|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 10, 2004|
Mayor Barrett and Canadian Ambassador Discuss Great Lakes Water Conservation
||Press Secretary Carlene Orig|
Milwaukee -- Mayor Tom Barrett and Canada's Ambassador to the United States, Michael Kergin, met today to discuss the conservation and diversion of Great Lakes water. Mayor Barrett urged Ambassador Kergin to assist in strengthening the water conservation measures contained in the Great Lakes Sustainable Water Resources Agreement and Compact.
Mayor Barrett told Ambassador Kergin that without meaningful conservation standards, "we will open up the Great Lakes basin to unprecedented pressure and withdrawals."
The waters of the Great Lakes basin are interconnected. The multiple uses of these precious resources include municipal, industrial and agricultural water supply; mining; hydroelectric power and energy production; recreation; and the maintenance of fish and wildlife habitat.
Studies conducted have found that without careful management, the future development of diversions and consumptive uses of the Great Lakes basin may have significant adverse impacts on the environment, economy and welfare of the Great Lakes region.
Last month, Mayor Barrett requested that the Great Lakes Cities Initiative, which is a bi-national coalition of nearly 50 Mayors and other local officials, strengthen its position on water conservation. The Great Lakes Sustainable Water Resources Agreement and Compact represent years of work by the eight Governors and two Canadian Premiers in the Great Lakes Region.
It will take years before full implementation of the Great Lakes Agreement and Compact. "Communities in Southeastern Wisconsin and our neighbors to the north should utilize this time to create significant water conservation measures," said Barrett.
"I am hopeful Ambassador Kergin and I will continue to have a productive partnership in preserving the Great Lakes."