Falling Lake Michigan Levels Is Everyone's Problem

There is more disturbing about falling water levels in Lake Michigan, yet other links through that highlighted item will show how efforts to help conserve Great Lakes water are stalled in a Wisconsin state legislative committee.

There are housing developers and other business interests in Waukesha County, with power in the state legislature, that are balking at implementing a key water conservation provision up for discussion and adoption in all of the eight US Great Lakes states: that provision says that a community like Waukesha or New Berlin that wants to divert water beyond the Great Lakes basin must submit a detailed proposal to all the states for their unanimous consent.

That protects the Great Lakes from unscientific or unreasonable diversions, requires demonstrable conservation plans be already in place, and ensures that diverted water will be returned to the basin.

Some powerful business and political interests in Waukesha County do not want to be bound by regional procedures, even though the Great Lakes are a shared resource, and according to the Wisconsin Constitution, are part of a water system held in perpetual trust for all the residents of the state.

Thus stewardship must guide our use of these waters.

If all eight Great Lakes states do not adopt the same shared rules on conservation and diversion standards, then there will be no rules or rational processes requiring conservation and managing diversions.

This is the time for residents in Wisconsin, which is bordered by two of the Great Lakes, and which has essential recreational and industrial economies based on sound water usage practices and access, to flood their legislators with a simple message:

Get the special study committee on Great Lakes water back into session (it has not met since December), and have it report out to the legislature a draft bill to adopt the pending amendments to the US-Canada Great Lakes Compact that are up for consideration in all eight Great Lakes states.

Published

March 18, 2007 - 12:17pm

Author

randomness