Michigan’s water belongs to all of us. Currently our water is at risk of privatization and commoditization. Michigan has more than 2 dozen private water bottling companies which take our public-owned water, bottle it, and sell it for profit.
New legislation is needed to ensure that Michigan residents, now and into the future, are empowered to protect the water on which we all rely. We need the state legislature to take up and pass bills that will ensure basic public trust protections are in place for our water. Clean Water Action and our members are urging lawmakers to do the following:
These prudent changes will ensure that Michigan has the ability to reject future water withdrawals that are deemed detrimental to the public’s interest.
As drought conditions are further exacerbated by climate change across much of the world, the demand for Michigan’s water will only increase. Without these protections explicitly in place we face the very real possibility that our most valuable natural resource, the water which defines our state, could be interpreted as subject to international trade laws and the US Constitution as an article of commerce, and thus available for sale to the highest bidder. Now is the time to protect our water and ensure it remains a public resource by reversing the water-bottling loophole in the Great Lakes Compact and extending public trust protections in statute to include groundwater.
Clarifying public trust protections will not only safeguard our water against companies exploiting fresh water resources for private financial gain, it would also provide critical protections for water users within Michigan. As opposed to water takers like Nestle, water users like Michigan farmers depend on a plentiful and clean water supply to grow the crops on which our families and economy rely. It is in the best interest of farmers across our state to be good stewards of our water, as abundant and clean water resources are necessary for their farms, and livelihoods, to thrive.
Our legislature must act now to ensure that Michigan’s water remains a public resource - not a commodity.
Act Now and ask your Lansing lawmakers to support and champion legislation that will clarify that all of our water - both surface and ground sources - belongs to the people of Michigan.
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