Great Lakes Commission Releases Report on Uses of Great Lakes Water in 2020

Contact: Beth Wanamaker –

Ann Arbor, Mich. – A report released by the Great Lakes Commission finds that 37.8 million gallons of water per day were withdrawn from the Great Lakes basin in 2020, a close to 3% decrease from 2019 withdrawals. According to the 2020 Annual Report of the Great Lakes Regional Water Use Database, thermoelectric power production, public water supply, and industrial use were the primary water use sectors. Only 5% of the total reported water withdrawn was consumed or otherwise lost from the basin.
The report’s findings were shared at the December meeting of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Water Resources Regional Body and the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Compact Council. Since 1988, the eight states and two provinces in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River basin have submitted water use data to the Great Lakes Commission. The GLC compiles and summarizes these datasets into an annual report, which is presented to the Regional Body and Compact Council.
“The water use data published annually by the Great Lakes Commission helps to ensure that regional decision-makers protect and use the waters of our Great Lakes wisely,” said Timothy Bruno, Great Lakes Commissioner, chief of the Office of the Great Lakes at the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, and designated chair of the Regional Body. “With the growing effects of climate change and extreme weather on the basin, carefully managing our resources will be even more critical in the years to come.”
To read the report, visit

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The Great Lakes Commission, led by chair Todd L. Ambs, deputy secretary for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, is a binational government agency established in 1955 to protect the Great Lakes and the economies and ecosystems they support. Its membership includes leaders from the eight U.S. states and two Canadian provinces in the Great Lakes basin. The GLC recommends policies and practices to balance the use, development, and conservation of the water resources of the Great Lakes and brings the region together to work on issues that no single community, state, province, or nation can tackle alone. Learn more at

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