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Will The Great Lakes Water Be Oasis For Drought-Stricken America?

From time to time, I see a story about drought conditions in the Western United States. Much of the Southwestern United States is currently under severe drought conditions. The knee-jerk solution to the problem is to look toward Great Lakes water.

US Drought Conditions as of June 2021
US Drought Conditions as of June 2021

The United Nations warns that about 1.8 billion people will be living under extreme drought and water stress conditions. In 2017 Cape Town, South Africa, narrowly avoided “Day Zero” when it was feared the municipal water supply would be shut off.

Can Great Lakes Water Be Taken Away?

Water Pipe

A recent story by Fox News talk radio station KLIX in Idaho suggested they start “borrowing the Great Lakes” by pumping Lake Michigan to Idaho to relieve them of drought conditions. The story goes on to say, ”

“Millions of thirsty western voters will have a lot of pull on policy. As the region grows, so does its power in the United States House of Representatives. By its design, the Senate is already favorable to western concerns. Lake Michigan may be coming to Idaho.”

Idaho Drought Could be Solved by Borrowing the Great Lakes – KLIX 1310

This is not the first story nor the last about siphoning off our region’s lakes. However, it’s the first time I’ve seen a threat made to take the water based on the political power of the western states. A chilling thought. I’m appalled by the general scarcity of understanding of how fragile the Great Lakes are.

Great Lakes Water is a Vital Resource And Needs to Stay Here.

Lighthouse on the Great Lakes – Image by Wokandapix from Pixabay

Shared with Canada and traversing more than 750 miles from west to east, these immense inland freshwater seas provide water for consumption, transportation, power, and recreation. The Great lake’s basin hosts 84% of North America’s freshwater. About 21% of the world’s supply of surface freshwater. 10 % of the US population, 30 million people, and more than 30% of the Canadian population depend on the Great Lakes for drinking water. 

Those who have studied this issue are pretty aware that that’s darn near impossible to suck any significant water from the Great Lakes. Economically such a project would be in the 100’s of billions.  The Great Lakes Compact, to which both the United States and Canada are signatories, prevents any water removal from the  Great Lakes watershed. However, from time to time, the idea is still floated about. 



That does not mean to say that the Great Lakes are wholly protected. Foreign companies such as Nestle pumps 400 gallons a minute out of the aquifers in the region. They sell it back to us in plastic water bottles. 

The water levels on the lakes are such a huge economic and recreational issue that I now give a monthly summary of the Great Lakes Water Levels from the Army Corps of Engineers – Detroit District.

Could the Great Lakes Be an Oasis for Water Refugees?

Beach Crowd

In the near future, it’s entirely possible that the entire Great Lakes Region could become an oasis for a water-starved America. Suppose climate change results in larger areas of the United States being stricken by drought. One extreme drought forecast said the western states could be in this situation for hundreds of years. In that case, you could forecast an exodus of people and businesses moving in to seek our precious water.


Two Verbs News

6 thoughts on “Will The Great Lakes Water Be Oasis For Drought-Stricken America?”

  1. What the Government needs to do to save the drought-stricken west is to follow the example of Israel and build desalination plants to convert ocean water into fresh water. In fact, the world should adapt this practice to help control the rising ocean waters and refill the starving aquifers.

    Reply
  2. I agree that his idea is excellent. Draining our lakes is not the answer. Some years our water levels are high and others they’re so low that boats get stuck and can’t get out. Taking our water until it’s gone is not a good idea.

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  3. We definitely need to shut down Nestle and others from “stealing” Great Lakes water. The cost of the water for them is a few measly bucks for a well permit. Then they can ship it all over the world. Almost pure profit. And a huge global plastic garbage problem to boot.

    Reply
  4. Well, you just start building basin to capture the rain water. The problem is solved then sell the extra run off to West for profit.
    The best part of living in the Midwest we will always get rain due to located right by Canada

    Reply

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