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Physical Integrity

Introduction

The Impact of Urban Development on Water Quality

Science and Policy Approaches to Managing Urban Hydrology

The Impact of Urban Development on Ground Water

The Impact of Climate Change on Ground Water and Surface Water Quality

Conclusions

Recommendation

Figures

 

Introduction

The need to plan and manage urban growth and mitigate its impact on the natural environment, particularly on urban watersheds and nearshore areas, is one of the major challenges in restoring and maintaining the physical integrity of the waters of the Great Lakes basin ecosystem. The fundamental question to be addressed by governments is whether the sum of their policies, programs and management efforts are sufficient to protect water quality from the impact of continued expansion of the major urban areas in the Great Lakes basin. This is an important question that is best answered binationally at the lake basin level, with participants drawn from all three levels of government (municipal, state/provincial, and federal). Lake Erie has extensively shared boundaries and major urban areas, and the Lakewide Management Plan as called for under the Agreement and ongoing Lake Erie Millennium Network ecological study could provide an important ecosystem context for such an integrative assessment of the impact of urban land use on Great Lakes water quality.