Michigan Land Use Institute

MLUI / Articles from 1995 to 2012 / Code Red In A Blue Water Basin

Code Red In A Blue Water Basin

August 7, 2003 | By Andy Guy
Great Lakes Bulletin News Service

The mere mention of some day diverting fresh water from the Great Lakes to unknown people in far-off lands usually triggers passionate discussion and calls for immediate protective action. But concerns about far more likely and mundane water issues within the Great Lakes Basin — those local, day-to-day water uses that actually are draining underground supplies and stressing lakes and rivers — receive far less attention than they need or deserve.


The problem of failing water supplies within the Basin is far more prevalent than most people suspect. Even here — at the center of the largest supply of fresh surface water on Earth — farms, families, and businesses are competing ever more strenuously for access to a shrinking supply of water. Generally the biggest pump wins because there are so few laws protecting either private investments that depend on plentiful, clean water or public access to this most precious natural resource.

This special report, Code Red in a Blue Water Basin, highlights four Great Lakes communities where changing climate cycles, unrestrained local consumption, and the lack of scientific information already frustrate attempts to keep local water supplies clean and plentiful. Code Red urges the region’s lawmakers to promptly enact modern water-protection legislation that ensures safe, fresh water for industrial, agricultural, and residential use. 

Michigan Land Use Institute

148 E. Front Street, Suite 301
Traverse City, MI 49684-5725
p (231) 941-6584 
e comments@mlui.org