Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Another Media Splash About Declining Great Lakes Levels

The Detroit News features the growing concern about falling levels in Lakes Superior and Michigan. This is not the first such story - - here's another example from March - - and, unfortunately, it won't be the last, because falling water levels in the Great Lakes is a big, visual, compelling story.

The coverage, however, usually fails to make the local connection - - namely that Lake Michigan is the source from which communities in Waukesha County want to divert water.

Without a strong, cooperative international Compact agreement based on conservation, and a focus on rules and standards governing diversions - - including prohibitions against the export of bottled water - - states and Canadian provinces could begin to unilaterally draw down these water with little regard for the resource.

And a strong Compact will help keep the Great Lakes from being piped, shipped or allowed to flow south to warmer, parched states.

With declining levels, invasive species and pollution from farms, waste treatment facilities and construction sites already stressing the Great Lakes, is this a good time, through inaction on the pending Great Lakes Compact, to make poor management of these waters even easier?

Or is it a good time - - for the right reasons - - to pay closer attention to the lakes' falling levels?

And then to turn that all-too-measurable reality into action by Wisconsin, and the other Great Lakes states and Canadian provinces, redefining these jurisdictions as assertive stewards of the Great Lakes watershed by their approvals of the Great Lakes Compact.

No comments: