Thursday, February 11, 2010

Water And Social Justice: Last Comment Session Today At UWM

This is it: the last public focus group comment opportunity in the City of Milwaukee about the social justice effects of moving Lake Michigan water to Waukesha takes place this afternoon, at 1:30 p.m., at the UW-M Memorial Union.

The Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission was about ready to formally approve a recommendation that Waukesha receive a Lake Michigan water diversion (and Waukesha has big plans to send some of that water to new areas south and west of its current borders), but activists successfully pushed the agency to put its recommendations on hold and examine - - yes, belatedly - - the socio-economic consequences of such water transfers.

The issue is important because moving water from a low-income and land-locked city (Milwaukee) to a growing, relatively-wealthier and far-whiter city (Waukesha) would exacerbate the region's economic and racial segregation - - unless there are guarantees in a water sale agreement that Waukesha would also contribute to a greater share of the region's affordable housing, transit and job opportunities.

Consultants will take your opinions and information at the UW-M meeting and include this input into the SEWRPC final recommendations.

Activists have spent a lot of time trying to force local elected officials and regional planners (unelected) to broaden their horizons and coordinate housing, land use, transportation and resource allocations into a genuine regional plan - - for all the people.

This is an unusual opportunity to get your views into a process that, one way or another, is going to give officials in Waukesha and Milwaukee (the likely water supplier) their justifications to create water sales policies.

Will those policies extend our region's corrosive hyper-segregation, or can we get plans and agreements that will finally be comprehensive?

Details below.

Thursday 2/11 1:30 PM Early Afternoon meeting (1:30 pm) Parking passes provided by UWM

University of Wisconsin Milwaukee

Union - Room 181

2200 E. Kenwood Blvd

Milwaukee WI

Please contact Randy Crump at Prism or Catherine Madison at CED if you would like to participate in one of the focus groups or if you have any questions.

  • Randy’s contact information is or (414) 847-0990 ext. 104.
  • Catherine’s contact information is or (414) 229-6155.

More information regarding the Socio-Economic Impact Analysis for the Regional Water Supply Plan can be found on the CED Website at

More information regarding the recommendations set forth in the preliminary draft of the Regional Water Supply Plan can be found on the SEWRPC Website at

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