Great Lakes water agreement is signed

December 13, 2005

The governors of the Great Lakes states and Ontario, Canada, officials have agreed to ban nearly all pumping of water from the Great Lakes basin.

The agreement, signed Tuesday in Milwaukee, will all but ban pumping water from the Great Lakes or St. Lawrence River to watersheds outside each specific drainage area, the Council of Great Lakes Governors said.

The Great Lakes are home to a fifth of the world's surface fresh water.

The agreement specifies how Great Lakes water may be used and requires states and provinces to implement water-conservation programs and other measures.

The international agreement must be ratified by state legislatures, Indian tribes, Canadian provincial authorities and, ultimately, the U.S. Congress.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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