Saturday, May 9, 2009

Journal Sentinel Understands Need For Data, Science On Waukesha Water Issues

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel threw a bit of well-aimed cold editorial water on recent statements from Waukesha officials about why it could qualify for a Lake Michigan diversion.

The paper wasn't saying "no" to a diversion.

It was saying 'let's see more evidence' about water conservation and other diversion-related issues.

Governance by news release and PR spin (yes, Waukesha spends heavily on these services) is no substitute for public policy crafting that brings in real science and long-range planning.

Waukesha's diversion plan depends on building a pipeline, then a return pipe for treated water to Underwood Creek in Wauwatosa.

That creek empties into the Menomonee River downstream, and both have had their share of overflow issues.

The implications across-the-board have got to be understood, which I think is what the editorial board is suggesting.

And let's be clear, also, that Waukesha has years to go in writing an application for the diversion that must be reviewed favorably by all eight Great Lakes states.

The good news is that Waukesha has until 2018 to put into place a water delivery system that meets existing standards.

Plenty of time to get the whole thing right.

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