New report addresses groundwater reform and management in Michigan
FLOW (For Love of Water) has released a new report, "Building Consensus: Securing Protection of Michigan's Groundwater," and a related story map that includes interactive information on groundwater.
The report summarizes more than a year of proceedings and the resulting recommendations by members of the Michigan Groundwater Table, a group of key stakeholders we convened to explore how scientific knowledge and data could be used to advance groundwater reform and management. School for Environment and Sustainability Professor Paul Seelbach is one of the Groundwater Table members who contributed to the report.
Six bimonthly presentations—ranging from an overview of Michigan’s groundwater, to the need for better groundwater monitoring and data, to the challenge of failing septic systems—informed Michigan Groundwater Table members of key concerns. Based on this information and their own knowledge, Groundwater Table members largely agreed on a consensus statement that includes findings about the state of Michigan’s groundwater resources and groundwater resources and programs, while discussing potential policy solutions related to:
- Polluter pay
- Private wells
- Agricultural stewardship
- Statewide septic code
- Public education
- Data tools.
Groundwater Table members agreed that Michigan’s groundwater is a “critical and often overlooked resource,” vital to the state’s public health, agriculture and other businesses, coldwater fisheries, stream ecology, and wetlands, and accounts for at least 25% of the total water inflow to the Great Lakes via groundwater inflow into tributaries. They also found that Michigan has underinvested in monitoring, mapping, and reporting groundwater quantity and quality.
Read the report: "Building Consensus: Securing Protection of Michigan's Groundwater"