The University of Toledo College of Law’s Legal Institute of the Great Lakes released a new report assessing the progress each of the eight Great Lakes states has made in implementing the terms of the 2008 interstate compact that ushered in a new era of water management and conservation in the Great Lakes region.
While the overall assessment is positive, the report identifies critical areas for improvement within each state.
Ken Kilbert, UToledo professor of law and director of the Legal Institute of the Great Lakes, is the principal author of the white paper titled “An Assessment of the Great Lakes States’ Implementation of the Water Management and Conservation Provisions of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact.” The report provides a state-by-state assessment of how Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin are carrying out the water management, conservation and efficiency provisions of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact.
Forrest Miller, a third-year UToledo law student, and Aubrey Merkle, a second-year UToledo law student, are co-authors of the white paper. This project afforded them the opportunity to enhance their substantive knowledge of water law and related fields, as well as their legal research, writing and analytical skills.
The report is particularly timely. This December, each state is required to report on its implementation of water management, conservation and efficiency programs under the compact. The states’ reports are subject to review by the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Council, which will determine whether state programs meet compact provisions and will make recommendations to those that do not.
“The compact not only banned most new diversions of water outside the Great Lakes basin, it also required the states to undertake stronger programs for management and conservation of waters within the basin,” Kilbert said. “In order to fulfill the promise of the compact, it is essential that the states carry out their obligations to implement its terms.”
The Legal Institute of the Great Lakes is a multidisciplinary research center within the College of Law. The research project was funded by a grant from the Joyce Foundation.
Kilbert joined UToledo College of Law faculty in 2006. He teaches environmental law, natural resources law, administrative law, civil procedure and water law. As director of the institute, Kilbert organizes the annual Great Lakes Water Conference, which this year is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 8.