Report on Great Lakes water quality for 1972

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International Joint Commission, United States and Canada

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International Joint Commission


This is the first Annual Report of the International Joint Commission pursuant to the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement between the United States and Canada signed on April 15, 1972. The Commission's report takes cognizance of significant developments through mid 1973, but is based for the most part on the data available in the April 1973 report of the Great Lakes Water Quality Board. The Board's report, in turn, is based on detailed information from the various state, provincial and federal jurisdictions on their water quality programs and actions and on the observed water quality at the end of 1972. The Board's report is a comprehensive, general assessment of current conditions, but does not include comparison of all specific conditions with those of prior years. Proper assessment of conditions and progress requires a definite schedule of the remedial measures necessary to achieve the objectives of the Agreement and comparison of current water quality with the specific water quality objectives agreed to. Such assessment and comparison will be possible only when the Commission's new Great Lakes Regional Office is adequately funded and staffed to support the Board's activities. As a result of extensive legislative and administrative action in both countries, much of it of recent origin, the tempo of activities to obtain satisfactory water quality in the Great Lakes has increased appreciably. All jurisdictions now have standards and programs that, if properly implemented, should result in attainment of the objectives of the Agreement but, the extent to which programs and other measures completed or in process of implementation by the target date of December 31, 1975, is not yet determinable. Meanwhile, it appears to the Commission that further degradation of the water quality of the Great Lakes may have already been slowed down in some respects, but there is not yet available any scientific basis to support a claim for improvement except in local areas or on some parameters, such as in phosphorous loadings. At this time, the Commission's conclusions and recommendations are concerned primarily with the governmental actions urgently needed to enable the Commission and the various jurisdictions in each country to carry out their responsibilities as contemplated by the Agreement. The Commission urges timely, positive action by the Governments on the problems outlined in this report to assure that the momentum thus far achieved is increased rather diminished or lost.



Archive of Agri-Environmental Programs in Ontario, Pollution from Land Use Activities Reference Group, PLUARG, Annual Great Lakes Water Quality Reports, great lakes, water quality, remediation, waste water treatment, pollution, euthrophication