The Mackenzie River Basin Board Transboundary Waters Master Agreement was signed by all the involved jurisdictions, including the federal government. That agreement enabled the setting up of the board. It also triggered the responsibility to negotiate these bilateral agreements.
Since 1997, things had been pretty well dormant. There was only one bilateral that was negotiated, in about 1999; that was between the Yukon and the Northwest Territories. It's only been in the last three years where there has been a concerted, intense effort to get the bilateral agreements negotiated and the concern about the water has mounted.
The federal government has a key role at the Mackenzie River Basin Board level. They have a key role in all of the jurisdictions—Saskatchewan, B.C., Alberta, Northwest Territories, Yukon—because they have some very important water monitoring infrastructure that we were looking to make sure stays there as we move forward. They talk about including biological indicators, making sure that the networks and their infrastructure are expanded to do that. We will also be putting our resources into the mix with them as well.
The other critical point with these agreements is that we now share all that information across the Mackenzie River basin, which is one of the biggest basins in the country. It gives us a much more comprehensive look at baseline data in terms of water quality issues, water quantity issues. We're moving to groundwater, air monitoring, all these very critical areas.