INTERLOCHEN PUBLIC RADIO (2008-11-19) Michigan Congressman Bart Stupak will try again to address what he calls a serious flaw in the Great Lakes Compact. That’s the new law that bans diversions of water out of the basin. State legislatures and the Congress approved it overwhelmingly. But critics say the Compact leaves a door open for international companies to put unlimited quantities of water in containers and sell it. IPR’s Bob Allen reports.
From the Detroit News:
A ban on water diversions from the Great Lakes advanced Wednesday as the House Judiciary Committee voted to move it to the full House floor and the Senate Judiciary Committee heard advocates explain its urgency.
“We’re at the five-yard line,” said Andy Buchsbaum, the director of the Great Lakes office of the National Wildlife Federation. “We’ve really got momentum.”
The compact was signed by the eight governors of Great Lakes states: Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
It would ban diversions outside the basin in all but the rarest circumstances and encourage conservation.
Advocates worry that the looming water crisis in other parts of the nation and around the globe could end in forced diversions from the Great Lakes.
From the AP:
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — An American Indian tribe says bills pending in the Legislature to regulate high-volume water withdrawals would violate its rights by reducing fish populations in some rivers and streams.
Officials with other northern Michigan tribes also are raising concerns about the measures, pending in the House and Senate. The two versions are similar, but have differences that sponsors are trying to work out before floor votes are taken.
The bills would regulate withdrawals of more than 200,000 gallons per day from rivers and streams — or from underground aquifers — for commercial uses such as farming and manufacturing.
Ellen Kohler has published “Ripples in the water: judicial, executive, and legislative developments impacting water management in Michigan” as the lead article in Volume 53 of the Wayne Law Review.
Here is the introduction to this interesting paper:
Michigan is defined by water. The two peninsulas touch four of the five Great Lakes, creating 3,300 miles of Great Lakes shoreline. We enjoy 35,000 inland lakes and ponds, and 34,000 miles of rivers. Michiganders are very aware of our surface waters-we swim, fish, and boat in them. We see them on our maps of the state.
The water underground is more of an afterthought. Most of us don’t know how far underground the water is, where it is, or how it moves. Yet, groundwater is essential for our public health, safety, and welfare.
As part of the Michigan State Law Review Symposium, The Great Lakes Compact, we (Profs. Singel & Fletcher) published a short paper, “Indian Treaties and the Survival of the Great Lakes.” The paper and symposium are now online.
Other authors include without limitation Jim Olson, Austen Parrish, Dan Tarlock, and Mark Squillace. Check it out.