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Protecting the Great Lakes

File Photo
Lake Erie, Angola, NY

An expert on the global water crisis spoke at UB's North Campus Tuesday about plans to conserve water from the Great Lakes. 

Maude Barlow said a combination of exporting water out west, and pollution could lead to the potential depletion of Great Lakes waters. 

California, Texas and New Mexico are seeing the impact from our ancestors abuse of water for western crops. 

Barlow said if we keep abusing our abundant Great Lakes they could be dry in 80-years.

"We hear about the water crisis and it's somewhere else. The somewhere else we think, is in poor countries and therefore has nothing to do with us. I tell people, Did you know there is almost 90-thousand families that have had their water cut off in Detroit, Michigan? because they can't pay their water bill? This notion that this water crisis is only touching poor people in other countries is absolutely untrue," said Barlow.

Barlow said water usage should be regulated by water companies. 

"The Great Lakes is a water shed and we live around it together and we have to collectively take care of it and I don't think it matters if you're Canadian or American. We need to collectively take better care of this and we need some common rules for the Great Lakes that are going to protect it, because right now there are too many threats to the Lakes and they're in real danger," said Barlow.

Advocates for the lakes are working to get legislation passed to make the Great Lakes considered a Commons in both the U.S. and Canada. This could protect the water supply forever.