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E-M:/ let's divert great lakes water! great idea!

Enviro-Mich message from Dave Dempsey <davemec@voyager.net>

Is it just me, or are Michigan citizens being prepared for a proposal to
make someone rich by diverting Great Lakes water?

In the 1999 State of the Great Lakes report, received today, respected
former Natural Resources Commission member Jim Hill notes that a survey
earlier this year of Michigan legislators shows substantial support for
modifying Michigan's traditional position of opposing Great Lakes water
diversions.  Of the 75 legislators responding, a majority said their
support for water diversions would be increased if it was justified by such
circumstances as a natural crisis, contamination, or a no-net-loss effect.
Hill advocates a change in policy, arguing criteria need to be developed
that would permit diversions under certain circumstances.

Legally, Hill is on solid ground.  But if Michigan, the only state whose
land base is almost entirely in the Great Lakes Basin, does not stake out a
firm anti-diversion position, the entire region will be dragged closer to
the utilitarian view of our neighbors.  Their position:  divert when it
serves their parochial interests. 

A second article of note is an editorial from the April 1999 U.S. Water
News, entitled, "It's time to consider developing the Great Lakes Water
Farm."  It says in part, "...the two countries need to develop this
resource. We have the technology.  We have the means. We have the exporters
ready to begin business. We have the buyers.   Income could fund
regulation, future planning, and development.  And from a practical
standpoint, the excess water now just flows out to sea, unused."

They're right, of course.  All that water flowing out to the ocean to
sustain fisheries, waterfowl, and the ecosystem. What a waste.

Michigan citizens had better wake up to this one.
Dave Dempsey
Policy Director
Michigan Environmental Council
119 Pere Marquette, Suite 2A
Lansing, MI 48912

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