access, because the federal level civil servants maintains the site. 77 Data is considered a “public good” in the U.S. because it was created using public funds. In Canada, less comprehensive policies tend to limit access, both internally and externally. However, several of the Canadian respondents noted the presence of informal networks of data exchange where, after working in one’s field for several years, you “just know who to call for specific information” and are able to “bypass the system.” 78 This asymmetry is partly attributed to the fact that the U.S. Freedom of Information Act (FOI) has historically been stronger in the U.S. than its equivalent in Canada. 132  local”. Now, however, with the tighter security controls post-9/11, respondents reported that obtaining data in the U.S. is becoming equally difficult. One state natural resource employee reflected: After 9/11 many of the sites are not public domain anymore – particularly information regarding reservoirs – even as a state employee, I have had difficulty accessing the sites because they are maintained at a federal level. In this case, obtaining the necessary information to monitor accurately transboundary water at a subnational level has become increasingly complicated. Previously, water managers used personal relationships and contacts to navigate through bureaucracies to obtain information not immediately available. “You just needed to know who to talk to,” reported one state employee. Now, however, with the data increasingly inaccessible in both Canada and the U.S., co-management opportunities are suffering. With the exception of the Columbia Basin Trust in British Columbia, another major factor in successful transboundary governance is availability of funding. A decline in funding opportunities for binational projects, a shift in national priorities, and the over-all difficulty in sustaining projects all contribute to limited institutional capacity for transboundary governance. In particular, limited financial resources to travel to meetings, produce educational materials, and purchase materials (e.g. data), has deepened the barriers to cooperation. An example of this decline in funding is found with the trinational Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC), which was enacted as part of the Environmental Side Agreement to the North America Free Trade Agreement. As outlined in Chapter Three, the Montreal-based CEC was established “to investigate allegations of nonenforcement of national environmental laws and for monitoring the adverse environmental impacts of the NAFTA trade system” (Mumme 1999: 2).  133  One of the CEC’s main contributions to transboundary environmental governance was its granting agency, which provided hundreds of grants for binational environmental projects, several of which were water-related.79 However, as of June 2007, the CEC ceased accepting grant applications with no expectation of reopening. When I asked about the closure of the grant offices, despite its clear contribution to transborder environmental governance, one of the CEC representatives linked the closures to increased expenses of border security. The closing of this funding opportunity is a significant loss for environmental groups dealing with transboundary issues. Several of the interviewees linked the closure of the CEC grant program to increased security expenditures and the overall cost of the Global War on Terror – estimated at $407.1 billion in November 2007 (Levin 2007). The cutting of funds for transboundary environmental projects, such as the CEC community grants program, illustrates how environmental projects have taken a back seat to security projects. As a high-ranking governmental leader reflected in an interview, “The discourse of shared environment [in N. America] is now turned to economy and security.” The closure of the grants program had an immediate impact on regional transboundary governance of water. As one member of a local, not-for-profit environmental group in northwest Washington reflected: We had a project with a group in Canada, but our grant was not renewed. After our funds dried up, the momentum for coordination faded. We still have the signs up at the border – but nothing has really come of it. In this example, the ENGO director linked the closure of the CEC funding agency to the cessation of their binational project, which focused on habitat restoration and salmon 79  A review of past grant recipients can be viewed on their website: http://www.cec.org/grants/index.cfm?varlan=english. 134  recovery at a watershed level. The “failure” of this binational project points to the vulnerability of projects at the NGO-NGO scale. It further indicates that a wider governance structure, with greater vertical integration (federal-local), as seen in the Shared Waters Alliance, for example, provides a certain amount of protection against closing of grants and shifting political climates. Although the project is closed, educational signage purchased with grant funds disrupts the dominant discourse of a rigidly divided (and defended) nation-state. The signs, posted prominently at points of entry along the border within the creek’s watershed, provide a counter-narrative to security. The signs indicate that the creek’s drainage basin and spawning ground are binational, illustrated by a picture of a salmon, a creek, and Canadian and American flags (Figure 4.4) . As the passengers materially experience the border by waiting in lines to be checked by border guards, the signs are telling them that the physical world or “nature” (the salmon, the water) is border-less. Thus, two conflicting narratives are in conversation – the bounded political nations and the boundless natural world. Although the shifts in political interest (and funds) have prioritized security over environmental governance issues and the grant no longer allows for the coordination of projects, the signs – interestingly – continue to connect the regions in people’s geographic imagination.80  80  Another unexpected material result of the increased security of the border and subsequent congested border lines is a rapid decline in environmental quality at the border. As vehicles idle waiting to cross the border, plumes of exhaust fill the shared airshed and leaky vehicles drip pollutants onto the road, ending up in nearby water sources. Thus, long border lines not only thwart the coordination of meetings and activities across borders, but they directly contribute to an increase of transboundary pollution. This decline in air and water quality, in turn, contributes to a degraded health conditions affecting the health of the most susceptible sectors of the population (children, elders, and the chronically ill) (Amaya 2003). Thus, a direct result of the increased security is embodied by human illness and a decline in the health of both the air and watershed. Although it is beyond the scope of this chapter to 135  Figure 4.4 Transboundary Educational Signage of Bertrand Creek  Source: Photo taken by Karen Steensma (2000)81 Respondents also consistently reported a general lack of knowledge of one another as a barrier to transboundary cooperation. Many of the water managers interviewed were largely unfamiliar with the political structure and key environmental legislation of the other country. They were, however, interested in knowing this information. Not only were the interviewees unfamiliar with the political structures of Canada or the U.S., they were largely unconnected to their counterpart across the border, despite the shared watersheds and water-related concerns. One binational creek in the Pacific region, for example, which is experiencing significant decline in salmon population due to habitat loss and lack of water flow, has little coordination between agencies and groups managing the watershed. Despite the physical proximity of the border towns (approximately 3 miles), the staff (city, state, and NGO) that explore this phenomenon in detail, I suggest this as a rich avenue for future research and policy development. 81 Reproduced with permission 136  work on the management of the creek operate with little to no communication with their counterparts across the border. One extension officer from a Washington State agricultural office reported a desire to work with her/his counterpart, but was unsure who that person was or which office to contact. In fact, the extension agent turned to my project as a way to connect with their counterpart. In this case, the border is both materially and socially constructed – although the physical space connecting the creek is minor, the border creates a very real socially binding arena that provides barriers to coordination.82 Great geographic distance separating the water issues provides even greater strain between counterparts. Several interviewees identified distance as a significant factor limiting binational cooperation. For example, respondents identified the St. Mary – Milk River in Alberta and Montana as a primary example where great distance between the issue and population base limited civic engagement. In this case, the sparse population at the border, particularly in Montana, has kept the issue largely in the hands of state and federal officials, effectively reifying the political border. More generally, the role of distance decay can partially explain the clustering effects around specific watersheds (e.g. Great Lakes, Columbia, St. Mary – Milk) which receive the bulk of attention, while other transboundary water issues (e.g. Skagit River, Yukon) where there are less people receive much less. Indeed, the bodies of water that are more visible at the national level tend to have more governance instruments built around them.83  82  There are, of course, some examples of functional coordination. The Abbotsford-Sumas Aquifer Task Force, The Nooksack River Task Force and the Columbia Basin Trust (all in British Columbia and Washington) provide examples of well coordinated projects where the counter-parts work closely together across the Canada-U.S. border. 83 There is, of course, a temporal element to this – the bodies with longer colonial settlement histories such as the Niagara and St. Lawrence, tend to have more instruments built around them, than the ‘newer’ issues such as the Flathead Basin. 137  Respondents also identified inconvenient meeting venues as a limiting factor for civic engagement and a barrier to fluid borders (discussed in the next chapter). The difficulty in convening a binational forum serves as an example of the simultaneous fixity and porosity of borders. In this case, the local actors undermine the border by treating a binational watershed that spans a political border as a singular “borderless” bioregion. However, due to physical constraints of the contained nation-state, the local actors are impacted by the bordered region, and unable to transcend the border for their meetings. Respondents also repeatedly reported mismatched political structures and governance mechanisms in Canada and the U.S. as a barrier to transboundary cooperation. In a focus group survey of barriers to transboundary water governance, asymmetry consistently rose to the forefront of the issues. One respondent lamented: There is no symmetry to how decisions are made across the border. The fact that the U.S. and Canadian governments have inverse state-federal power distributions significantly impacts how decisions are made. Because Canada has a strong provincial system and a weak federal system, and because the U.S. has a strong federal system and a weak, relative to provinces, state system, negotiations between counterparts are often tenuous.84 Furthermore, different funding cycles and legal structures accentuate the difficulty in coordinating projects across the border. The absence of enforceable environmental air and water quality standards in Canada equivalent to those existing in the United States and Europe are also a deterrent. One respondent reflected:  84  Many of the respondents noted that the IJC serves as counterbalance to this mismatched governance – creating “an even playing field” for binational cooperation. 138  Because there are potentially four relevant jurisdictions (two federal, state, and provincial) and four different fiscal schedules to coordinate, it can be a nightmare to figure out….. [we try to] come up with ideas, implement pressure, and spend it all by the end [of the fiscal year] to ensure that there will be funding again next year.85 This asymmetry of governance mechanisms further complicates the possibilities of transborder, basin-wide management of water, particularly at the local level. Some argue that the subnational organizations are more flexible than the more formal federal institutions. However, in a transboundary setting, I found that the asymmetries in governance structures serve to immobilize, or at least temper, the ability of regional groups to work effectively across national boundaries. Conversely, the development of the IJC aimed to mitigate these asymmetries by creating a level-playing field between nations. However, as the trend towards more localized scale persists, the IJC is receiving fewer references and applications for study as explained above. The majority of the respondents considered the cross-border cooperation as intermittent, issue driven, and unequal across the border. The interviews reinforced earlier findings that transboundary governance instruments are narrowly concentrated among a few major basins, rather than spread equitably across the border (Norman and Bakker 2005). As one provincial employee noted, the “higher profile watersheds and larger bodies of water tend to be the focus of transboundary committees (i.e. Columbia River, Georgia Strait – Puget Sound).” These more public issues tend to eclipse the lower-profile water systems, although rife with environmental concerns. I also found that the attention to transboundary  85  Biswas (2004) speaks to the difficulties of cooperative government and integrated water resource management (IWRM) in a recent article in Water International. He argues that the difficulties of coordination lie in the very foundation of a confusing and amorphous definition – if parties are unable to agree on a common definition of IWRM how are they able to succeed in practice? 139  watersheds was largely sporadic. This is true particularly for the lower-profile watersheds that arise mostly in times of crisis. As one senior Washington state employee reflected: It would be nice to have ongoing [transboundary] institutional cooperation. It [cooperation] has always been episodic……We don’t even have good interstate agencies. How are we supposed to have good international agencies if we can’t even coordinate between states? These points highlight the fact that despite the increase in the number of local – and a decline in the number of federal – instruments to govern transboundary water, the nationstate remains a key force in negotiating transnational water issues. In other words, rescaling is not leading to a hollowing out of the state, nor a new localism. Rather, it is perhaps more apt to describe the rescaling as a game of musical chairs, where the players might be changing, but the balance of power has remained relatively constant.  4.4 Conclusions: Querying the Power of Locals in Transboundary Water Governance The analysis presented in this chapter speaks to recent debates over the rescaling of environmental governance, and to recent research on borderlands as an interstitial geopolitical space. I emphasized the simultaneous fixity and porosity of borders, as well as the tendency for local actors to undermine simultaneously, yet be constrained by the container of the nation-state. This opens up space to discuss further the pitfalls to which transboundary water governance is subject (both the local trap and the territorial trap). It also calls into question the desirability of strategies, currently under examination by policymakers, of giving greater weight to local transboundary water governance at a watershed scale. Furthermore, the analysis suggests that although rescaling of transboundary water governance has occurred (i.e. local actors are increasingly present in transboundary  140  governance), greater capacity (specifically defined as institutional capacity) for local actors has not resulted. Indeed, ironically, it was found that local actors are less able to transcend the border than their nation-state counterparts. Although local actors are genuinely attempting to engage in transboundary governance, they encounter limited success due to inadequate resources and restricted capacity. Thus, despite the documented increase in participation of subnational actors in transboundary water governance, significant barriers have limited the capacity for these actors to participate effectively in decision-making on the management of water resources across an international border.86 Moreover, considering the substantial financial and human resources available for downscaling in the Canada – U.S. case, the issues identified above suggest that success is by no means straightforward, bringing into question the current policy preference for downscaling – particularly on the part of international donors and NGOs in the South. These findings serve to underscore the perils of the “local trap,” insofar as the assertion of the increased power or influence of local scales does not hold in this case, despite significant rescaling of water governance on both sides of the border. Additionally, the analysis refutes the assumption – prevalent in the environmental management literature – that the rescaling of transboundary water management implies that the border is more porous, and less fixed (Gibbins 2001; Corry et al. 2004; O’Riordan 2004). Rather, the analysis documented the relative fixity of the Canada – U.S. border, and explored  86  This is not to say, however, that the role of the local does not contribute to environmental governance at all. This study reveals several positive attributes of local participation in transboundary environmental governance (particularly in terms of raising public support of an issue). (See Table 4.5 for list of reported barriers and drivers of transboundary cooperation). However, my focus is not to explore the drivers of cooperation, rather I aim to temper the assumptions that the local actors are more effective than other actors due to their “on the ground” standing. 141  how the asymmetrical governance structure and disparate governance rescaling trends in Canada and the United States limited managers’ abilities to govern water across political borders. The process of rescaling has entailed a degree of “glocalization” (cf Swyngedouw), but this has been decoupled from the “hollowing out of the nation-state” (cf Jessop, Brenner): The nation-state retains key powers and authority to govern, and the federal scale offers the best hope of a “level playing field” between asymmetrical actors. This, in turn, suggests a need to re-examine the desirability and feasibility of local transboundary governance at the watershed scale as the primary means of governing shared waters. The interviews with water managers engaged in transboundary water governance indicated that significant and systemic barriers exist to effective transboundary water governance at a local scale, including asymmetrical participation, mismatched governance cultures and structures, spatial distance, and limited capacity. These findings are at odds with much of the water management literature, but correspond with Fischhendler and Feitelson’s argument (2005) that in contemporary transboundary water governance between Canada and the United States, through the Boundary Waters Treaty and the IJC, reducing the scope of transboundary management to include solely border waters is successful because it minimizes external players and lowers the political costs. In the next three chapters, I attempt to deepen this analysis by highlighting case studies of transboundary governance mechanisms at different scales: regional, First Nationto-First Nation, and Federal. The next chapter explores the work of a regional, multijurisdictional governance attempt to lessen the impacts of multi-source waters pollution in the transboundary watershed of Boundary Bay.  142  CHAPTER FIVE: LOCAL GOVERNANCE IN BOUNDARY BAY 5.1 Introduction In the previous chapter, I documented the rescaling of transboundary governance mechanics across the Canada – U.S. borderland. Specifically, I showed how subnational groups are increasingly involved in the governance of transboundary water. This increased participation of local actors is indicative of wider trends of rescaling in environmental governance. However, the environmental governance literature has a tendency to position the local actor in a privileged position without a critical engagement of their actual capacity to govern. Brown and Purcell’s concept of the “local trap,” discussed in Chapter Two, captures the problems associated with this uncritical positioning of the local actors. To flesh out the tension between processes of rescaling and capacity of subnational organizations in transboundary governance, I turn to the example of the Shared Waters Alliance (SWA). The SWA is a subnational transboundary organization organized by actors at a regional level to reduce pollution inputs in a small body of water in Northwest Washington and Southwest British Columbia named Boundary Bay (See Figure 5.1 for map). The analysis of this regional, yet international, environmental issue raises several interesting – and interrelated – questions regarding scale, borders, and governance. Drawing on empirical evidence from interviews and direct observation of meetings, I analyze how the regional actors mobilize themselves to govern water across borders. I query the local trap and new localism by examining the extent to which local communities are able to participate actively, engage, and affect transboundary governance of water. Within this investigation, I also query the assumption that scaling downward to the local implies that the border is more fluid, and less fixed (Rhodes 1996; Coates 2004).  143  To aid in this analysis, I explore the specific techniques the SWA employs to govern transboundary water. For example, I examine how multi-jurisdictional governance fosters information exchange through processes of vertical integration. I also show how the SWA’s environmental education campaigns utilize both a nature-society approach and a cultural, economic approach to promote their cause. Analyzing these specific techniques helps to engage in concepts of social construction of borders and borderland identities. Thereby, I explore how the SWA constructs a discourse of “borderless” or “boundless” nature in terms of “nature” and “resource use,” whilst experiencing a very “bordered” environment, organizationally.  144  Figure 5.1 Map of Boundary Bay Basin  Source: Original map. Based on a map produced by the Shared Waters Alliance87 5.2 Background In the Northwestern continental United States and Southwestern Canada lies a small body of water, aptly named Boundary Bay. At one time, this bay was one of the most productive shellfish harvesting locations on the Pacific coast. Coast Salish communities relied successfully on these waters for centuries as primary sources of food. These waters also served as productive sites for oyster harvesting – providing upwards of fifty percent of  87  Available: http://www.sharedwaters.net/SWA.htm (last accessed 12 November, 2008) 145  annual commercial harvesting in British Columbia in the early years of commercial harvesting (1920 – 1950). However, degraded upland environments, bacterial contamination, and excess fecal coliform prompted governmental officials to close the area for harvesting in 1962.88 In Washington, the bay only recently opened for restricted use; it remains closed in British Columbia. Political fragmentation and the divided managing authorities for the bay made identifying the source of the contamination challenging. Initially, the closures of the shellfish beds incited finger-pointing across the border; assuming the dirty water was the “other” country’s responsibility. Americans blamed the Canadians and the Canadians blamed the Americans for the polluted waters. When asked about the accountability of the pollution, one Canadian stakeholder involved in the environmental stewardship of Boundary Bay reflected: At the beginning, for example, Canadians really believed that the sewage system on the U.S. side was soooo bad that it had to be coming over to the Canadian side. And the Americans – I mean it was just kitchen talk on the U.S. side – well the Canadians are so polluted and the Little Campbell is so polluted, it’s got to be impacting what is happening. Recent water quality studies indicate that the primary sources of the contamination include increased population pressures, agricultural runoff, and a faulty sewage system (See, Boundary Bay Circulation Study 2005). In response to the water pollution and the subsequent closure of the shellfish beds, a group called the Shared Waters Roundtable mobilized in 1999. This group, renamed the Shared Waters Alliance (SWA) in 2005, is part of the surge of interest in regional, binational  88  Fecal coliform bacteria is found in the digestive tracts of warm-blooded animals and is used as an indicator of pathogens such as the virus hepatitis and the bacteria E.coli. If ingested, it could a potentially serious human health risk (WDOH 2007). 146  coordination that emerged during the Sustainable Development Period (Table 4.2). Initially, this group consisted of a few civil servants from British Columbia.89 However, as word spread about the on-the-ground efforts to deal with the pollution inputs in the Bay, the group grew to include First Nations representatives, local stakeholders, and environmental organizations from both British Columbia and Washington (See Appendix F for list of participating organisations). The focus of the group has also broadened to reflect wider issues such as storm water runoff and community outreach.90 A charge from Environment Canada to address the shellfish pollution in Boundary Bay coupled with the political interest in binational cooperation created the conditions conducive to forming the SWA. The signing of the British Columbia-Washington Environmental Cooperation Agreement in 1992, and later the formation of the Puget Sound Action Team in 1996 and the Georgia Basin Ecosystem Initiative in 1998, provided the necessary political momentum for the development of a group such as the SWA. The founding members, in effect, were riding a wave of interest (and subsequent funding) in regional, transboundary governance. This approach departs from the governmentgovernment approach found in organisations such as the IJC and the CEC and represents a wider trend in environmental governance where multi-jurisdictional actors, at a subnational scale are increasingly engaged in governance activities (as discussed in Chapter Three and Four). The fact that the SWA does not interact with organizations such as the IJC and the CEC is indicative of the devolution of transboundary environmental governance. It also  89  The founding members represented Environment Canada, Fraser Valley Health and City of Surrey. 90 As the focus of the group changes, the membership base of the group is also changing (i.e. less involvement of private industry as the focus moves away from the closure and into outreach). 147  helps to decouple trends of devolution with presumed trends of glocalization, as discussed in the previous chapter. Today, the SWA is a multi-stakeholder organization working towards the general health of the Boundary Bay ecosystem. Representatives include federal,91 provincial, state, and municipal employees as well as local, NGO, public and private stakeholders from both Canada and the U.S. As one member comments, “The experiences of the SWA reflect how a multi-jurisdictional watershed with numerous non-point sources of pollution can be managed through a coordinated effort among different stakeholders” (SWA 2007). The SWA describe their primary goal as: To meet shellfish harvesting standards through working with other jurisdictions, whether dealing with water quality, education or changes in practice initiatives. (SWA 2008) To meet this goal, they outline the following objectives: 1) To characterize and identify key sources of contamination to Boundary Bay; and 2) To undertake outreach and pollution prevention projects that reduce contamination levels in tributaries and the Bay itself. (SWA 2008) One of the initial contributions of the group is the facilitation of the Boundary Bay Circulation Study, which helped identify the point sources of pollution for the marine system. The study suggested that the greatest benefit to increasing the water quality would be to reduce fecal c