H2Olson

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Onus is on State, Not Citizens, to Turn on Water in Detroit

Since when is the burden of proof on residents to prove a health crisis to get a drink of water from the tap in their home? By refusing to grant relief to tens of thousands of residents in Detroit, the State has effectively deprived citizens of their rights under public trust law.

It’s Time to Bring Enbridge ‘Line 5’ Under the Rule of Law

In a partial victory for Michigan’s waters and the rule of law, a state government administrative law judge ruled on Monday that legal challenges to permits issued by the state for the Enbridge Line 5 oil pipeline project in the Straits of Mackinac can move forward. Judge Daniel Pulter ruled that Enbridge failed to show… Read more »

Safeguarding and Reclaiming the Public Water Commons and a Human Right to Water and Health

Maude’s new book, “Whose Water Is It Anyway?: Taking Water Protection into Public Hands” is a combination of big picture world water crisis, personal story, water policy, conflicts, and solution. Here is a short readable book, a book you can slip into your purse, backpack, or even suit coat pocket, to take with you into the city hall, the boardroom, the classroom, or statehouse. It’s a story that should be read by everyone who cares about liberty, dignity, harmony, and the common good of people and planet.

Court’s Denial of Zoning Permit for Nestlé Pump Station Exposes Achilles Heel of Private Bottled Water Industry

On December 3, the Michigan Court of Appeals released an opinion nullifying a lower court order that had allowed Nestlé to build an industrial booster pump facility to transport 210 million gallons per year of groundwater that feeds headwater creeks in Osceola Township just north of Evart. The decision exposes the Achilles heel of private bottled water industry’s water withdrawals, diversions, and sales throughout Michigan and the country.

Minnesota Water Train Proposal Exposes Flaw in Great Lakes Compact

By Jim Olson A railway company recently proposed extracting 500 million gallons of groundwater per year from Minnesota and shipping it to water-scarce states in the southwestern United States. Although the water that would be diverted lies outside the Great Lakes Basin, and Minnesota officials said they are not likely to approve the water export… Read more »

Faceoff over Farm Runoff Heads to Iowa Court

The foot-dragging by public officials to take action against deadly algal blooms and pollution from bad farming practices finally has reached a tipping point. Food and Water Watch, a national public interest organization, and Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement have teamed up in Des Moines to file a lawsuit to force Iowa state officials and commissions for violating their duty to protect the Racoon River and the drinking water of 500,000 people.

Reflections on Independence – Liberty, Water, and the Public Trust Doctrine

July is “Public Trust Month” at FLOW, a time to gather views and inspiration from people from all walks of life who live, use and enjoy, or depend on the waters of the Great Lakes Basin for life, recreation, and livelihood. Talk about a gift for all of us to celebrate on Independence Day and FLOW’s “Public Trust Month.” This is one to be thankful for, exercise, and protect for ourselves, our children, grandchildren, and all future generations.

Michigan Citizens, Tribe Challenge State Permit for Nestlé’s Water Grab

By Jim Olson I don’t mean to dampen the joy of spring in Michigan, but amidst headlines over Line 5 and unconscionable groundwater contamination from PFAS, we need to embolden our governor, our state officials, and every citizen who cares about water, justice, and the rule of law to join another battle. We need to hoist the mast of Michiganders’… Read more »