Sideshows, Science and Politics Collide At State Water Committee
Wisconsin has a legislative study committee charged with drafting a bill to accept water conservation and diversion procedures being added to a Compact among the Great Lakes states.
The goal is to apply better stewardship to water usage in the Great Lakes region.
One committee member who opposes the Compact, State Sen. Mary Lazich, (R-New Berlin), is touting the advice of a Colorado professor whose advice is "chucking" the whole process.
The Committee also posted a memo to Lazich from an Ohio state legislator who thinks that the Compact might remove property rights from landowners - - a fear that Wisconsin's Department of Natural Resources has told the committee is of "no relevance" in Wisconsin.
But looking past these sideshows, what have been the contributions of Wisconsin water experts to the Committee's discussions?
One of the most important contributions by Wisconsin scientists to the debate was their response to a critical line of argument by the City of Waukesha - - the suggestion that Waukesha was already technically within the Great Lakes basin through underground water connections.
That would make Waukesha eligible to pipe in Lake Michigan water without all the rigmarole in the new procedures being studied by the committee.
In response to the Waukesha argument, the Wisconsin scientists sent the committee a memorandum that pointed out what they called factual errors or misinterpretations of existing studies by some of the same Wisconsin scientists.
You can read what these Wisconsin experts - - UW-M professors, employees of the US Geological Survey and others - - had to say and see for yourselves how science and politics have intersected at the committee.
And why its work has ground to a halt.
Its website is here, and other posted committee documents are discussed here.
The Great Lakes hold 20% of the world's fresh surface water, and they are under stress already.
We need to learn all we can about this unique resource so we can contribute to its best managemnt and most effective conservation, right?
To today's anonymous poster:
I'll delete all comments that are derogatory, profane, homophobic or otherwise useless. And when I get tired of wasting my time taking these comments down, I'll just pull the plug on the comment feature: people like Sykes and McBride and Wagner don't let people post to their blogs, so consider this a privlege with which I have been completely open with, but can eliminate easily.
Some people should control themselves a little better, or get their own blogs or find something better to do with their Sunday mornings.
I have temporarily suspended the comment privilege.
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