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"Hands Off Our Water"

So says the headline of yesterday's Detroit Free Press. It seems some secret study at the federal level wants to know what our national water supply is like. Congressional reps Candice Miller and Vern Ehlers (Republicans no less) smell a river rat. Miller says to the Feds "Do not look to the Great Lakes to solve the nation's water problems." And Grand Rapids native Ehlers responded to the question of water-napping with, "I would suspect we'd call up the militia and take up arms."

There are a couple of issues here. One is the ever-creeping power and reach of the Federal branch of government caused by BOTH Democrats and Republicans. If you weren't aware the Constituion reserves powers and rights to the states that aren't explicitly outlined in the Constitution.

Federal control of the Great Lakes would probably represent such ursupation. The second issue is the idea of growth without limits. People should be free to settle where they want. But people also need to understand that ecosystems and watersheds can only provide for so much life. Beyond that you are harvesting beyond sustainable means. That includes water. Out in the arid west, water is available, and people can set up communities and live freely, enjoying what the region offers and creating civilization. But to think that millions can keep diverting water for both necessary and frivolous uses indefinitely means something akin to Homer Simpson's mentions of a "magical lollipop land."

A related issue is the prolonged drought in the southeast, in particular, the city of Atlanta's very likely water shortages in the next year or so. Atlanta has the smallest resevoir watershed for any city its size in the entire southeast. So where was the Georgia and Atlanta ruling establishment when the water levels were falling two or three years ago? They were doing something else while Lakes Lanier and Allatoona were drying up. Hmmm, where could they get a large and cheap amount of water to continue the lifestyle they are entitled to?

"Forgive me if I, as a representative of the Great Lakes State, become concerned when I hear people promoting a national water policy or strategy. But the only logical conclusion I can come to is that such a commission is a subversive attempt to divert water from the Great Lakes to other parts of the United States. And I do not intend to let that happen." So says Candy Miller, lackluster former Michigan Secretary of State, now ferocious defender of Michigan's natural resources.

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