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GLIN==> Federation Challenges Binational Leadership on Water Use



Federation Challenges Binational Leadership on Water Use
http://www.lakemichigan.org/conservation/federation_launches.asp
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Sunset-Big Bay de Noc/photo: Lake Michigan Federation
The Lake Michigan Federation has called on a key international agency to
help lead the way for responsible Great Lakes water use, citing concerns
over an advisory report that could undermine that leadership. 
A task force report to the International Joint Commission-a binational
agency that guides the U.S. and Canadian governments on transboundary
environmental matters-advised that the threat of Great Lakes water exports
to other parts of the world or country is a "dead issue." As a result, the
report said, decision-making standards for water withdrawals are not
necessary. 
The Federation sharply criticized the report in testimony at a Jan. 21
public hearing before the commissioners. 
"The report's overall conclusion seems to be that developing comprehensive
water management standards is too hard, unprecedented, and currently lacking
enough information to be workable," said Federation Executive Director
Cameron Davis. "We start from a different conclusion: the Great Lakes are
one of the most magnificent natural treasures on earth. We need to
strengthen Great Lakes protections and build on them over time, not shrink
from the challenges of Great Lakes water management because we think it's
too hard to do at the moment." 
The Nov. 8, 2002, advisory report is important because it precedes the
commission's official statement on Great Lakes water use, due in early
February. Decision-making standards for water withdrawals have been a top
priority for Great Lakes states since the eight governors signed an
agreement calling for such standards in June 2001. Draft state standards are
expected later in 2003. Read the Federation's testimony <testimony.pdf>
(33K).

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