Water Resources Management Decision Support System for the Great Lakes
Supported by the Great Lakes Protection Fund, the two-year project lays the framework for the data, information and processes required to ensure timely and well-informed public policy decisions concerning the use and management of surface and groundwater resources. In so doing, this binational effort will support ongoing efforts of the Great Lakes - St. Lawrence governors and premiers to develop and implement a management regime to address water withdrawal, consumptive use, diversion and related issues.
Since work began in August 2000, a Project Management Team (PDF), comprised of federal, state, provincial, and regional members, was established to guide effort and focus the project tasks. Three technical sub-committees were instituted to provide the hands on labor for addressing the three prime project elements:
- A Status Assessment of data and information;
- An Inventory of Water Withdrawal and Use which will build upon the existing Great Lakes Water Use Database; and
- An Analysis of Ecological Impacts to magnify and correlate the understanding of the cumulative impacts of water use and withdrawal.
A Stakeholders Advisory Committee (PDF) was also formed to act as a sounding board for the Project Management Team and to provide objective, but pointed, input to the process.
This multi-agency, multi-disciplinary, multi-faceted team approach to addressing the science and policy of a Great Lakes water management regime will produce such application-oriented products as a water use web site, updated annual water use inventories, ecological evaluations of the system, and an integrated binational role for future Great Lakes-St. Lawrence endeavors.