Monday, July 2, 2007

Wisconsin Needs To Get Serious About Water Conservation

Disappearing lakes.

Dry streams.

Falling waterfront property values.

Our state's groundwater legal protections need strengthening, as this Wisconsin State Journal Sunday story explains, but we still take our water resources for granted.

That's evidenced by the state's inability to implement substantial water conservation measures, the DNR's frequent lack of aggressive enforcement, and the legislature's as-yet unwillingness to adopt the pending Great Lakes Compact, a regional water management plan that is in the best interests of Wisconsin and the other seven Great Lakes states.

The Compact doesn't take effect, and thus doesn't operate as an important regional agreement to preserve this major international water resource, until all the states adopt similar ratifying and implementing bills.

The summer heat is here. Water levels in Lake Superior are hitting record lows.

How many reminders do we need that water is not infinite, and that the Great Lakes are under stress?

It's our job as stewards of this great Public Trust in Wisconsin to make water conservation the equivalent of a second state motto.


Russ said...

In the 1960s the Saint Clair River was dredged to allow the then new "thousand footers" to pass from Lake Huron to Lake Erie. That act caused the levels of Lakes Huron and Michigan to drop 16 inches. I can't begin to imagine how much fresh water that one single act sent out to the Atlantic Ocean. For some reason discussing that dredging is not on the radar screen. The problem could easily be corrected with flow restrictors under the Blue Water Bridge connecting Port Huron and Sarnia. But no, rather than do the obvious, and raise the lake levels with restrictors, we blame the people for using to much water. Fresh water is a precious resource. Mother nature established the flow rate for the Saint Clair River eons ago, let's get it back to that natural discharge rate.

James Rowen said...

I completely agree.