How Can We Better Assess Water Quality? With Updated Advisory Boards

IJC staff
IJC
July 08, 2013

Don’t let the headline fool you. We haven’t decided this yet. But there are proposals to consider.

The IJC is asking the public for input on the composition, structure and functions of boards that operate under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement.

Those are two advisory boards: the Great Lakes Water Quality Board and the Great Lakes Science Advisory Board.

If you consider that the Great Lakes are the largest surface freshwater system on the planet, and that the lakes provide drinking water for millions of people, you’ll see that this is an activity that concerns us all, even if it may not sound too exciting.

The drainage basin of the Great Lakes. Credit: Environment Canada. The drainage basin of the Great Lakes. Credit: Environment Canada.

This part of the process is called a public consultation. That means the IJC has recognized the need to update the composition, structure and functions of its Great Lakes boards. But, we also need to hear ideas and comments from the public, to make sure we get this right.

A graphic illustrating the Water Quality Board’s proposed membership composition and committee structure. A graphic illustrating the Water Quality Board’s proposed membership composition and committee structure.

Some things to keep in mind: The description of the boards in Agreement can’t be changed by the Commission. But there can be revisions to the details of how the boards function and what their objectives are, as well as what credentials those on the board should possess (from leadership to scholarship).

This consultation process has already started, and the deadline for your input is midnight July 24. You can read more on Consultations on Great Lakes Advisory Board, a section of IJC.org.

You can comment here.

After the comments are gathered, they’ll be used by the Commission to craft recommendations that will be sent to the Canadian and U.S. governments, who signed an update to Agreement in 2012 with a new set of goals to guide future actions to protect and restore the lakes.

For more on the health of the Great Lakes, see our latest 16th Biennial Report.

IJC staff
IJC