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03/14/2014

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Sandy Bihn

Great perspective
The pressure in the US to divert water to the west is coming.. It could rival the Cival War...

Bill McClenahan

Your column is based on an incorrect premise. The Compact is not a "non-binding agreement in principle." It became federal law in 2008. Transfers of water to places like California or the Ogallala are illegal.

The only transfers outside the Basin that would be allowed are to communities in counties that straddle the Great Lakes divide. The water must be returned after use. Waukesha is in a straddling county and has said it will return at least 100% of the volume withdrawn. The precedent is only for counties within straddling counties and the precedent is to have no impact on lake levels.

Tom

Bill: You misread it. The compact's only binding in the United States. States cannot, by law, enter into binding agreements with provinces.

Bill McClenahan

My point is that this debate has already occurred and it resulted in a federal law that makes the diversions you speculate about illegal under federal law, not just a violation of a principle.

Federal law says: “Congress consents to and approves the interstate compact regarding water resources in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin.” The compact and the agreement with the provinces are essentially identical.

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"Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads."
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About Ripple Effect

Every pollution battle ultimately comes down to mankind's desire to better itself while protecting its sense of home. In this blog, Blade Staff Writer Tom Henry looks at how Great Lakes energy-environmental issues have a ripple effect on our public health, our natural resources, our economy, our psychological well-being, and our homespun pride.

About Tom Henry

Tom Henry is an award-winning journalist who has covered primarily energy and environmental issues the past two decades. He is a member of the national Society of Environmental Journalists, one of North America's largest journalism groups.

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