Items of Interest

A question of interest all along the Great Lakes is whether the drainage canal at Chicago, in diverting water from Lake Michigan to carry Chicago's sewage down the Des Plaines River and thence to the Mississippi, is actually lowering the level of the Great Lakes so as to interface with commerce. There is litigation now in the Federal courts between Chicago and the United States Government involving this point. The issue in the Government suit is the proposed reduction of the canal capacity of 840,000 cubic feet a minute to 250,000 feet a minute. It is running now 450,000 feet a minute.

Chicago holds that when the canal was built at such a huge cost the Government said nothing about the regulation of the flow in regard to lake levels; and since the stipulations regarding Federal control were expressly named and have been complied with, therefore the Government cannot now step in and regulate the canal in such a way as to destroy its usefulness. As for alleged breaking of treaty obligations with Great Britain, Chicago declares that Canada cannot now, with good grace, question the effects of the canal, because when the treaty of 1909 with reference to boundary waters was adopted, compensation was made to Canada for diversion of water at Chicago by allowing the Dominion an excess of diversion at Niagara Falls.

The Church of Christ, Scientist
December 9, 1916

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