Canadian Consulting Engineer

Saving the Great Lakes: President Bush signs on

In his last days in office, U.S. President George Bush has signed a compact that virtually bans the removal of wate...

October 30, 2008   Canadian Consulting Engineer

In his last days in office, U.S. President George Bush has signed a compact that virtually bans the removal of water from the Great Lakes. President Bush signed the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact on October 3, following its approval by the U.S. Congress in September.
This step builds on the “good-faith” commitments that were agreed to in 2005 by Ontario, Quebec, and eight U.S. states that border the Great Lakes. Those commitments will now become cemented into U.S. law on December 8, 2008.
The agreement places a virtual ban on removing or transferring water out of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin and commits the parties to creating a science strategy for critical issues such as the impacts of climate change and increased water use. The agreement also sets goals and objectives for conserving water and establishes basin-wide standard for managing the waters.
Ontario has already legislated a ban on water transfers from one Great Lake watershed to another in its Safeguarding and Sustaining Ontario’s Water Act of 2007. Quebec’s National Assembly tabled legislation in June.
The Great lakes support more than half of Canada’s manufacturing output and a quarter of the country’s agriculture.


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