Friday, November 21, 2008

Waukesha Water Plan Touted Prematurely

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel editorially supports the Lake Michigan diversion plan being rolled out by the City of Waukesha. The editorial is here.

But the carts are being lined before the horses, so to speak.

For one thing, the editorial says the diversion and preferred water return-flow plan are in line with recommendations in a study being done by the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission.

Correct. The Waukesha plan appears to be in line with the study that is being done. It is not finished. The recommendations are preliminary. They have only been recommended by an advisory committee.

The recommendations are to be reviewed at a series of public meetings at which the agency staff and consultants are supposed to listen, then work that public feedback into a report to the full commission.

Can we at least go into that public meeting phase with the expectation that public input will be genuinely absorbed?

The editorial also says that Waukesha has a plan to return the water it borrows from Lake Michigan.

Again, hold on. Waukesha has said it might not have to return an equivalent amount because water also leaks into underground piping and is thus added to the return. The new Great Lakes Compact that governs diversions does not say that such return flow additions count towards an applicant's return flow scheme.

And the Compact also does not permit the applicant community - - Waukesha- - to dump some return flow into a stream like the Fox River, regardless of the reason, because the Fox River flows away from the Lake Michigan watershed.

It's also interesting that Waukesha is forging ahead with its diversion application and public relations campaign without waiting for the final SEWRPC water supply plan adoption.

So hold on one more time:

Does Waukesha know the SEWRPC review process is a sham?

Is Waukesha afraid SEWRPC might adopt a plan that it doesn't like, even though its water utility manager has been a key figure on the water advisory committee?

In fact, how's about getting a look-see at the entire Waukesha application, and not just dressed-up descriptions of how one component or another is supposed to work.

Will it discuss how a diversion of water will impact the city's land use, transportation, housing and development plans, and how those will influence these issues in Waukesha County, or the wider region?

This is why there will be reviews of diversion applications, and also of SEWRPC committee recommendations.

A better timetable would be for SEWRPC to complete its study. Then let the public be heard.

Then let Waukesha's application be published, so it is not jumping the SEWRPC gun.

And T\then let's have the rest of the reviews by all eight Great Lakes Compact states, again with the public's participating.


Anonymous said...


Thank you very much on bringing this information out. Once again the power of WEB 2.0 is shown. (And why Obama will go out of his way to crush it)
Please keep us posted on public hearing dates etc, by working together we can kill this dead, but just like KRM we may have to kill it more then once.

James Rowen said...

Obams is the most web-savvy guy around. Did you follow his fund-raising/get-out-the-vote effort?

Anonymous said...

It also seems premature that Waukesha is making an application for Great Lakes water before DNR has even written rules on how the Compact is to be implemented. Giving Waukesha a permit before that rulemaking process, means they will be setting a precedent for how Wisconsin will be making decisions in the future regarding who will get Great Lakes water and how that water will be returned, and what constitutes acceptable "return flow". For example, is it acceptable to rely on inflow and infiltration from pipes as return flow, which should be fixed by all acounts? Where there is infiltration of groundwater into pipes, there is most likely exfiltration of sewage from pipes to groundwater. Shouldn't leaks be fixed and not used to create extra return flow! These are important decisions that should not be rushed.

Anonymous said...

Using the WEB and controlling the web are two different things. The new Marxist State can not allow the masses to hear the real story outside what the State wants them to know.
Examples try Cuba and Venezuela.

Anonymous said...

And remember: SEWRPC's Environmental Justice Task Force has requested a socioeconomic impact analysis of the effects of sending water to Waukesha, BEFORE SEWRPC finalizes the plan. So they seemed to have WAY jumped the gun.

Anonymous said...

Back on topic years of court fighting here. Waukesha should know this will never happen. Thank God

James Rowen said...

To The Purple Avenger:

Good point, and good screen name!