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The Great Lakes Drained Dry?

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Executive Summary

A satellite image and a statistic haunted a four-day interterm course taught at the University of Notre Dame this spring called The Global Commons: Shifting Planetary Paradigm. The statistic was 2.1 billion gallons. That's the net amount water the Lake Michigan basin is losing per day, according to a report from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Great Lakes Water Institute. The satellite image was of the Aral Sea in central Asia. It 1957 it represented the world's fourth-largest lake. Today, as the image shows, it's down to about 10 percent of that size because of Soviet-era irrigation projects that diverted water from many of its tributary rivers.

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