Tuesday, October 28, 2014

GLWA, Subwatersheds & Water Quality

With the creation this year of the Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA), succeeding the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) in the management of regional potable water and wastewater services, imagine the opportunities now to emphasize water quality in the uplands of the system that got short shrift under the old regime.

I’m talking about the small tributaries or subwatersheds of the Clinton, Huron and Rouge rivers.  This long-ignored constituency on the outer fringes has a special place in the relationship between pipes and natural bodies of water, between water chaos and water quality.  

Leaky sewer lines, stormwater overflows, malfunctioning septic tanks and agricultural runoff are all within the purview of GLWA board members, managers and technicians, if not always within their direct authority and control.

In order to better understand the downstream water quality consequences of small, remote ditches and creeks, perhaps GLWA should establish a committee to update (or complete) subwatershed management plans in coordination with the pertinent Area of Concern Public Advisory Councils and representatives of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.


  1. Update, complete, and create a watershed management plan for the Detroit River. While it's technically a sewershed in Detroit, a plan might be helpful going forward.

  2. Nice post! This was extremely helpful and informative. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Glad to be of assistance, and thank you for your interest.