Nearly four years ago, I asked the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission for records pertaining to the drafting of the now-controversial water supply service territory map that the City of Waukesha had included in its application for a diversion of Lake Michigan water.
What came back, other than a copy of SEWRPC's request for such a map, was one memo about it from the SEWRPC official who decided what the map should include.
Note at the end there is a recommendation about the "need" for a public input session on the map, but no such session by SEWRPC was held.
There does need to be a public input opportunity for the water supply service area. Thus, our policy of holding public input meetings for sewer service areas should probably be carried over.
SEWRPC Staff Memorandum
WATER SUPPLY SERVICE AREA AND WATER SUPPLY PLANNING REQUIREMENTS OF 2007 WISCONSIN ACT 227
FROM: Robert P. Biebel
DATE: October 1, 2008
SUBJECT: WISCONSIN ACT 227 WATER SUPPLY SERVICE AREA AND PLANNING PROVISIONS
Wisconsin Act 227 (Act) includes the following broad provisions:
Contains Wisconsin’s ratification of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Water Resources Compact.
Regulates water use in the Wisconsin portion of the Great Lakes basin until Congress consents to the Compact. (The section of the law covering the provision is now of limited applicability given the approval by Congress this month. Only actions that have been taken between State approval and Congressional or Presidential approval may apply.)
Implements the Compact in Wisconsin when the Compact takes effect.
Establishes a new State requirement for water supply planning.
The Act contains a number of provisions which are directly relevant to the SEWRPC water supply planning and, to a lesser extent, comprehensive planning, including diversion limitations and related requirements, water conservation program requirements, and water supply service area delineation and water supply planning. This memorandum summarizes the sewer service area planning provisions of the Act.
WATER SERVICE AREA PLANS FOR PUBLIC WATER SUPPLY SYSTEMS
The Act establishes a new requirement of water supply service area planning. By not later than December 31, 2025, all municipalities (not just those in the Great Lakes basin) making a water withdrawal to service populations of 10,000 persons or more must have a water supply service area plan approved by the WDNR. This requirement has a more immediate impact on those communities seeking a new or expanded withdrawal or diversion involving the Great Lakes basin, since the application for such requires a water supply plan. Under this requirement, the term “water supply service area plans” are analogous to local sewerage facility plans.
The water supply service area plans are to include inventory of sources of supply, forecast of demand, identification and cost-effectiveness analysis of options for supplying water, environmental and economic analyses, implementation steps, and an analysis for how the plan supports, and is consistent with, any applicable comprehensive plans and approved areawide water quality management plans. This requirement for water supply service area is intended to be similar to that required for sewerage system planning. The WDNR is to develop rules establishing how this water supply planning process is to work. The WDNR is expected to start work on these rules in the next three to six months.
The Act specifies that for the purposes of the water supply plans described above, an areawide water quality planning agency designated by the Governor under the WDNR’s areawide water quality management planning rule, Chapter NR 121 (which guides the planning of sewage systems, etc.), shall delineate the proposed water service supply areas for all of the public water supply systems in the planning area for which the agency is designated. These areas must be consistent with the applicable approved areawide water quality management plan for the planning area. These agencies may also provide regional needs assessments and other regional water supply planning information to persons preparing public water supply system water supply plans. The process for conducting these regional activities may wind up being the same as the process for regional water supply planning for a groundwater management area designated under State law governing groundwater withdrawals.
The WDNR is to develop rules establishing how this water supply planning process is to work.
A copy of the pages of the Act relating most directly to water supply service area plans is attached hereto as Exhibit A.
WAUKESHA WATER UTILITY WATER SUPPLY SERVICE AREA REQUEST
The pending request from the Waukesha Water Utility for a water supply service area delineation is apparently directly related to the above requirements for SEWRPC to provide the delineation of the service area for use in a locally prepared plan to be developed by the Utility to support its application for a Lake Michigan diversion. The water supply service area delineation should consider the currently approved sewer service area and the longer-term 2035 regional water supply service area. Because of the consistency requirement in paragraph (3)(c)8, it may be best to mirror the sewer service area plan with exceptions for places like Wales. It may be possible to include a few added areas which have been included in the regional water supply plan. However, the planning horizon is to be 20 years.As the smaller communities included in the map - - the City of Pewaukee, and the Towns of Delafield, Genesee and Waukesha - - were not consulted prior to the map's creation, I don't recall any public comment process for the definition of the map and the delineation of the service terrority.
There does need to be a public input opportunity for the water supply service area. Thus, our policy of holding public input meetings for sewer service areas should probably be carried over. It would also be desirable to include the environmental corridor concepts similar to the sewer service area plans.
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They hve been discussed in meetings on Waukesha's application, but that's been after the the map's publication.