Welcome to the new saveMIwater.org, a website dedicated to helping Michigan’s citizens protect one of our most valuable natural resources: our communities’ water supplies. Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation was organized in 2000 exclusively for educational, scientific, and advocacy purposes. Our goal is to conserve, preserve, and protect Michigan’s natural water resources and the public trust in those natural resources for the benefit of the public. MCWC organized to preserve and protect land use, property values, quality of life, and the public health, safety and welfare of the residents of Michigan communities. Check the calendar for monthly board meetings. Check the news for the latest activities and information.
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MCWC began in 2000 as an attempt by citizens in Mecosta to deal with a drop in lake and stream levels due to the pumping of the Nestle Corporation for Ice Mountain bottled water. Citizens rose up to protect their community and its waters, and after a long struggle won a reprieve for those waters and some controls on one of the largest corporations in the world. Nestle is still there, but slowed down considerably and monitored. The Deadstream once again looks like a viable stream and not a mud hole.
During that struggle MCWC grew in knowledge and commitment, and expanded its reach to include all the waters of the Great Lakes Basin, realizing they are all connected. Harm to one piece is harm to the rest. We latched onto the Public Trust Doctrine as a necessary means of protecting our waters. We began to look at the other threats to our Great Lakes waters and found them to be numerous. Exotic species invasions, toxic algae blooms, run off pollution from farms and waste dumping by private enterprises, like the Homestead, in Leelanau County.
But the biggest threats to our waters, and in fact to the earth community as a whole, come from the massive increase in the oil and gas industry’s attempts to get the last fossil fuels out of the ground and burned for energy and profit. Rather than prioritize the essential conversion of our energy infrastructure to renewable forms of energy and get off fossil fuels eventually altogether, the oil and gas industry has waged a massive campaign to capture and market some of the dirtiest fuels on the planet and some of the hardest to get.
Thus we have high volume horizontal hydraulic fracking for oil and natural gas. We have the dirty, landlocked tar sands oil from Alberta reaching for ports and refineries for export. We have a dramatic increase in well drilling or land scraping to get at these fuels. We have the campaigns for new pipelines to transport these fuels, trains to carry them through our farmlands and cities. We have enormous amounts of campaign money flowing to legislators from both parties to keep the exemptions industry enjoys from the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and numerous other environmental protections.
In the end scientists tell us that this level of destruction is totally unnecessary and dangerous. The industry will not be able to extract profit from these “assets.” They are what are called “stranded assets.” In other words we can’t use this stuff anyway. We have to leave 75 % or more of it in the ground if we are to avoid catastrophic climate change. Yet the extraction and damage continue, destroying water, land and air, and ultimately human and ecosystem health in irreversible ways.
Given this gloomy scenario, and our real concern for the planet we leave our children, we set our priorities for our work over the next period in MCWC’s life. It is our hope that we can contribute to a better world for our children. It is our vision that we be part of the solutions and can educate others to join us in this work. Our newsletter outlining the current issues will be posted shortly. Stay tuned and stay active.
Peggy Case, President
November 2014 MCWC Newsletter