New report chronicles the threats to this treasured commons, and what we can do
By Jay Walljasper
Scientists say that the Great Lakes could be bone dry in 80 years.
Maude Barlow— co-chair of the Council of Canadians and co-author of the International bestseller about water, Blue Gold— has issued a comprehensive report about the future of the Great Lakes. She advocates that the Great Lakes and all its tributaries be recognized as a commons, a protected bioregion and a public trust.
“The Great Lakes crisis is part of the global crisis, in which we are quickly running out of fresh water,” says Barlow in the report Our Great Lakes Commons: A People’s Plan to Protect the Great Lakes Forever
“It’s not a closed hydrological cycle like we were taught— we are losing clean water through irrigation, bottled water, virtual water trade and more,” she adds. “Scientists say that the Great Lakes could be bone dry in 80 years,” Barlow adds, citing the case of the Aral Sea, the fourth largest lake in the world, but now just 10 percent of its former size. “The World Bank says that water demand is outstripping supply by 40%, producing great suffering.”
Barlow spoke May 6 in Traverse City, Mighigan, at the Saving the Great Lakes Forever conference , sponsored by FLOW for Water , a Great Lakes advocacy group that is one of OTC’s partners in the Great Lakes Commmons work.
|Our Great Lakes Commons (PDF)||6.28 MB|