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Great Lakes Water PDF
Limitations on Privatization and Diversions by James M. Olson

Governors approve ban on water diversion
MILWAUKEE (AP) - Representatives of eight states and two Canadian provinces formally approved an agreement Tuesday that would prevent outsiders such as the booming cities of the Southwest from raiding Great Lakes water. "The lakes represent a fresh water ecosystem that's unique on our planet supporting thousands of species, including human beings. These agreements will protect our Great Lakes from the threats of diversions outside this basin," said Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle, the incoming chairman of the Council of Great Lakes Governors.

Lakes cleanup plan is unveiled
CHICAGO (AP) - A partnership of federal, state and local officials proposed a 15-year, $20 billion plan Monday for cleaning up the Great Lakes, the source of drinking water for 30 million people and a vital link in the nation's shipping network.

Report: Lakes' 'immune system' is weak
TRAVERSE CITY - As wetlands disappear and shorelines are degraded, the Great Lakes are losing their ability to cope with environmental stress and ward off a catastrophic breakdown, scientists said Thursday. "The immune system of the Great Lakes is weakened and it needs to be restored to prevent the ecological collapse of the lakes," said Andy Buchsbaum, director of the National Wildlife Federation's Great Lakes office.

Don't pull the plug on the Lakes
Any water diversion from the Great Lakes would imperil boating. With marginal lake levels already, removing water from the lakes would tip the balance and make boat access impossible. The consequences would be ruinous for boaters and for the entire region. The Great Lakes are a trillion-dollar asset, an irreplaceable environmental habitat and an unparalleled recreational resource. But, they have long been threatened by a variety of forces. Ill-advised diversions of water outside our drainage basin would have a ruinous effect on the lakes, on the economy and on boaters, a group that contributes millions of dollars to the region and makes an untold difference in maintaining the lakes' sustainability. It is imperative that we prevent any diversions. Time and time again, efforts to protect the lakes have been undermined by a lack of regional consensus. An interstate agreement is absolutely essential to preventing one bad actor from ruining the lakes for everyone. This month, Ohio took the lead in implementing such a consensus. The General Assembly's coming endorsement of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact is a landmark move toward securing the irreplaceable resources of the Great Lakes and ensuring the viability of our region's most vital travel and recreation destination. While this is a step in the right direction, Ohio's endorsement does nothing by itself.

Ohio approval of water pact faces new snag
Minnesota on Thursday did what many thought Ohio would do: Become the first Great Lakes state to adopt a proposed compact for managing lake withdrawals on a regional basis. By a 57-3 vote, the Minnesota Senate approved the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact with no amendments. Two weeks earlier, the Minnesota House of Representatives passed it by a 97-35 vote, also with no changes. Ohio could be poised to follow suit. But first, supporters may have to overcome a property-rights opposition movement mounted by a Cleveland-area Republican senator. They also have to reaffirm the support of Ohio's industry, which is lobbying to limit regulatory power.

The water still needs help
Water pollution, including polluted runoff -- which still leaves more than a third of our rivers, lakes, and estuaries unsafe for swimming and fishing -- is a threat to our families that will endure without more aggressive intervention.

 

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