Interstate Cooperation

Interstate Cooperation
















Interstate Cooperation

The desire and need for protecting the great lakes region led to the leaders in the area cooperating and developing a strategy that would enable them identify a way of protecting the water bodies. The great lakes region is the largest freshwater resource, and failure to protect it would be disastrous to the ecosystem. The participants agreed that they would ban all the activities that led to a diversion of the water. The leaders intend to stop the diversion and selling of the lakes water to other regions. However, they have made exceptions towards selling water to the communities outside the lake basin. They agreed to form standards that would help them to review the inter-basin transfers. Each jurisdiction has to develop a water program, which will lead to the conservation of the water in the basin. This will prevent misuse, mismanagement and pollution of the great lakes. The leaders agreed to develop conservation strategies, which they would renew after five years. Moreover, they agreed to share the technical data they have collected, which will give them the information they need when making decisions concerning the management of the lake (Anderson, 2006).

The interstate cooperation efforts on the great lakes region have been ongoing for a long time. They have involved talks and negotiations with the states affected, and this has led to an agreement between the states. The efforts do not only involve the United States, but they also involve Canada. The leaders got the impetus of protecting the lakes, following a decision by Ontario to sell the waters in Lake Superior overseas. This would lead to a shortage of water in the lakes, and it would cause a potential disaster in the future since most of the water from the lakes is not replaced. Any threat to the great lakes will affect Canada, and the country’s decision to use the great lakes for purposes such as diversions will affect the other regions involved. As such, this was a compelling reason to include Canada in the negotiation process, and in the eventual agreement. The main actors involved in the effort were eight governors from the region and two premiers from Canada (Coleman, 2007).

The US actors consisted of republicans and governors from New York, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Indiana, and the Canada premiers were from Ontario and Quebec. The participants signed a compact amongst themselves. However, they have to present the compact to the legislators of their respective regions, as well as seek consent from the US congress. Use of interstate compacts provides a framework, which the different parties use to develop solutions to the problems they are facing. They have become a necessity, as states continue facing complex issues, and they have contributed to the development of multi-state solutions. The parties establish mechanisms, which they use for enforcement and accountability purposes. They enhance the spirit of cooperation by requiring the member states to share information amongst themselves. The compacts are not standardized. They are flexible and adaptable, and states use them according to their needs. The member states involved in the negotiation process discuss the terms before deciding to come up with an agreement.

Policies on water conservation methods have become increasingly severe, as policy makers and environmentalists continue facing the reality of water shortages. They are investing more when making policies, by conducting scientific research on water usage and conservation efforts. This has led to a greater understanding concerning the effects of water pollution, not only in the way it affects animals and species, but also on how it contributes to human health risks when people consume the fish in such waters. Using a user centered approach when forming policies have enabled policy makers to look at the demand and supply sides when formulating policies. They are concerned with how water shortages can affect life in general, as well as how they can use resources to increase the quantity of water available. Such concerns have led to many initiatives, such as the action taken by the leaders in the great lakes region. Their decision to control water usage in the great lakes, especially to limit the transportation of water to the regions outside the lakes basin will ensure that the people in the great lakes region have sufficient water to use. Policy makers consider the importance of the community in ensuring success in implementation of the policies. Education of different water management and conservation issues is crucial, as it will ensure that the members are aware of the critical issues. As such, there is more voluntary participation of members in preventing pollution and in ensuring efficient water management.

The policy makers strive to ensure that the policies they have formulated go towards sustaining the communities. The water infrastructure used is consistent with the goals of the community, and it should be part of affordable neighborhoods. Policy makers should ensure that the infrastructure is not expensive and that the community does not have to pay for it through expensive water charges. Other than the community, the policy formulators have to work with other stakeholders and agencies, including governments and other individuals and businesses (EPA, 2011). This will ensure that all the people support and implement the policies formulated. It will also help in ensuring that there are enough funds for implementation.









Anderson, T. (2006). Plugging a hole: New pacts strengthen ban on regulation of water diversions. Retrieved from

Coleman, L. (2007). Liquid gold. Retrieved from

EPA (2011). Clean water and drinking water infrastructure sustainability policy. United States Environmental and Protection Agency. Retrieved from


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