North-Central Section - 42nd Annual Meeting (24–25 April 2008)

Paper No. 2
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM


BASCH, Mark E., 402 W. Washington Street, Indianapolis, IN 46204,

On December 13, 2005, The Governor of Indiana signed the Great Lakes_St. Lawrence River Basin Sustainable Water Resource Agreement that specifies the state's intent to pursue the enactment of the Great Lakes_St. Lawrence River Basin Compact. This Compact prohibits all new or increased diversions from the Great Lakes Basin with limited exceptions for straddling communities, intra-basin transfers, and communities located in straddling counties. Indiana's proposed implementation of the Great Lakes Compact will require a person to obtain a permit from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) for water withdrawals within the basin (calculated on average over any ninety (90) day period) that are in excess of five (5) million gallons-per-day (MGD) from Lake Michigan surface water, one (1) MGD for any other surface or ground water source, or 100,000 gallons-per-day from a salmonid stream.

With the enactment of the Water Resources Management Act (IC 14-25-7) by the 1983 Indiana General Assembly, the IDNR was directed to maintain an inventory of significant uses of water withdrawn from the surface or ground. Section 15 of the Act requires that every person who owns a significant water withdrawal facility (SWWF) shall register it with the DNR and annually report water withdrawals. A SWWF is defined as “the water withdrawal facilities of a person that, in the aggregate from all sources and by all methods, has the capability of withdrawing more than one hundred thousand (100,000) gallons of ground water, surface water, or ground and surface water combined in one (1) day”. The submission of water withdrawal data to the IDNR has been required since 1985.

Indiana's proposed implementation of the Great Lakes Charter specifies that existing water withdrawal capabilities registered under the provisions of IC 14-25-7 are deemed to be the withdrawal approval amount of the Compact. The SWWF registration information and water use data collected by the IDNR for the past 22 years will prove invaluable for the proper assessment of the water resources of the Great Lakes Basin, as well as the evaluation of future water withdrawal permit applications.