June 23, 2008
Cyndi Roper, Clean Water Action: 517-490-1394
Dr. Grenetta Thomassey, Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council: 231-838-5193
Gayle Miller, Sierra Club: 517-484-2372
Agreement scores new,
concrete protections for
pact not perfect, but a key win for
Lansing, MI -- A bipartisan agreement announced today establishes important and concrete protections for Michigan’s streams and makes water conservation an integral part of the state’s water stewardship efforts.
The deal, reached after years of negotiation and research, was endorsed
today by Great Lakes, Great
“This package is a signal of the legislature’s commitment
to protecting our world-class water resources,” said
The bipartisan compromise left some shortcomings, but keeps intact core principles:
the eight-state Great Lakes Compact against large scale water diversions (
n Ensures that users do not excessively harm aquatic resources by taking too much water
n Adopts conservation principles to be utilized by water users
n Adds public input into decisions about large-scale water uses that might impact local ecosystems
“Yesterday, not a drop of
Recent months have seen notables including a Democratic presidential
“We have no intention of letting our water be taken to subsidize
The legislation uses a combination of a new scientific geographic information system-based water withdrawal assessment tool along with other criteria to determine whether large-scale water withdrawals within the state are harmful.
“To our knowledge, no other state in the country is using science to protect water resources in this way; and no state has protected as much of their water resources as we are doing with these laws,” said Clift. “This is a pioneering effort.”
“We are extremely disappointed that the legislature failed to strengthen our important public trust protections, which affirms that water is a public resource that belongs to Michiganders and not to corporations or profit-takers,” said Cyndi Roper of Clean Water Action. “We intend to revisit this issue.”
Other tweaks, such as adjusting allowable streamflow reductions in certain types of rivers, may also be necessary in the future.