Freshwater Future Weekly: July 21, 2023

This Week: Register for the All About Water Convening on October 4th in Benton Harbor, Freshwater Future’s Guide on Staying Safe During Lead Line Replacements; Ontario Government Announces Expansion to Lake Huron-Based Bruce Nuclear Power Plant; Michiganders - Speak Out in Favor of Affordable Water; Meet Two Freshwater Future Spring Project Grant Recipients Protecting Water Resources in Michigan
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Register to Join Us in Benton Harbor for the All About Water Convening on October 4th, 2023! 

Freshwater Future invites you to join us for our Fall 2023 All About Water Convening! We will be in person for the first time since the pandemic, and we are so excited for everyone to join us in Benton Harbor on October 4th. Our Steering Committee has prepared a day of hearing from leaders in water justice advocacy and conversations with grassroots communities. Register here to join us and view the agenda. We can’t wait to see you there!

Freshwater Future’s New Guide on Staying Safe During Lead Line Replacements

Summer is construction season and that includes work to replace lead water pipes. While lead service line replacements are the most effective way to remove lead from our water systems, construction can temporarily increase exposure to lead. Freshwater Future has developed a guide for how to keep your household safe before, during, and after lead pipe replacement in your community. Read our guide here and see our lead resources for more information.

Ontario Government Announces Expansion to Lake Huron-Based Bruce Nuclear Power Plant

The Ontario Government announced plans to nearly double the electricity production at the Bruce Nuclear Plant, the largest operating nuclear power plant in the world, located on the shores of Lake Huron. The impetus for the expansion is the forecast that Ontario could need to double their power generation by 2050. Critics are concerned about the length of time to bring the expansion online (at least 10 years)  and the ongoing issues with nuclear safety, waste management and disposal.  Wind and solar could be brought online much faster and with less risk to the environment and human health. Unfortunately, Premier Doug Ford canceled 758 green energy projects when he took office in 2018. Freshwater Future will keep you informed about this proposal.

ATTENTION MICHIGANDERS: Speak Out in Favor of Affordable Water

Residential water rates have been steadily climbing for more than a decade, leaving some families with unaffordable bills. Unfortunately, when families cannot pay their water bills, water systems usually shut the household’s water off. Shutting off water to residents in communities is a public health issue that can spread diseases and viruses such as COVID-19. Thankfully Senator Stephanie Chang (D-Detroit) has been leading the charge in crafting legislation to create a water affordability program in Michigan, but we need your voice now to ensure any legislation crafted and passed creates an equitable and sustainable program! Please take action today urging Senator Chang to pass legislation that includes:  1) Affordable water rates for drinking water and sewage and stormwater treatment; 2) A sustainable income-based rate system; and 3) Affordable water rates based on 3 different federal poverty levels.

Meet Two Freshwater Future Spring Project Grant Recipients Protecting Water Resources in Michigan

Freshwater Future’s tradition over the past 27 years has been to provide grants to grassroots organizations protecting the people and waters of the Great Lakes. Meet two of our latest grantees that are fighting for water justice in the Great Lakes states. Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation is educating residents and promoting initiatives at the local and state level that offer solutions to water-related issues that they are facing, including a local bottling plant, injection wells, and potash mining operations.

Also in Michigan, 13 aging hydropower projects are currently under review to determine their future. Michigan Hydro Relicensing Coalition is engaging in the planning process to advocate for the health of rivers in this process. Working in collaboration with state and federal resource agencies and tribal organizations responsible for the stewardship of the rivers, the Michigan Hydro Relicensing Coalition will push to protect the environment by improving water quality maintenance.