As Wisconsin nears introducing legislation for The Great Lakes Compact, Michigan legislators are still struggling with the "assessment tool" that was introduced by Patty Birkholz R-Saugatuck.
The "assessment tool" would regulate in state water diversions based on previous water flow data and fish populations. The "assessment tool" worries environmentalists that fear this is a too simplistic approach to be applied uniformly to all ecosystems in the state.
James Clift of the Michigan Environmental Council who worked on the advisory council that developed the "assessment tool," found that in some stretches rivers such as the Au Sable would be reduced by 22 percent.
In a recent press release Clift said: “The numbers prove that the assessment tool should be used exactly for what it was intended – as a tool, not the sole means of determining whether water users can responsibly pump huge quantities of water from the ground.”
Supporters of the "assessment tool" model fear that too much regulation of water withdrawals would stifle business and agriculture.
By Jason Tafilowski