You'd think the warm weather and easy living would make the West and South leave Frostbelters alone. But no, they want what that frost is made from: water. As drought and development strain limited local water resources, the Sunbelt wants to tap some of the billions of gallons of Great Lakes aqua—and eight Great Lakes states are teaming up with two Canadian provinces to stop them.
The plan is to get a compact limiting water diversion through Congress before the census, when the eight states are expected to lose seats. If the feds were to take over the Great Lakes, former Texas Rep. Dick Armey warned years ago, "We're not going to be buying it. We're going to be stealing it. " The fight over water rages among Great Lakes states as well. Towns in Wisconsin and Illinois outside the Great Lakes Basin are hankering for it, but can't touch it under existing law.