Climate Change and Great Lakes Water Resources

This report, by the National Wildlife Federation, explores impacts to the Great Lakes from climate change, including possible lowering of lake levels, impacts on fisheries and wildlife, changes in Great Lakes shorelines, and reduction of groundwater supplies. The report also focuses on policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to unavoidable impacts on water resources. 

The adequacy of existing Great Lakes water resource policies for responding to the pressures of climate change are evaluated, including the Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909, the 1986 Water Resources Development Act, the original Great Lakes Basin Compact, the Great Lakes Charter of 1985 and Annex 2001, and state common law and statutory law.

The report also examines ways in which the Great Lakes compact gives the region an opportunity to make improvements in water resource policy and better protect the Great Lakes from the pressures of climate change in the future. Topics covered in this section include water conservation and resource protection, prohibiting diversions, and regional governance mechanisms.







Publication Date: November 2007

Authors or Affiliated Users:

  • Noah D. Hall
  • Bret B. Stuntz

Related Organizations:


Resource Category:

Resource Types:

  • Legal Analysis
  • Policy analysis/recommendations

States Affected:


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