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The Great Lakes Water Wars Have Begun After U.S. Officials Approve Drawing 30 Million Litres Per Day

A group of eight U.S. officials have voted to allow a Wisconsin-based region to begin drawing 30 million litres of water a day from lake Michigan for drinking water. A Canadian Mayor has spoken out on the recently-approved plan calling the recent decision “the end of the Great Lakes as we know them.”

Last year, the city of Waukesha in Wisconsin had asked the Great Lake states for permission to divert water from Lake Michigan because its own aquifer is running low and the water is contaminated with high levels of naturally occurring cancer-causing radium.

A panel representing governors of the eight states adjoining the Great Lakes unanimously approved a proposal from Waukesha, which is under a court order to find a solution to the radium contamination of its groundwater wells. The city says the project will cost over $200 million for engineering studies, pipelines and other infrastructure.

Waukesha is only 27 kilometres from the lake but just outside the Great Lakes watershed. That required the city of about 72,000 to get special permission under the compact, which prohibits most diversions of water across the watershed boundary.

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