Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Great Lakes Water Sale Predicted In 10 Years, Ohio Official Says

Ohio's Lt. Governor, who also serves as the state's development director, told The Toledo Blade that the Great Lakes states would have to decide in a decade whether to sell water to states and countries beyond the Great Lakes basin boundaries.

The Great Lakes Compact, stalled in the Ohio Senate and Wisconsin Assembly by the same stripe of obstructionist Republican states' rightists, would establish rules and procedures to make out-of-basin sales difficult by requiring that diverted water be returned.

So a community like Waukesha could meet that standard, but a community in Georgia, Arizona - - or in Asia, for example could not.

So why is the Compact stalled in Wisconsin?

Because a handful of Waukesha-area legislators and business leaders don't want any restrictions on Waukesha's ability to pull Lake Michigan water across the basin, even though Waukesha City Mayor Larry Nelson has said he can live with the Compact agreement and its terms, as written.

Those blocking the Compact would leave the door open to diversions taking place without the water being returned, or without the Compact's regional water conservation requirements firmly in place.

Setting up the Great Lakes and their watershed for net water losses is absurd.

But so far, that is the risk that Waukesha and state chamber of commerce leaders, along with Assembly Speaker Mike Huebsch, (R-West Salem), State Rep. Mark Gunderson (R-Waterford), State Sen. Mary Lazich, (R-New Berlin), and Waukesha County Executive Dan Vrakas are willing to take.


Anonymous said...

What's so hard about returning water to the basin? Instead of a big pipe to Arizona, you have two .... one to send the water there and another to send the sewage (or treated water) back.

Don't laugh ... even with the compact in place, if water gets scarce enough, it might be economically feasible.

Unknown said...


Thank you for your timely and insightful post on the Great Lakes Basin Compact.
I would like you to join a live broadcast and chat forum we are hosting on the subject later today. The forum, "Midtown Brews" is guided by fellow, George Nemeth, of
I-Open.org, an economic development organization based in Northeast Ohio, is co-host.

Here's the online community link:

Here's the Midtown Brews channel - live conversation starts at 6PM (EST):

Thanks again and hope to hear from you this afternoon.


James Rowen said...

Thanks for the comment and invitation, but I am unavailable this evening.

I will be posting additional information on my blog later this morning about the Compact, and Ohio, fyi.

Unknown said...

Thanks James.

We have connected information about your latest work, publications, etc here:

We will continue to monitor and disseminate updates you publish here:

I-Open deploys new practices and tools for Open Source Economic Development a now widely adopted approach to building innovation and enterprise. OSED is based on collaborative leadership, social networks, and "strategic doing" - a next step small team approach to quickly building transformation in communities and regions.

Be in contact - thank you for your good work.