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Sustainable Groundwater Allocation in the Great Lakes Basin

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Outdated groundwater allocation policies have resulted in unrestrained abstraction of groundwater in the Great Lakes Basin. Continuing on this course will lead to more frequent conflicts and further degradation of the Basin's ecosystem. Alternative approaches must focus on achieving sustainable groundwater allocation. The authors present two alternative institutions, local collaborative planning for groundwater allocation, and a regional watershed board. Collaborative institutions responsible for local groundwater planning should be established according to practical geographical units, have access to sound scientific information, utilize adaptive management and engage in open deliberation. The regional watershed board should establish a comprehensive and unified inventory of all groundwater resources in the Basin, designate critical groundwater areas, monitor groundwater management by respective jurisdictions, and make recommendations on best practices.

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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Faculty of Law, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada 2: Canadian Institute for Environmental Law and Policy, Toronto, Canada

Publication date: 2006-12-01

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