Criticism is growing as the public comment period for the draft Great Lakes Annex 2001 proposal continues. The draft Annex proposal was released in late July (see Manitoba Wildlands news item), and is intended to manage water use and define water diversions from the Great Lakes Basin. This is an annex to the Great Lakes Charter of 1985, a voluntary agreement through which the Great Lakes States and Provinces cooperatively manage the waters of the Great Lakes.
The Council of Canadians has spoken out in opposition to the draft Annex and is urging Canadians to demand more stringent conservation measures to protect the largest freshwater ecosystem in the world, which is the drinking water source for one third of all Canadians.
The draft Annex is being criticized as failing to restrict how much water can be withdrawn from the Great Lakes, and leaving the door open for long distance water removals and water exports. The Annex fails to distinguish between water uses inside the water basin and water uses outside the Great Lakes ecosystem. Other critics have labeled the draft Great Lakes Annex 2001 a complex water-taking permit program, as opposed to a resource-based conservation standard that would keep the water where it belongs: in the basin.
View the Walter & Duncan Gordon Foundation - Water Issues
View the Council of Canadians web page on the Great Lakes Annex
View the Detroit Free Press article
View the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article
View the August 18, 2004 Manitoba Wildlands news item on the proposed Great Lakes Annex
View the Council of Great Lakes Governors for the Great Lakes Water Management Initiative
Sources: Council of Canadians, Detroit Free Press, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel