Michigan, Wisconsin and Ohio are holding up work by lawmakers in six states on a compact covering Great Lakes water, environmentalists say.
Supporters of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact in Wisconsin and Ohio are worried that the Great Lakes could see forced water diversions amid a drought, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported Sunday.
The newspaper said Northeast Ohio could be affected given its dependence on Lake Erie, the shallowest of the five Great Lakes.
"And given our heavy reliance on Lake Erie water for industry, drinking water and recreation, Ohio may have more at stake than any other state over how the entire Great Lakes basin's water supply is managed," said Trent Dougherty of the Ohio Environmental Council.
Wisconsin environmental groups say they are puzzled that the compact has foundered in the state capitol.
"What's most amazing is that the three states who are lagging the most behind are the ones with the most shoreline and the most to lose -- Michigan, Wisconsin and Ohio," said Jeffrey Potter, director of communications for the Wisconsin-based Biodiversity Project.
Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota and New York have signed the agreement and the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec have approved it in principal, the newspaper said.
Copyright 2008 by United Press International
Explore further: Huge tract of Australia in 'biggest ever drought'