Olson's Statement Regarding the Unanimous Approval of the Waukesha Diversion Application
On behalf of FLOW (For Love of Water), Jim Olson released the following statement regarding today’s decision on the Waukesha Diversion Application.
“For better or worse, the Compact governors’ decision approving Waukesha’s diversion is done. There were a number of loose provisions that pointed to a bad precedent where a community’s water system doesn’t even straddle the Basin divide. It will all depend on the details, the amendments and conditions made part of the decision. This remains a serious matter and as we have done so far, FLOW will dig in and evaluate these conditions and make sure they are strictly interpreted and enforced. When it comes to the Great Lakes and the duties of government to protect their integrity, there is no room for mistakes or relaxation. It would have been better for the public to be able to see and comment on these amendments and conditions. For the moment, all we can do is review them after the fact. The key to this and future decisions is to make sure they meet the standards for exceptions like Waukesha’s request as a community in a straddling county. These standards are the beacons by which the Great Lakes will be protected from diversions and exports. They must burn bright and respected. The public trust duty of the governors to protect the integrity of these waters from one generation to the next is first and foremost.”
I am curious to know:
1) how this affects Canadian water rights as we share the Great Lakes as an international water resource with your country; 2) what agreements exist between Canada and the USA about this seemingly unilateral Congressional decision; and 3) how this matter was actually decided ? (As in, was Canada consulted or is this just more US imperialism in play ?
Let’s be good neighbours and kick the right wingers out of office so we can all get along together, share and not get sucked down the sewer pipe of greedy carpetbaggers.
Thanks for your attention to this matter and all the other fine things you do.
as far as i know – Ontario didn’t get a vote on this decision based on the rules of the Compact. Neither did First Nations in the region.
The governors have certainly violated their public trust duty by granting this exception to a non-straddling municipality. Please recommend to us how we can productively respond to prevent further erosion of Great Lakes protection. The image of the Aral Sea looms…
I am concerned that this will establish a precedent for further decision-making. And I’m also concerned that these decisions are political and not environmentally based. As much, because there is about protecting the Great Lakes, there seems to be decisions made by municipalities that are not favorable to the environment. Example, removal of the dams on the Boardman River will expose the river to all of the invasive species of Lake Michigan.
Of all the states in this compact it would seem like Michigan would be the most conservative. I don’t think that are present governor appreciates the importance of Lake Michigan.
while this is a bad decision, there are many other diversions we could be considering in light of this deal by the Compact – i wrote this: http://www.greatlakescommons.org/our-blog-b/2016/8/the-waukesha-decision-diverting-our-attention-from-being-a-water-commoner