The Great Lakes, a source of freshwater for millions in American and Canada, will likely see increased stress as the water is needed for a growing population and a changing climate.

From The Toledo Blade:

“The Lakes’ usage has drawn more attention in recent years from politicians and legal scholars, such as those who attend the University of Toledo College of Law’s renowned Great Lakes water-law conference each fall. They have stated on numerous occasions that Great Lakes water-management laws pale in comparison to those of the American Southwest, where political battles over water rights have been fought for decades.


Scholars believe this region’s legal framework is evolving into a stronger one as water controversies and more political battles heat up, as evidenced by intense negotiations that resulted in the Great Lakes region’s first binding water-management compact.

The Great Lakes region has traditionally been less irrigated than others. But that too is changing.

Michigan and Ohio have had an uptick in irrigation permits the past two years, largely a result of the 2012 drought and concerns over weather becoming more unpredictable because of climate change.”

Read the complete article at the link above, which includes additional information about areas of the U.S. that are already experiencing water shortages or similar issues in the future.