Alarmingly, in the next fifty years the United States will face not just drought, but complete dissemination of readily accessible water resources in areas ranging from its breadbaskets to its commercial and financial epicenters. As these lakes, reservoirs, wells, and aquifers drain, the communities that depend upon them will seek alternative and further-reaching water sources into which they can dip their proverbial straws. The most alluring and perhaps the most vital of these sources are the Great Lakes. In recognition that such straws may descend and that “Future Diversions and Consumptive Uses of Basin Water resources have the potential to significantly impact the environment, economy and welfare of the Great Lakes–St. Lawrence River region,” the region surrounding the Great Lakes championed for effective protections of Great Lakes waters. The Great Lakes–St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact (the “Great Lakes Compact” or the “Compact”), signed into effect in 2008 by President George W. Bush after being adopted in all eight states that border the lakes, as well as the two Canadian provinces to the north, is a legally-binding, international water compact that attempts to manage withdrawals out of the Lakes by creating a blanket prohibition on diversions outside of the Great Lakes Basin.
Christina L. Wabiszewski,
Diversions from the Great Lakes: Out of the Watershed and in Contravention of the Compact,
100 Marq. L. Rev. 627
Available at: http://scholarship.law.marquette.edu/mulr/vol100/iss2/9