Jul 27

Print this Post

Eight States, One Mission for Our Water

Great Lakes states team up to protect water resources for the win—listen up:

Let’s get together and…manage our region’s water

Lake Michigan at sunset

Speaking of agreements, we can probably all agree the Great Lakes were named well. (D. Simmons)

In the late nineties, a company wanted to ship water from Lake Superior all the way to Asia. That got people in the Great Lakes thinking about the value of the abundance in our own backyard.

So the eight states bordering the Lakes—that would be Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin—signed an agreement known as the Great Lakes Compact, a legalese agreement on how to share and use the region’s water. Yay!

To find out why that’s a good thing, and how this collaborative approach to management even works, CurrentCast caught up with Andrew Slade of the Minnesota Environmental Partnership. “[The Compact] doesn’t restrict water withdrawals in those actual communities,” he explains. “But what it does is very clearly restrict transfer of water outside the Great Lakes basin.”

It’s important that these states work together to keep the water local, he says, because piping water out of the Great Lakes could throw off a carefully balanced water system. The compact helps prevent this—in addition to proving once again that thoughtful teamwork can be a real win for the environment.

Get schooled:


Andrew Slade (via MEP)

The fine print:


Permanent link to this article: http://www.currentcast.org/water-and-the-economy/eight-states-one-mission-for-our-water/