Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River
Water Resources Regional Body
Conseil regional des ressources en eau des
Grands Lacs et du fleuve Saint-Laurent

Download PDF

Through the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Water Resources Regional Body, the region’s Governors and Premiers cooperatively manage 20% of the world’s surface fresh water.  The Regional Body’s award-winning work protects the largest freshwater body on earth, which provides drinking water to over 40 million people.


The Regional Body

  • Fosters economic development through the sustainable use and responsible management of Basin waters.
  • In general, bans new diversions of water from the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Basin but limited exceptions could be allowed in nearby communities when rigorous standards are met.
  • Provides communities that apply for an exception with a clear, predictable decision making process; standards to be met; and, opportunities to appeal decisions.
  • Has developed regional goals and objectives for water conservation and efficiency, and regularly reviews them. Each State and Province has also developed and implemented a water conservation and efficiency program that may be voluntary or mandatory.
  • Manages a framework for how the States and Provinces coordinate water use in their jurisdiction, using a consistent standard to review proposed uses of water. The States and Provinces have flexibility regarding their water management programs and how to apply this standard.  
  • Spearheads a regional science strategy to ensure that the best available information, knowledge and decision making tools are being used.
  • Is committed to continued, and ongoing public involvement.

The Regional Body includes the eight Great Lakes Governors of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, and the Premiers of Ontario and Québec.  They work closely with one another and the Governors’ Great Lakes Compact Council to protect the region’s waters and ensure that they remain at healthy levels.

All Regional Body meetings are open to the public and comprehensive information is publicly available.

For More Information
The Conference of Great Lakes St. Lawrence Governors & Premiers serves as the Regional Body’s Secretariat.  The Conference is located at 20 North Wacker Drive, Suite 2700, Chicago, IL 60606.  The phone number is (312) 407-0177.