as introduced - 83rd Legislature (2003 - 2004) Posted on 12/15/2009 12:00am
|Introduction||Posted on 02/09/2004|
1.1 A resolution 1.2 urging the international Joint Commission to maintain 1.3 its vigilance in opposing diversion of Great Lakes 1.4 waters and to support the prompt resolution of all 1.5 issues related to the finalization of Annex 2001. 1.6 WHEREAS, protection of the Great Lakes is a challenge of 1.7 utmost significance and scope to the people of Minnesota and all 1.8 of the states and provinces that comprise the region. This 1.9 monumental challenge includes working to safeguard the quality 1.10 of the waters in order to protect these freshwater resources 1.11 from threats of out-of-basin water diversion and to continue to 1.12 enable our use and enjoyment of this water resource within the 1.13 basin; and 1.14 WHEREAS, Canada and the United States created the 1.15 International Joint Commission through the 1909 Boundary Waters 1.16 Treaty because they recognized that the two countries need to 1.17 cooperate in order to manage these waters wisely and to protect 1.18 them for the benefit of current and future generations. In June 1.19 2002, the Commission appointed the International Water Uses 1.20 Review Task Force to assist it in carrying out a review of the 1.21 issue of water uses in the Great Lakes basin and to prepare a 1.22 report on the topic; and 1.23 WHEREAS, the International Water Uses Review Task Force 1.24 recently submitted to the International Joint Commission its 1.25 report, entitled "Protection of Waters of the Great Lakes." 2.1 This project cites data to indicate that the issue of 2.2 consumptive use problems "has been consistently and 2.3 significantly overstated for the past three decades." The 2.4 report also says that long-distance, large-scale removals are, 2.5 for the near and mid-term, "highly improbable." The study 2.6 encourages support for a more deliberative approach to 2.7 finalizing the Annex 2001 agreement to establish protection of 2.8 the waters of the Great Lakes from diversions; and 2.9 WHEREAS, the Annex 2001 agreement is an amendment to the 2.10 Great Lakes Charter of 1985, which is a nonbinding agreement 2.11 signed by the Governors of the eight states and the Premiers of 2.12 the two Canadian provinces that border the Great Lakes. The 2.13 Great Lakes Charter of 1985 establishes a protocol under which 2.14 each state or province is to consult with the others in the 2.15 region before approving any diversion of water greater than five 2.16 million gallons per day on average in any 30-day period. The 2.17 purpose of the Annex 2001 agreement is to forge a new binding 2.18 agreement to manage the Great Lakes waters, develop a 2.19 decision-making standard for new or increased water withdrawals, 2.20 and make further commitments to continue to improve the Great 2.21 Lakes water management system; and 2.22 WHEREAS, with the uncertainties of the future, including in 2.23 the area of technology, and the magnitude of the value of the 2.24 Great Lakes, it would be a mistake to abandon the ongoing 2.25 efforts to prevent the bulk diversion of Great Lakes waters 2.26 outside of the basin. Such policies should be made proactively 2.27 before a crisis is upon us; and 2.28 WHEREAS, Minnesota should firmly establish its opposition 2.29 to the diversion of Great Lakes waters. Our state is well aware 2.30 of the projections of water shortages for other regions. We are 2.31 also well aware of the role that the Great Lakes network plays 2.32 in contributing to the strength of the American and Canadian 2.33 economies and the vitality of the states and provinces along the 2.34 Great Lakes shores. In opposing the diversion of waters from 2.35 the Great Lakes, Minnesota would express its unshakeable 2.36 commitment to protect one of our greatest natural resources; 3.1 NOW, THEREFORE, 3.2 BE IT RESOLVED by the Legislature of the State of Minnesota 3.3 that it encourages the International Joint Commission to 3.4 maintain its participation in developing feasible and defensible 3.5 strategies and policies that protect the Great Lakes waters from 3.6 out-of-basin diversions and to continue to support the Annex 3.7 2001 process in a deeply considered and scientifically informed 3.8 manner. 3.9 BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Secretary of State of the 3.10 State of Minnesota is directed to prepare copies of this 3.11 memorial and transmit them to the International Joint 3.12 Commission, the Great Lakes Commission, the Congressional 3.13 delegations from the Great Lakes states, the Council of Great 3.14 Lakes Governors, the legislative leadership in the Great Lakes 3.15 states and provinces, and the news media of Minnesota.