Friday, February 8, 2008

Here's A Water Diversion Solution: Redo States' Borders

Powerful special interests in Waukesha County trying to undo key cooperative provisions of the pending Great Lakes Compact - - an eight-state agreement to manage Great Lakes water - - are being outdone by their states' rights counterparts in Georgia:

To access more water, drought-stricken Georgia wants to redraw its border with Tennessee to, voila! - - turn a Tennessee lake into Georgia water.

Setting aside its unconstitutionality, and sheer gall, it's instructive to see the lengths to which water-hungry, over-developed parts of the country will go to get their hands on more water.

Rather than focus on sustainable development and conservation.

Out in Waukesha, County Executive Dan Vrakas, leading business interests, and other elected officials are trying to get key language removed from Wisconsin's eventual approval of the Compact - - while calling themselves Compact supporters.

If they succeed, they would it kill the Compact that has to be approved in eight states without major changes, invite litigation from other Great Lakes states and set off a scramble for uncontrolled diversions that would make the Georgians envious.

And maybe get them thinking about a big diversion south down the Mississippi River, then piped east towards Atlanta.


Anonymous said...

Voila? . . . . or Whallah!?

Anonymous said...

Sort of like WLCV and other environmental groups that claim to support the Compact while advocating provisions that undermine key provisions and make it impossible to pass -- like freezing municipal boundaries (a proposal that would only force development into non-urban areas, creating sprawl).

James Rowen said...

Thank you for the comment, Bill.
Mr. McClenahan is a lobbyist for the Waukesha Water Utility, which is fighting against a proposal by environmental organizations suggesting that for the purposes of diverting water, a community's boundaries are determined by the December, 2005 Compact signing by the region's governors.

Anonymous said...

Bill, Bill, Bill, Bill, Bill, Bill.

Please don't embarrass yourself and irritate the public by hauling that argument out again. Or we'll have to remind everyone that you've said--well, put into the mouths of others-- "We must develop it to save it from development."

C'mon now--Who has the greater motive to undermine the Compact? WMC, the Waukesha County Chamber and the Water Utility and its (well) paid lobbyist, or WLCV and other environmental groups?

Follow the money.

Dave said...

Those provisions appear to strengthen the bill... Bill good try though. Removing the agreement by all states would weaken the bill and clearly that is what the Waukesha Water Utility is trying to do.

Anonymous said...


I believe that setting municipal boundaries as of a date certain would have quite the opposite effect. It would constrain development to those areas where the resource already exists, with the infrastructure to match. In the Great Lakes Basin. That would promote redevelopment of brownfields and infill of areas like the Menomonee River valley. This would be much more sustainable and alot more cost efective than shipping the water to ever distant parts of a given "straddling county" or straddling community".