Great Changes for the Great Lakes

Great Changes for the Great Lakes

by Priyanka Kumar Chopra
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Across the world North America is known for many things; the culture, the people and the great outdoors. Part of that great outdoors is the Great Lakes. The Great Lakes are an integral part of our North American identity; and to preserve that identity in 2005 the premiers of Ontario and Quebec and the leaders of eight American states that border the lakes came together and signed the Great Lakes Water Pact.

The Great Lakes Water Pact is a pact that has introduced strict regulations in regards to the usage of the Great Lakes and it has sunk the tentative thoughts of shipping water to thirsty regions in the United States and Middle East. It was signed by the Canadian provinces and the American states that surround the Great Lakes; Ontario, Quebec, Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota. The agreement includes rules that make it difficult for communities surrounding the Great Lakes watershed to use the water and also aims to prohibit the commercial export of the lake water by restricting withdrawals of water to five gallon (twenty litres) containers.

The affects this pact has on future generations are great. The Great Lakes are a natural resource that are depleting and are not renewing as fast or as much that is necessary. More than thirty five million people rely on the lakes for drinking water, and the lakes are only able to replace one percent of that per year.

The Great Lakes Pact is important for North America’s future generation because it ensures that not all the lakes will be used up and it will be saved from disappearing. This works in the favour of future generations because it guarantees that the lakes will be there for their own usage as well just as it was there for the past generations usage. Not only does it assure fresh and natural drinking water for generations to come but it also promises that the amount of surface water in the world stays intact. The Great Lakes contains twenty percent of the world’s surface water and this pact will make sure that the surface water will remain for years to come. Without that surface water the world may dry up which in turn will not only affect people directly but also indirectly via the drying up of crops and vegetation.

The Great Lakes Water Pact was signed in the year 2005 but its positive effects will last the world for years to come, both directly to people close to them and indirectly to people around the world. Directly through the fact that the Great Lakes are a source of fresh drinking water for people that surround them and indirectly because of the Great Lakes being a source of surface water that helps hydrate crops and vegetation, and without the lakes those crops and vegetation’s would dry up and therefore not feed communities around the world.



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