Great Lakes & Drinking Water

One of every five gallons of fresh water on the surface of the planet is found in the Great Lakes, which provide clean, abundant drinking water for 40 million people in our region. Yet the future health of the lakes is far from assured, given major threats to their physical, chemical, and biological integrity. Public and private decisions made in the next decade will likely determine whether the Great Lakes will be healthy enough to provide for the next generation as they have provided for us.

Protecting the health of our region depends on protecting the health of the Great Lakes and the water systems that serve our communities. The Great Lakes and Drinking Water focus area will accelerate actions to protect the region’s freshwater, upgrade our water infrastructure, and improve access to safe, affordable drinking water. We will pursue two initiatives, with most efforts focused in Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

Goal: To ensure all people in the Great Lakes region have clean water from lake to tap by supporting policy to address threats, improve infrastructure, and remedy water disparities in communities of color.

  1. To help ensure that the Great Lakes remain healthy enough to provide for the next generation as they have provided for us, we will address major threats to their physical, chemical, and biological integrity, with a focus on efforts to:
    1. Improve water infrastructure performance, management, and funding, with a focus on remedying water system disparities in communities of color
    2. Prevent unsustainable diversions from the Great Lakes by enforcing the Great Lakes Compact
    3. Prevent groundwater depletion (proposals currently by invitation only)
    4. Reduce the risk of oil spills from oil transport by continuing to support closure of the Enbridge Line 5 oil pipeline
    5. Reduce polluted runoff in rural and urban areas
    6. Prevent the introduction and spread of aquatic invasive species
  2. To help make certain that the next generation in our region has access to safe, affordable drinking water, Joyce will support equitable water policy that ensures that water systems and infrastructure provide safe, affordable water services for everyone. We will focus on efforts to develop and support utility, municipal, state, and federal policies that:
    1. Reduce the risk of lead exposure in drinking water
    2. Ensure high quality, affordable water services