'Great Lakes Water Wars' author speaks in Ashland
By: By Mike Simonson, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
The author of “Great Lakes Water Wars” says the next battle over water diversion will test the Great Lakes Compact. And that test will come next year.
Author Peter Annin says tension over diverting water from the Great Lakes will rise in the next six months. That’s when the Wisconsin DNR is expected to rule on Waukesha’s request to divert water from Lake Michigan, returning treated water back to the lake.
“Under the rules of the Compact, all eight Great Lakes governors are going to have the opportunity to sign off or reject Waukesha’s water diversion application. So this will be an issue that will be discussed from St. Paul, Minnesota to Albany, New York.”
Annin calls this a test of the effectiveness of the Compact not only in cooperation among the states, but also acceptance by environmental and business groups.
“There has been some sort of saber-rattling if you will, with constituencies suggesting that if things didn’t go their way, they would potentially file lawsuits over whatever Waukesha decision comes through.”
Annin says since the Great Lakes contain one-fifth of the world’s surface water, people living in Great Lakes states need to appreciate the global impact of this resource.
“Because if those who live around the Great Lakes don’t appreciate how valuable they are, then who else will?”
Annin calls the Great Lakes “the Himalayas of water”.
Annin will speak at the Alvord Theater on the Northland College campus at 7 p.m. Thursday night as part of their environmental Van Evera lecture series. The event is free and open to the public.
Wisconsin Public Radio can be heard locally on 91.3 KUWS-FM and online at www.wpr.org.