Talk about a moving target, as I have been saying for years:
Waukesha tells the DNR and the Journal Sentinel retaining some of its purportedly costly and antiquated and inadequate deep wells is possible, as a cheaper, back-up supply.
In May, 2009, I wrote:
Is Waukesha pledging to cap its existing deep wells, should it get permission to bring in Lake Michigan water? I don't think so.
Because it wants to retain the capacity to fuel development, with the current wells as back-up.Bingo,- - a "cheaper" back-up supply (the newspaper headline's writer's word) for some of the City's needs, and perhaps - - my speculation - - as capacity for growth, since Waukesha wants to supply some or all of Delafield, Genesee and the Town of Waukesha, as it expands its service territory by 80%, geographically.
And isn't the City opening the door to a conclusion that it does have less-costly alternatives to the Lake Michigan-only supply - - or at least to a portion of it - - thereby undercutting an application based on the Great Lakes Compact's 'no other reasonable alternative' standard?
I see policy-making based on wanting to have one's cake and eating it, too - - or at least a big piece.
And validating Mayor Jeff Scrima's position that a future water source can be created with a combination of local sources.
Also - - abandoning its deep wells also would mean writing off an investment in the wells and water treatment equipment.
Governmental agencies simply do not like shutting down and giving up infrastructure, and if some existing wells are retained, the water utility staff could make an easier case to its Commission that the equipment would be have to retained, maintained and upgraded, too.
Out in the heart of small-governland land, big has its advocates and place, too.