Friday, May 25, 2007

Waukesha Water Rate Plan Deserves Praise

This blog has had comments blasting Waukesha's water planning too numerous to cite, but when Waukesha does something positive, it needs to be noted.

Waukesha has followed through on a commitment, and won approval from the Public Service Commission to restructure city water charges.

And that's a good thing, because it begins to make some consumers pay for excessive water usage in a community with serious water issues.

I know that the plan falls short of what others want implemented. The plan does not go far enough, and advocates for conservation and smart growth are correct when they call for a stronger plan.

My experience in government tells me that new ideas and innovation are tough sells at the outset, and that change is often maddeningly incremental.

Regardless, Waukesha is on the right track.

It has lawn watering rules in place. And if it resolved its water supply questions with greater innovation, Waukesha could genuinely become a leader in the struggle to preserve the Great Lakes watershed, instead of being seen sometimes as the municipal 'bad guy' sneaking around procedures and agreements for a pipe into Lake Michigan.

But for today, good for Waukesha. Other communities should follow its lead, and the PSC should encourage water conservation pricing statewide, too.


George Meyer said...


The Waukesha Water Utility definitely deserves credit for forging ahead and becoming the first water utility in the state with a conservation water rate structure. It is always challenging to be the first in this type of endeavor.

The Madison Water Utility is forming a Committee to help prepare a conservation rate structure for its next rate proposal. Hopefully we can refine the Waukesha proposal and go on from there.

George Meyer
Madison Water Utility Commissioner

citydem said...

What's with the new NICE Rowen? Please don't turn into Regis Philbin.You know Waukesha is just posturing so they can pucker up and suck Milwaukee's water instead of drying up and blowing away.

James Rowen said...

When you whack people and whack them again for doing the wrong things, the least you can do is praise them when they do something right.

I know there is a political component to what they are doing.