Description: Challenge to authorization of diversion of water from Lake Michigan by the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago.
Alliance for the Great Lakes v. Illinois Department of Natural Resources
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 04/14/2017 Complaint Download Complaint filed. Citing Climate Models Showing Reduced Water Levels, Environmental Groups Challenged Authorization of Increased Diversions from Lake Michigan. Four environmental organizations filed a lawsuit in Illinois state court challenging an Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) order permitting the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago to divert an additional 420 billion gallons of water from Lake Michigan. The plaintiffs alleged that IDNR had violated the Level of Lake Michigan Act and its implementing regulations, the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact, and a consent decree entered by the United States Supreme Court in 1967 by failing to make a proper determination of the volume of the diversion and failing to impose conservation practices as conditions. The plaintiffs contended that ensuring that water from the Great Lakes was “diverted to the least extent possible” was “particularly important because scientific models project that climate change will produce a drop of two feet in the average water level of the Great Lakes during this century.”