Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Waukesha Will Push Water To Open Space For Development

It takes a while for information to jell and get noticed, but now traditional media - - The Daily Reporter - - is picking up an issue that has been front-and-center on this blog and among environmental groups for a long time:

Waukesha intends to supply new residents with Lake Michigan water in a vastly expanded water delivery service territory, and within that new territory is considerable environmental corridor acreage which is intended to be preserved.

Details and the map provided to Waukesha laying out the new water delivery area by the regional planning commission are here.

It is one thing for Waukesha to say it wants Lake Michigan water to eliminate its dependency on wells it has over-used, and which are providing harder water with naturally-occurring radium.

It's another to seek Lake Michigan water through a precedent-setting diversion to enable growth at and beyond its borders.

The Great Lakes Compact, under which Waukesha is applying for water, is not a sprawl-enabling plan.

Its goals are water preservation and sustainability.

Waukesha will bellyache about this interpretation, and claim its plans are the greatest thing for the environment since the invention of the word "green," but there is no way that it can extend services so far to its south and west without adding considerably to its carbon footprint, adding to road demand and pulling capital from its own downtown, where resources are used most efficiently.

To say that Waukesha's Great Lakes diversion application is on thin ice is not a cheesy winter metaphor.


Anonymous said...

Once again our esteemed planning commission shows where its priorities lie; with developers and other moneyed interests. Will Milwaukee's leaders tell Waukesha to jump in the lake or simply salute smartly and make nice. Tell us, Jim, WWND (what would Norquist do)?

Anonymous said...

Jim even if they don't sell to Waukesha someone else will. Milwaukee is damned if they do or damned if they don't. You can't stop sprawl because people want new homes in nicer areas. Outside of a few select pockets, Milwaukee just isn't a place a lot of people want to live and people have to accept that.

Anonymous said...

Actually Jim, the map was created by SEWRPC at the request of the Waukesha water department as part of the application process for Lake Michigan water. The expanded boundry explains why the daily water consumption almost doubles in the next decade. I don't believe the accuracy of the estimates. Water will be like gas at $4 a gallon and conservation will occur based on economics.
Larry Nelson is foolishly wasting revenue with unlikely hope that soon to be ex-governor Doyle can get this jammed past the Great Lakes Governor's Council as it's current president. I hope Michigan and Ontario see through this farce.

James Rowen said...

To the last Anon; I know why and how the map was created. You are correct about that.

But the water growth is extensive, even if you accept the population estimates, since the city is showing a drop in per capita usage through conservation, new fixtures, and so forth.

There has to be far greater independent analyses of these numbers.