Great Lakes Water Compact Workshop
Jan 7

Great Lakes Water Compact Workshop

This June,  Waukesha, Wisconsin, became the first U.S. city outside of the Great Lakes watershed to receive permission to withdraw water under the Great Lakes Compact - a 2008 law that gives states bordering the lakes control over water diversions. While all eight Great Lakes state governors approved  Waukesha's request, the city's 13-year-long saga wasn't without controversy. While some see the Compact doing its job and forcing concessions while still offering clean, reliable water to a community in need, others see the  Waukesha approval as a slippery slope toward other thirsty cities getting to take a drink. 

On January 6th and 7th of 2017, IJNR will host a two-day workshop in  Waukesha to see how the city will get water from Lake Michigan, treat it and send it back to the basin while also discussing its bigger picture impacts. Participating journalists will tour water plants; talk with state agencies, elected officials, water authorities and concerned organizations; and discuss what the Waukesha decision may mean for future water requests.

Drinking Water Institute
Apr 8

Drinking Water Institute

We tend to think of the lack of access to clean, safe drinking water as a problem suffered only in "developing" countries, but recent events in North America have brought to light the fact that our own water is not to be taken for granted. From lead in Flint's pipes and algae in Lake Erie, to uranium in Arizona wells and mining waste in Colorado rivers, threats to our water supply abound. There is, perhaps, no better place to explore these issues than the Great Lakes -where 40 million people get drinking water from a basin holding one-fifth of all of the world's available fresh water.   

IJNR is proposing to explore water systems in communities near Lakes Huron, Erie and Ontario, as we get journalists out into the field to see how safe, clean drinking water is "made" and what issues threaten our supply. On this week-long trip, a group of 15-18 select journalists will visit Toledo, Ohio to learn what's being done to prevent a future disaster like the 2014 algal bloom that shut down the water supply of half a million people. We will travel to Flint, Michigan and talk with residents about how they're dealing with the lead crisis and meet the city and state officials trying to restore faith in the municipal water system. Our itinerary will take us into Ontario where we'll introduce reporters to Walkerton, site of a deadly e. coli outbreak in 2000 that brought the issue of agricultural runoff to the front page. And we'll stop in Aberfoyle, where public utilities and private bottling companies are competing for the same wells. 

As we explore these and other to-be-determined issues in our freshwater supply and security, IJNR will also offer our group training in some of the latest digital media technologies and other techniques to improve their writing and reporting. Participants will return to work armed with story ideas, background knowledge, expert sources and training to tell these stories better and inform and engage their readers, listeners and viewers across the U.S. and Canada.

Great Lakes Energy Institute
Oct 8

Great Lakes Energy Institute

Wisconsin and Michigan

October 2-8, 2016

Topics will include Enbridge's Line 5, methane digesters, oil trains and tankers, renewable energy, fracking, nuclear power, natural gas storage and more. 

Applications now closed. Stay tuned for our dispatches from the road! 

Prairie Pothole Institute
Jun 11

Prairie Pothole Institute



  • Loss of native prairie
  • Biofuel production
  • Wildlife & hunting economy
  • Oil & gas production
  • Downstream water impacts
  • Pollinator health
  • Waterfowl conservation

Learn more...

Application period now closed.