19 Jun 2008

Great Lakes Compact Signed

RS sent me an interesting analysis of the GLC. All I know is that it is meant to restrict exports of water, but I asked RS to tell me about management of water to areas that are inside the "local zone". RS says:
The Great Lakes Compact essentially allows governors to veto any plan to divert Great Lakes water to other regions of the country unless all of the governors in the region agree. The compact was signed in 2005 by chief executives of eight Great Lakes states -- Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, as well as two Canadian provinces.

While the compact would generally set principles for controlling new and increased taking of water for business and other use, it leaves it to the individual states to establish the rules under which they would hold up their ends of the bargain.

The water restrictions wouldn't kick in unless someone diverts at least 100,000 gallons a day.

The compact was proposed by Great Lakes governors in December of 2005, under the direction of former Ohio Gov. Bob Taft, as an historic water-usage agreement among the eight Great Lakes states. Its purpose, simply, is to show the region can be a responsible steward of Great Lakes water before the federal government takes control of the resource - which, of course, could still happen.

The Compact as written contains page after page of language that lacks definition, as outlined by our highly respected Legislative Council. The significant amount of language lacking definition in the Compact indicates this issue almost certainly will wind up in federal courts for years and years to come.

Looks like water wars to me.
Bottom Line: Vague and grands gestures will lead to grand and vague arguments. Is the GLC just lipstick on a pig?