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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Group Fights Wisconsin Water Diversion

Regional | by Peter Jackson  

Great Lakes, St. Lawrence Cities Initiative has written to PM Trudeau.

Mayors of Great Lakes communities on both sides of the Canada-US border intend to fight a decision to allow the city of Waukesha, Wisconsin to draw water from Lake Michigan.

The members of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities initiative are calling for a a hearing to challenge a recent decision allowing the city to draw water from the Great Lakes.

The June decision by the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Council makes Waukesha the first exception to an agreement banning diversions of water away from the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River basin.

The city has a population of 70,000 and is located about 60 kilometres inland from the Lake Michigan shore.

Goderich Mayor Kevin Morrison says no impact studies were done before the US-based Council gave Waukesha the green light for the diversion project.

Morrison believes if there's no intervention in the decision, then other communities on both sides of the border will believe they also have a case to ask for permission to divert Great Lakes water.

He tells us the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative has representation from both countries, and that Americans alone should not make decisions concerning the future of the Lakes.

Morrison points out that the Initiative's approach isn't working, and it has no choice but to request that the federal governments in Ottawa and Washington become involved.

The group says it's also written to Prime Minister Trudeau and President Obama asking for what it calls "appropriate action" to stop Waukesha's diversion of water from Lake Michigan.

The Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Council is made up of officials from eight American states who have shores on the Great Lakes.

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