Stealing Water from the Great Lakes

Nipigon, Ontario mayor says Waukesha water decision sets worrying precedent

‘We all hear about Arizona, we hear about Texas, we hear about California … they want our Great Lakes water’

CBC News Posted: Jun 23, 2016 6:00 AM ET Last Updated: Jun 23, 2016 6:00 AM ET

Richard Harvey, mayor of the town of Nipigon in northwestern Ontario, says he is ‘very disappointed’ by the decision to allow Waukesha, Wis., to divert water from Lake Michigan. (Richard Harvey)
U.S. water deal means end of Great Lakes, Ontario mayor warns

The mayor of a northwestern Ontario town located on the shore of Lake Superior is expressing his disappointment over the decision to allow a Wisconsin town to draw water from Lake Michigan.

On Tuesday, a panel representing the governors of eight states surrounding the Great Lakes approved the diversion request from Waukesha, Wis.

The American community wants the water because it can no longer draw an adequate supply from an underground aquifer, which is starting to run low and is becoming contaminated.

However, Nipigon Mayor Richard Harvey said he believes the request should not have been granted.

“It’s set a precedent of allowing water to go outside of our basin,” said Harvey.

“We all hear about Arizona, we hear about Texas, we hear about California where everyone talks about the fact that they want our Great Lakes water.”

“Well this opens up just a small crack in the door, and they’ll be able to get that crowbar into that crack and start wedging that crack further and further open.”

The 2008 pact that was created to safeguard the Great Lakes water supply has a provision that allows areas on the edge of the Great Lakes watershed to request diversions, but Waukesha is the first town to do so.