Karen Hobbs, Senior Policy Analyst, Chicago
Mark Twain famously said, “whiskey’s for drinking; water’s for fighting about.” My guess is that we drink more beer in the Great Lakes than whiskey, but we certainly know about fighting to protect our source of drinking water and the economic engine that drives millions of jobs and provides untold recreation opportunities.
The Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact was supposed to prevent fights over how the Basin waters are managed, but, as a new report from NRDC shows, the states’ slow progress in implementing the Compact may mean additional fights are on the horizon.
The Compact, signed into federal law in 2008, resulted from years of hard work and tough negotiations by 8 Great Lakes States, 2 Canadian provinces and the governments of the U.S. and Canada. The Compact has two primary purposes: to prevent the diversion of Great Lakes and St. Lawrence waters outside of the Basin, and to efficiently manage the withdrawal and use of water within the Basin.
Our report finds that states are moving slowly – at best -- to meet the water conservation and efficiency requirements of the Compact. States are in a tough ...
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