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Groundwater Conservation Advisory Council Final Report Recommendations and Observations February 21, 2006
Participants Jon Allan (co-chair) Consumers Energy Company Rod Mersino Dewatering, Inc. Kurt Heise (co-chair) Wayne County Dept of Environment James Clift Michigan Environmental Council Jim Cleland (co-chair) (non-voting) Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Jon Coleman Tri-County Regional Planning Commission Thomas Newhof Prein and Newhof Alan Steinman Annis Water Resources Institute Grand Valley State University Fred Henningsen District Agriculture and Irrigation Agent Emeritus, Michigan State University Michael Newman Michigan Aggregates Association Craig Hoffman The Rock on Drummond Island Paul Seelbach (non-voting) Dept of Natural Resources Michael R. Gregg (non-voting) Michigan Department of Agriculture
Acknowledgements n We acknowledge our respective organizations or institutions that underwrote our participation on the Council. n We are very gratefully for the assistance of the U. S. Geological Survey’s Michigan Water Science Center and in particular Director Jim Nicholas and his capable, insightful staff. n Thank you to: – Jim Bredin, MDEQ Office of Great Lakes for providing insight into the Annex Process and the 2001 Implementation Agreements. – To the House, Senate and Administration that provided us the forum and time to take such a deliberative approach to these complex and charged issues. – To all of the many, many others that provided guidance and council and encouragement to us in our deliberations.
General Comments This was an outreach effort and a collaborative process. n Operated in a open manner but respectful of developing (and changing) ideas and positions. n This is a Consensus Report! n § § § No Minority Opinions … Contains a mix of background, science and policy recommendations. Allowed the water policy debate to mature to point(s) of consensus over the past three years
Recommendations Guiding Principles n Five Key Areas of Recommendations n – – – Sustainability of Groundwater Monitoring and Reporting Monitor Annex 2001 Implementation Conservation Adverse Effects, and Science and Research Conflict Resolution
Recommendations Sustainability of Groundwater: Sustainable use of Michigan’s groundwater resources means (1) meeting the needs of the present while not compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs and (2) recognizing that sustainable use encompasses environmental, economic, and social systems and their contribution to meeting human needs. n Recommendation 2 - Develop criteria and indicators for sustainability of Michigan’s groundwater SB 851 n Recommendation 3 - Develop and implement a program to determine the current status of indicators and track future changes. Outgrowth of SB 851
Recommendations Monitoring and Reporting: n Recommendation 4 - Develop a statewide groundwater level monitoring network. – Leverage on-going monitoring and former statewide network – Specify which monitoring is a state need and which is a local need. – Fund state needs and provide matching or start-up funds for local needs. Not Addressed n Recommendation 5 - Prioritize and fund basic 3 -dimensional geologic mapping of glacial deposits. Not Addressed n Recommendation 6 - Fund and staff the Water Use Reporting Program. Encourage full reporting from all use sectors that are in the Program. SB 852
Recommendations Monitor Annex 2001 implementation: n Recommendation 7 – “Passage of new legislation that is very similar to legislation being considered by the Michigan Legislature in January 2006 would significantly move Michigan forward toward statutory conformance with Annex 2001. ” Compact Provisions Conformance as indicated in Council Report Comments included in Groundwater Conservation Advisory Council Report Conformance With New Water Use Legislation Comments With New Water Use Legislation Compact Does Not Conform Michigan would require enabling legislation to implement the Great Lakes Basin Water Resources Compact. Water Conservation and Efficiency Programs Does Not Conform Michigan would be required to develop water conservation and efficiency goals and objectives and, develop and implement a water conservation and efficiency program. Does Not Conform While the legislation requires the consideration of voluntary water conservation measures, it does not provide for the development of water conservation and efficiency goals and objectives as required in the Annex Implementing Agreements. Prohibition of New or Increased Diversions Does Not Conform Michigan would need to revisit legislation prohibiting diversions out of the Great Lakes Basin within the State. General Conformance The legislation results in Michigan being in general conformance. Management and Regulation of Withdrawals Does Not Conform Michigan does not have the authority to manage and regulate new or increased withdrawals. General Conformance The legislation provides for the management of withdrawals through a resource-based process. As a result, Michigan will be in general conformance. However, the legislation will have to be reconciled with the Decision-Making Standard required in the Annex Implementing Agreements.
Recommendation 7 (continued) Compact Provisions Conformance as indicated in Council Report Comments included in Groundwater Conservation Advisory Council Report Conformance With New Water Use Legislation Use of the Decision -Making Standard Does Not Conform Michigan does not have the authority to subject new or increased withdrawals to a decision-making standard (efficient use and conservation of existing water supplies, limited to quantities that are considered reasonable, return flow; no significant individual or cumulative adverse impacts, incorporate Environmentally Sound and Economically Feasible Water Conservation Measures). General Conformance Definitions Does Not Conform Michigan statues do not currently include numerous definitions in the Compact, such as Consumptive Use, Diversion, Environmentally Sound and Economically Feasible Water Conservation Measures, Intra-Basin Transfer, Product, Public Water Supply Purposes, Regional Review, Return Flow, and Source Watershed. Does Not Conform Water Resources Inventory, Registration, and Reporting General Conformance Michigan does not require well-specific agricultural reporting General Conformance Comments With New Water Use Legislation The legislation provides the authority to subject new or increased withdrawals to resource-based limitations. However, the authority in the legislation will have to be reconciled with the Decision-Making Standard identified in the Annex Implementing Agreements. The legislation provides definitions and concepts that will have to be reconciled with corresponding aspects of the Annex Implementing Agreements (“Adverse Resource Impact, ” “Baseline Capacity, ” and “Diversion”). Other definitions in the legislation moves Michigan towards conformance. The legislation results in Michigan being in general conformance.
Recommendation 7 (continued) Compact Provisions Conformance as indicated in Council Report Comments included in Groundwater Conservation Advisory Council Report Conformance With New Water Use Legislation Comments With New Water Use Legislation Regional Review of Proposals Does Not Conform Michigan does not have binding legislative authority to subject Regional Review proposals for new or increased consumptive use of 5 million gallons per day or greater. However, the State has exercised its duties under the Great Lakes Charter for notification and consultation with the other States and Provinces for diversions of water over 5 million gallons per day Does Not Conform The legislation does not provide the authority to subject to Regional Review proposals for new or increased consumptive use of 5 million gallons per day or greater. However, the legislation does move Michigan towards conformance by ensuring that such withdrawals would be required to obtain a water withdrawal permit. Management of Intra-Basin Transfers Does Not Conform Michigan does not have authority to regulate intra-basin transfers within Michigan. Does Not Conform The legislation requires withdrawals directly from the Great Lakes to return water to the Source Watershed, which results in Michigan being in general conformance regarding intra-basin transfers directly from the Great Lakes. However, the legislation does not provide for the direct authority to regulate intra-basin transfers form tributary streams or groundwater. Public Participation General Conformance Michigan’s public participation process is in conformance with the Compact. General Conformance Michigan’s public participation process is in general conformance with the Compact. Enforcement General Conformance Current Michigan administrative procedures and laws are in general conformance with the Compact. This area may require additional review.
Recommendations Conservation: Where “conservation … includes both efficient use and also the protection of quality” Stewardship - Sustainability - Efficiency Recommendation 10 – “Water-use sector(s)” should develop sector-specific water management practices. – Should be reviewed and evaluated by a professional or trade association. – Water users within each sector should be encouraged to adopt and implement the water-management practices specific to their sector. SB 852 and SB 850
Recommendations Adverse Impact, and Science and Research: n Recommendation 11 - Develop assessment tool that identifies aquatic ecosystems at potential risk from large individual or cumulative groundwater withdrawals. Generally in SB 851 n Recommendation 12 A - Support research on dependence of Michigan’s aquatic ecosystems on groundwater. Not Addressed – Target at-risk species and areas of current or future large groundwater withdrawals. n Recommendation 12 B - Implement a statewide field inventory program for aquatic ecosystems. Not Addressed – The inventory should include a range of aquatic animals and plants, and must be strongly linked to groundwater, hydrologic setting and geomorphic setting. n Recommendation 12 C - Conduct experiments where groundwater is withdrawn to understand cause and effect between groundwater withdrawal and potential individual and cumulative impacts on aquatic ecosystems. Not Addressed
Recommendations Conflict Resolution n n Recommendation 13 - The language in PA 177 should be modified to allow for conflicts when withdrawals do not exceed recharge, for example, “. . . that continued groundwater withdrawals from a high-capacity well will adversely impact lowcapacity wells in the area. . . ” Not addressed Appendix B of Report - Recommendations submitted in June relative to Act 177 Some statutory changes still needed – two major ones addressed in the new legislation Next report to the Legislature due on April 1, 2006
Recommendations Groundwater Inventory and Map n Michigan should provide for the maintenance and enhancement of the maps and data compiled in Groundwater Inventory and Map and Inventory. Needed maintenance and enhancements are summarized below, based upon the GWIM project team’s final report. Not addressed n Michigan should invest the necessary resources to maintain and enhance Groundwater Inventory and Map Not addressed