to remind Congress that Great Lakes waters are NOT FOR SALE!
Stop the privatization of Great Lakes waters!
In the coming days, Congress is considering a historic resolution on the Great Lakes Compact, an agreement entered into by the states and provinces of the Great Lakes Basin. This lays out guidelines for diversions from the Great Lakes, lakes and streams and groundwater in the Basin to protect the waters from large scale diversion projects and private expropriation. Generally, the Compact bans all diversions unless covered by an exception. While the Compact could be a great step forward to protect the , there are serious concerns with the exceptions laid out in the compact - such as that allowing the packaging and sale of Great Lakes water as a "product" for private gain and explicitly exempting bottled water from the ban. Further, the Compact fails to incorporate the Public Trust doctrine that protects Great Lakes basin waters from private export and sale and protects these waters from claims to the water as a product under international trade laws.
The Compact cannot become law without the approval of Congress, who will consider this very soon. Congress has broad constitutional powers to add conditions to make sure the Compact conforms to principles like public trust, so it is uniformly respected by the states in managing the Compact and Great Lakes waters.
Take action NOW to ensure conditions to the Compact protect the waters against being defined as a product, which could allow bottled-water companies to exploit the waters and sets a dangerous precedent for exporting water, and protect the largest body of freshwater in the U.S. as a public trust.
Great Lakes Organizer
Food & Water Watch