Great Lakes Journal: Whiskey's for drinking, water's for fighting


Those of us who have grown up in the Midwest (which I define, roughly, as between the Appalachians and the Mississippi) are amazed the first time we venture west and encounter thousands of miles of arid land.

At home, we're surrounded by water, and assume this is the way man was meant to live. If we were meant to live in the desert land of Los Angeles, Phoenix or Las Vegas, we think to ourselves, we'd have been born cold-blooded. When we see the Georgia governor on the television praying for rain, though, it makes us feel the way you feel walking down a strange street with an unusually large amount of money in your pocket: uneasy.

It's no secret that the Great Lakes states need to retool, find new industries to replace the steel mills, rubber plants and auto factories that stand as rusting memorials to better times. Water is a vital part of what we can offer. It is one of the competitive advantages with which we hope to entice new businesses to our region.