In 1972, the International Joint Commission between the US and Canada faced interborder conflict over responsibility of Great Lakes water quality. In response, the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement was created. This binational compromise attempted to repair and restore the "biological integrity of the waters" but only partially met objectives for clear, accessible, and potable water. Today the GLWQA remains a successful model for binational compromise, motivated a new era of international environmental cooperation, but remains unsuccessful at purifying the Great Lakes.
"...provide a vital framework for binational consultation and cooperative action to restore, protect and enhance the water quality of the Great Lakes to promote the ecological health of the Great Lakes basin." -Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement of 2012
"Throughout human history, water has defined our sense of place. International water law reflects the connections between water and local people, communities, and the environment. " -Noah D. Hall, environmental and water law, 2010
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