Below the surface of Wednesday’s hearing on water quality in the Great Lakes, was an undercurrent easily perceived by those who follow the issue, but otherwise submerged shying from its emotive nature – water diversion. The idea that other states and countries lustily thirst for our fresh water isn’t lost on any member of the U.S. House panel.
Erie predictions of future water wars emerged with World Bank citations such as: 3 billion of the world’s people will be suffering a water shortage by 2025. The Great Lakes constitute 95 percent of the US fresh water and are a source of nearly a quarter of the world’s fresh water– it is no wonder they are drawing attention.
“The wars of the 21st century will be fought over water, not oil,” said Indiana Rep. Peter Visclosky (D-Ind.). His statement was fully appreciated by the subcommittee. Just moments before, Wisconsin’s Kagan passionately emphasized, “We have to guarantee that the water in the Great Lakes remain in the watershed of the Great Lakes.”
How long will it take the rest of the Congress to realize that restoring and protecting the Great Lakes is actually an issue of national security? Hopefully, they will not wait until the Chinese are requesting repayment for their funding of the Iraq war in buckets instead of dollars.