The great lakes consist of 20% of the world"s fresh surface water (surface water is the water located in rivers and lakes). They are also called the sweewater seas because they are freshwater. Ontario is the great lakes province, with honourary mention to quebec. The great lakes are important to on for fishing, tourism/recreation, transportation (st. lawrence seaway), and municipal water. The great lakes have suffered abuse because humans didn"t think of the effects of their actions. Four of the lakes are shared by canada and the us and lake michigan is located entirely in the us. There are two diversions into the great lakes basin long lac and ogaki. There is one diversion out of the basin chicago sanitary and barge canal. There is a treaty that sets out the maximum amount of water that can travel out. Lakes michigan and huron are joined by a strait, so their surface levels are the same.