Water Management


The Great Lakes St. Lawrence Governors & Premiers are taking the lead in protecting the world's largest supply of surface fresh water--the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River Basin.  They recognize that:

  • There are threats to the Basin now, and they could increase in the future. The Governors and Premiers are looking ahead and taking protective steps to avoid conflicts and shortages.
  • The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River Basin is critical to our economy.  We all must use the water wisely to help ensure that it remains at healthy levels and to maintain our region’s competitive economic advantage.

In 2005, the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Governors & Premiers signed the Great Lakes—St. Lawrence River Basin Sustainable Water Resources Agreement.  At the same time, the Governors endorsed the companion Great Lakes—St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact which became law in 2008.  These accords, developed through the Council of Great Lakes Governors, detail how the States and Provinces will manage and protect the Basin and provide a framework for each State and Province to enact measures for its protection.  The Conference of Great Lakes St. Lawrence Governors & Premiers serves as secretariat to the Regional Body and Compact Council which coordinate implementation and follow-through of these accords.  

Separately, the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Governors & Premiers continues to foster improvements in regional water management:  

  • They developed recommendations for the first Basin-wide goals and objectives for water conservation and efficiency.   
  • They identified improvements for collecting, sharing and using regional water use information.  The Great Lakes States, Ontario and Québec are continuing to work to ensure that high-quality water use information is being collected, made publicly available and used to inform management decisions.  The new water use database can be found here.