VIII. Recommendations

  1. Suspend any action on the proposed Water Legacy Act, or any other groundwater regulations, until the Groundwater Conservation Advisory Council completes its mapping of groundwater supplies and evaluation of existing controls.

  2. Postpone consideration of any elements of the draft Annex 2001 until all provisions are finalized by the Council of Great Lakes Governors.

  3. Ensure continued funding for the administration of Public Act 177, the Aquifer Protection and Dispute Resolution Act.

  4. To the extent lawmakers believe it necessary to regulate groundwater withdrawals, controls should be limited to specific aquifers for which there is scientific evidence of significant, harmful and irreversible depletion.

  5. In determining whether to limit groundwater withdrawals, the burden of proof should be borne by the state rather than citizens.

  6. Absent proof of significant, harmful and irreversible depletion of an aquifer, any new limits imposed on groundwater withdrawals should be treated as a regulatory taking for which the state must compensate citizens for the loss of water rights.

  7. In the event that new groundwater controls are enacted, lawmakers should utilize incentive-based methods, including privatization and water trading, to achieve the intended results.

  8. Any new controls on groundwater withdrawals enacted by the Legislature should specify all regulatory standards to minimize the discretion of the Departments of Environmental Quality and Agriculture.

  9. Any future codification by the Legislature of amendments to the Great Lakes Charter should guarantee state sovereignty over water use within Michigan.

  10. Michigan should vigorously oppose through the appellate process any ruling that upholds the decision of Mecosta County Circuit Court Judge Lawrence Root in the case of Nestlé Waters.