Waukesha, Wis., is running out of fresh water.

Located just a few miles from the shores of Lake Michigan, the city of 70,000 wants to use the lake to replenish its quickly diminishing aquifer – a request that has touched off an international dispute.

Thunder Bay Mayor Keith Hobbs wants to protect the lake’s already low levels, which he says have affected everything from industry to tourism. But Waukesha officials say they would be withdrawing the equivalent of a teaspoon from a swimming pool.

Mr. Hobbs believes granting Waukesha’s application for access to the lake would set a dangerous precedent and touch off potential water wars. Some news for the mayor: It may be too late. It looks like those wars are coming anyway.

According to Canada’s ambassador to the United States, water is the new oil. In a recent interview, Gary Doer said that by the end of the decade, the pressure on water quality and quantity will be immense. He predicted that water debates and disputes between the two countries will make the clash over the Keystone XL pipeline “look silly” by comparison.

Read the full article here.