An effort to get Wisconsin into the Great Lakes Compact
By Bob Meyer
Published January 23, 2008
A couple of Wisconsin State Senators say they will introduce legislation to protect the water in the Great Lakes. Wisconsin is the only Great Lakes state that has not done anything about threats to divert water from the lakes to drier areas of the country. Minnesota and Illinois have already enacted the Great Lakes-St Lawrence River Basin Water Compact. One house of the Indiana legislature has passed enactment legislation while bills have been introduced in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York.
A new poll says 80% of Wisconsinites favor the agreement that Governor Jim Doyle and the chief executives from the seven other states signed two years ago. The Compact would prevent any new diversions of water out of the basin. Republican Rob Cowles of Green Bay and Democrat John Lehman of Racine say they will introduce a bill to ratify the agreement “soon”. The hang-up has been the Milwaukee suburb of Waukesha which wants to tap into Lake Michigan but lies just outside the lake’s basin.
Support for the Compact gained new momentum when talk surfaced in Washington last year suggesting federal funds be used to build a water pipeline from the Lakes to the drought-stricken Southeastern United States.
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