Saturday, August 13, 2005

Great Lakes water demand rises

WAUKESHA, Wis., Aug. 12 (UPI) -- The battle for fresh water from the Great Lakes is expected get worse as aquifers are depleted in the United States.

In a reversal of history, residents of Waukesha, Wis., who have used up much of their mineral-rich water, are looking to Chicagoans for a share from Lake Michigan, which they had shunned a century ago.

The New York Times reported that in 1892, one speculator tried to pipe the Waukesha water to Chicago but the pipe layers were chased away by town residents with pistols, pitchforks and fire hoses.

Authorities who control the Great Lakes are not sure any of it should go to communities like Waukesha, which is 15 miles from the lake's shore but outside of its watershed, the report said.

They fear that without strict rules on who gets Great Lakes water, water-starved western cities will eventually knock at the door, the report said.

Todd Ambs at the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources says the Great Lakes basin has "more and more demands for water and certainly more and more development.


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