Great Lakes Commission launches new resource on drinking water protection efforts
Ann Arbor, Mich. – The Great Lakes Commission (GLC) today launched a new resource to track the region’s progress on efforts to protect drinking water. Through Blue Accounting, decision-makers and stakeholders can better understand the status of ongoing work to implement source water protection plans, reduce lead in drinking water, and meet treatment requirements for water leaving community water supplies.
“Ensuring people have access to safe drinking water is one of the most important roles played by our governments,” said GLC Chair Todd L. Ambs of Wisconsin. “Old lead lateral water supply lines, so-called forever chemicals like PFAS and excess nutrients like nitrates that seep into our private drinking water wells, are just a few of the many ways that the water coming from our taps can be contaminated. In partnership with our expert work group, the Great Lakes Commission is excited to use data to help answer the critical question of how we are doing when it comes to protecting drinking water in the Great Lakes basin.”
The new content was developed in collaboration with a drinking water work group that includes representatives of state, provincial and federal governments, as well as the academic and nonprofit sectors. Through Blue Accounting, work groups identify available data on specific issues, share information about current efforts, and help to translate those pieces into the information the region’s leaders need when making decisions that impact the Great Lakes and people in the basin. Blue Accounting currently also tracks regional efforts to reduce harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie and stop aquatic invasive species, and work is underway to track progress to build climate resiliency across the Great Lakes basin.
Development of this new resource was supported by the Joyce Foundation. Blue Accounting has also received support from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation, and the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation. The Nature Conservancy and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service contributed significant resources and expertise to Blue Accounting’s development.
The Great Lakes Commission, led by chair Todd L. Ambs, deputy secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (retired), is a binational government agency established in 1955 to protect the Great Lakes and the economies and ecosystems they support. Its membership includes leaders from the eight U.S. states and two Canadian provinces in the Great Lakes basin. The GLC recommends policies and practices to balance the use, development, and conservation of the water resources of the Great Lakes and brings the region together to work on issues that no single community, state, province, or nation can tackle alone. Learn more at www.glc.org.