The agreement banning water diversion from the Great Lakes has been breached. Waukesha, Wisconsin is the first US city to get approved to divert water from the Great Lakes…this is a precedent that should be a concern to Canada and the US.
Waukesha’s Water Application Fuels Sprawl and Pollution:
The aquifer for the city of Waukesha is running low and the water is contaminated with high levels of naturally occurring cancer causing radium. They will be drawing some 31 million litres of water daily from Lake Michigan.
After consulting with Ontario and Quebec, the 8 states adjoining the Great Lakes gave approval to the proposal. There are going to be strong conditions to withdraw and return the water in order to protect the Great Lakes.
The environmental group the Sierra Club has voiced their concerns over the deal. In their view Waukesha has known about the radium for decades and failed to act…the growing water contamination problem resulted from failures to act from the federal and state governments..not from water shortages. Now Canada needs to be concerned.
Not about Radium:
95% of the American fresh water is held in the Great Lakes, and must surely look attractive to some of the arid states. Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York , Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin , Ontario and Quebec have a pact to help prevent water raids from outside the watershed.
The first community has been approved…with a 2013 report identifying 8 other cities near the water shed as possibly needing water in the next few years. Where will this all lead to, stay tuned , but a concern raised by Thunder Bay Mayor Keith Hobbs is the possibility of “water wars”. this sounds a bit drastic now , but our economies need water to grow and the Great Lakes and indeed Canada has water.