Water has been called Michigan’s economic enabler. Because of its wealth of water, Michigan is home to a fledgling “blue-economy” initiative that strives to attract businesses heavily dependent on water for products or processes, businesses that focus on water use and water quality related technology, and other water-dependent enterprises. Additionally, Michigan may draw population and land- and water-based industries as climate changes continue.
Yet, economic development discussions are tempered by recognition that sustainability of Michigan’s water must be a key consideration of development activities. Most sustainability discussions focus on protecting water quality and avoiding excessive withdrawals and/or diversions of water in order to protect ecological integrity of water-based natural systems. As important as protecting water is to ecological health in Michigan, reliable, long-term water quality and quantity are also fundamental requirements for the growth of a blue economy in Michigan.
Implementation of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact in Michigan is a critical element in protecting economic opportunity and ecological integrity afforded by the State’s water resources. Research and outreach programs are addressing various components of Compact implementation.
Water Withdrawals and Water Use in Michigan - Michigan State University Extension Bulletin WQ-62
Considering aquatic ecosystems: The basis for Michigan's new Water Withdrawal Assessment Process - Michigan State University Extension Bulletin WQ-60