Minor Flaw in Huffington Post's 'Coming Water Shortage Will Repopulate Detroit' Argument

A contributor to the left-leaning Huffington Post argued last week that, despite its current demographic meltdown, Detroit faces a rosy future in the long run because of "the specter of thirst and hunger arising from a shortage of the world's most basic source of survival, H2O." Detroit will save the day, says the writer, because: "It's the Saudi Arabia of fresh water!"

Alas, before stocking up on some of those $1 Detroit houses, water-mogul wannabes should take note of two relevant factoids:

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1. According to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, there are 10,638 miles of Great Lakes shoreline.

2. Less than 10 miles of that shoreline fronts Detroit.

IOW, to take advantage of our region's fresh water bounty, one doesn't have to invest in a city with perhaps more claims to "worst in the country" than any other.

Oh, and there's one other potential problem: Michigan politicians on both sides of the aisle seem determined to lock away this state's abundant fresh water assets from job providers, diminishing our ability to attract future industrial and commercial enterprises. The most egregious example was this batch of new state laws adopted with broad bipartisan majorities in both the Michigan House and Senate (click on "Who voted yes and who voted no" to see which current politicians voted to lock away Michigan's water resources).

The legislators who voted "yes" on those bills did so mainly due to an intense "don't suck the lakes dry" disinformation campaign by radical environmental groups demagoguing middle-class voters. Radical environmentalists' real purpose then (and always) was to impose major impediments to future economic growth in the state. The "threat" that groundwater withdrawals here could threaten the lakes was absurd on its face. As the Mackinac Center's Russ Harding has asked, "If Michigan has a groundwater shortage, then why do so many homes require sump pumps?”

Note the contradiction, however: Today, in the face of Detroit's accelerating demographic death-spiral, a writer in a left-leaning publication is promoting the idea of growth based on — wait for it — the availability of Great Lakes water resources!

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