Groundwater Industry Also Has A Voice

July 21, 2008
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I read your article "Great Lakes Water Rules Take Shape" (June 30, Business Journal). It is too bad that the other side didn't get any print. The groundwater industry could have used the help from a balanced and equal perspective. Mike Johnson said that "virtually everyone" favored the compact. Well, obviously he didn't look very hard. Most large-scale groundwater users were opposed. The computer-based scientific technology doesn't always show the true availability of groundwater supply.

And the simple fact that this regulation assumes that anyone with a large scale well is pumping every second, 24 hours a day, is totally unrealistic.

Most users only withdraw for much less than 24 hours per day. But that is the criteria we are put under. What this translates into is that 100,000 gallons per day divided by 1,440 (minutes in a day) = only 70 gallons per minute of pumping. Anyone using this much falls into the new regulations. Why couldn't they have set the limits by how many hours or gallons per day used?

Now the state of Michigan can further regulate in areas they feel it is needed, even if test wells prove the opposite. It really sounds like the state just wants to constrain the use of groundwater to force more people on community supply of water, that government bodies can bill out. This puts more money in their pockets and makes more farms and rural businesses less competitive in the marketplace.

These small businesses can't afford to fight the large arm of government regulation and politics. Do we really want to grow government more, or small businesses that create most of the jobs? The groundwater industry is fighting every day to protect, provide and promote groundwater. Why would we want to destroy our own product? In places where we need help, we ask for it. Wouldn't it be neat if we could make laws against our competitors like they do?

Phillip Bednarek
President, Fuller Supply Co.
Grand Rapids

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