Friday, President Bush signed the Great Lakes Compact – an agreement whose completion ended a decade of work to protect the Great Lakes waters from being diverted to other locations.

The Great Lakes – our natural wonder right here in the Midwest – contain 20% of the world’s fresh surface water. Compact supporters have long feared that arid regions such as the rapidly growing Sun Belt would target the lakes as a source of much-needed water supplies – a real possibility as population trends show a marked shift to the southwest as well as other warmer climates.

Photo Credit: Google Images


The deal was negotiated by the governors and ratified by the legislatures in all eight affected states – New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. In addition to our states, the provinces of Ontario and Quebec adopted similar provisions.

Although the Accord protects against large-scale diversions by pipeline or ship , environmentalists fear a loop-hole that allows Great Lakes water to be bottled and sold in containers no larger than 5.7 gallons will be exploited to increase diversion in lesser quantities.

The United Nations estimates that by 2025, two-thirds of the world’s population will lack ready access to clean, fresh water.


About Charlotte A. Weybright

I own a home in the historical West Central Neighborhood of Fort Wayne, Indiana. I have four grown sons and nine grandchildren - four grandsons and five granddaughters. I love to work on my home, and I enjoy crafts of all types. But, most of all, I enjoy being involved in political and community issues.
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  1. clint jenkins says:

    Good article. My only problem with it is the environmentalist again. They are worried about the Great Lakes being drained 5.7 gallons at a time? It makes no economical sence and here are some facts to help the Environmental activist calm.

    6 quadrillion gallons of fresh water; one-fifth of the world’s fresh surface water (only the polar ice caps and Lake Baikal in Siberia contain more); 95 percent of the U.S. supply. Spread evenly across the continental U.S., the Great Lakes would submerge the country under about 9.5 feet of water.

    I have never even written the word quadrillion before here is what it looks like
    Thats 20,000,000 gallons per US citizen. I think we will be ok taking that out at 5 gallons a pop


  2. Clint:

    Perhaps it would help us to know what you mean by reversing the terms. I consider myself both although you may not recognize it. My one failing of course is that I live in a home that I love but which is too big for me. When I took the carbon footprint test, that is the only area that nailed me.

    The fear is that businesses will spring up to bypass the bulk diversion provision and do it by other means in smaller quantities.

    Wouldn’t you say that would be a capitalistic way of getting around the bulk diversion?

  3. clint jenkins says:

    Environmental activist= Someone in NY city or San Fransico who wouldnt know a river, woods, or what the hell is going on. They carry signs around college campuses and have “teach ins” and talk about how we are raping the world.

    Active Environmentalist= a person such as myself who has written plans for the USDA to reduce fertilizer runoff. Continued education in environmental science and international studies to help determine carbon release in different cropping systems. Teaching my children the importance of wildlife and how to use it. Fighting left wing wacos that are Environmental activists against gmo crops (they wouldnt know one if it hit them in the head, but they do read greanpeace and other literature). I am involed in Timber management, waterway management, and other projects. I also run a company based on improving wildlife habitats through nutrition and bedding areas. One of my goals and projects is to renovate 30 acres near pierceton Indiana back to naitive/pararie grasses instead of intrucive fescues. This will bring and hold turkey,pheasants,doves, and deer in great numbers.

    I havent made a sign or picketed in a line. That is how you know the difference between an Environmental Activist and an Active Environmentalist.

    Carbon footprints are a joke!

    You go ahead and get started emptying the Great Lakes 5 gallons at a time. Thats not a loophole im afraid of!

  4. Clint:

    I think that it is pretty unfair to say because someone lives in a big city, they have no clue about the environment. What about the likes of Central Park or Liberty Island or Ellis Island in New York?

    Are any of the activities you listed job related? What a neat job if they are.

    Your statement:

    “Teaching my children the importance of wildlife and how to use it.” How about “how to appreciate it.”

    You can be both. If you care about the environment, you do what you can to conserve such as recycling, keeping the heat lowered in the winter, using little air conditioning in the summer, buying vehicles that get good gas mileage (my truck gets 33 mpg), putting on storm windows and weatherproofing, etc.

    That doesn’t mean you can’t picket, write letters, and actively engage in activities that you hope will change politicians’ positions.

    It is not one or the other – if you truly believe in the environment, then you do both.

  5. clint jenkins says:

    A sign just doesnt get it done in the real world. Action, and yes education is what gets it done. Being educated on the facts and not just belching useless facts. Another important thing would be things like golden rice and crops comming out that will save millions of lives and make life much better. Golden rice will prevent blindness in millions of Africans and third world countries. However, because of idiots in NY and San Fran that dont understand, things like these will be withheld, not brought to market, or be too late to help. It isnt just the picketers, it is now liberal judges who are uneducated.

  6. J. Q. Taxpayer says:

    I think the law is pretty good. What concerns me is here are a great many underground rivers that flow into the Great Lakes (One runs from via East Allen County to Lake Erie) that are not covered. That companies could come in purchase some ground and start pumping and piping the water to other parts of the country.

    Each of the states need to address this issue of not allowing any interstate movement of large volumes of water. Then I will feel a little better about this issue.

    Again this is a good first start but much is still needed.

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