Michigan is the only state that sits entirely within the Great Lakes basin. That means any Michigan city is legally allowed to draw its drinking water from the lakes.
But under a 2008 compact between the states, cities outside the basin can get Great Lakes water if they meet very specific conditions.
The first city to plead its case is Waukesha, Wisconsin, which says it needs a diversion from Lake Michigan because of high levels of radium in its water supply.
Next month, governors of the eight Great Lakes states–including Governor Rick Snyder–will meet to discuss whether or not to approve Waukesha’s application.
Current State talks to commentator Gary Wilson about what factors might influence the governors’ decision, as well as other big environmental stories from this month.
This story first appeared on WKAR’s Current State and is republished here with permission.