In Privatizing of Michigan’s water proceeds apace, Dave Dempsey re-prints the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality’s Proposed Determination on Nestle’s water withdrawal proposal. The DEQ finds Nestle’s proposed pumping rate of 216,000 gallons per day “…not likely to cause an adverse resource impact under Michigan’s new water withdrawal law.” Dave observes:
A major flaw in the new water withdrawal law in Michigan is that for its early years of its effectiveness, the burden is not on applicants to demonstrate their withdrawal won’t damage natural resources — the burden is on the state to show it will. Here’s the result. How can an understaffed state agency with inadequate understanding of hydrology meet this burden?
Check Absolute Michigan keyword “water” for more about Great Lakes water issues. and visit the Michigan DEQ for more about Michigan’s water laws.
Comments on the proposed determination can be submitted to Brant Fisher, DEQ Water Bureau, PO Box 30273, Lansing, MI 48909-7773, or by email at email@example.com. They must be received by January 15, 2007 to be considered.
UPDATE (6:31 PM): In his article We know we can, but should we?, Eric Baerran says that even if Nestle can remove water from trout streams in Osceola County without hurting the environment, they shouldn’t be allowed to.
Why not? Mostly because the water isn’t just sitting there for someone to come along and scoop up for sale in the marketplace. It already belongs to someone … namely, me. To put it on the most selfish terms possible, all the rage these days, the water belongs to me and I don’t want someone else selling it off.
Works for me. I would add that if we as a state decide that it’s OK for some water to be removed/withdrawn (that is the same as “taken away forever and ever”), then we should at least get some sort of mineral rights style payment to the taxpayers of the state.