Wednesday, June 16, 2010

IJC Report On Groundwater In The Great Lakes Basin

Jun 16: The International Joint Commission (IJC) released a major binational assessment of the threats to groundwater in the Great Lakes basin. IJC indicates that groundwater in the Great Lakes basin is similar in volume to Lake Michigan and provides a source of drinking water for millions of basin residents. Yet this major component of the Great Lakes basin ecosystem receives inadequate attention in policies designed to protect Great Lakes water quality. For example, Annex 16 of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, which addresses contaminated groundwater, is the shortest annex to the Agreement. The Agreement is currently being renegotiated by the governments of Canada and the United States.

    The report -- Groundwater in the Great Lakes Basin -- by the IJC's Great Lakes Science Advisory Board recommends a range of actions by Federal, state and provincial governments in the areas of research, monitoring, regulation, enforcement and financial support. Local governments are also encouraged to increase source-water protection, conservation measures and requirements for on-site wastewater treatment. In 13 appendices, the report assesses a range of specific threats to groundwater in the basin from de-icing compounds to confined animal feeding operations.

    Access a release from IJC (click here). Access the complete 162-page report (click here).