Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Water Issues

First off, I would like to admit that I have been a little negligent about actually checking the blog, but boy, look what I was missing! I am a bit of a novice when it comes to blogging (case in point: this is really my first, err, second time), so I hope that you all will forgive me. After perusing the various postings I was astounded by the revealings of my peers, and I have come to the realization that this particular blog is quite resourceful; when it comes to environmental issues, consider me sold.

Recently, I had the opportunity to submit a research paper regarding the issue of water diversions out of the Great Lakes basin. It seems that as denizens of this region, not many people (myself included), were really inlcined to know much about the Lakes, so I decided to do a little bit of investigating. After reviewing some scientific literature, the inferences that I was able to procure were quite alarming. In lieu of trying to summarize all of my findings, I would definitely encourage you to do a little bit of surfing around. A great website for learning more about diversions and the immense capabilites that the Great Lakes system provides is available at the following:


The information was compiled by the Great Lakes Water Institute and I found it to be very insightful.

To tie this all back to Royte and sustainability, one very interesting fact that I was able to glean from my research deals with bottled water. Due to the seemingly vast amount of fresh water right next door and looming concerns over the issues related to water scarcity, some proponents of diversions see it as an opportunity to exploit the water and sell it as a commodity; even ship it overseas. Fortunately, there is some legislation to protect this from happening, but loop-holes do indeed exist.

According to some information from the GLWI website, "The 2005 Annex Implementing Agreements regulate new diversions and exports of water out of the basin in pipelines, canals, and containers larger than 5.7 gallons." Current legislation does not, however, contain a mandate on shipping water out of the basin in smaller containers, and the implications of such could be disastrous for our region. What we're talking about is the complete loss of habitat as the lake levels decline. This could ,in turn, play host to a number of malignant scenarios, any of which we would not wish to come to fruition.

To make matters worse, the U.S. alone has witnessed a marked rise in the consumption of bottled water. The GLWI provides that, "Americans drank 6.8 billion gallons of bottled water in 2004, compared to 15.3 billion gallons of soda. The Beverage Marketing Corps. predicts that bottled water will soon be Americans 2nd most popular beverage (soft drinks rank 1st)." The fact that the water is "bottled" only confounds our current plastic footprint. What on Earth are we to do?

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