Though the City of Waukesha has settled on a $164 million Lake Michigan diversion plan to meet its future water supply needs - - and a recent proposal by Mayoral challenger Jeff Scrima to use other sources was deemed too expensive by Waukesha officials - - another potential option that could address a portion of the city's supply need is being studied by scientists at the UWM WATER Institute.
The option is called River Bank Inducement, or RBI, according to an informational progress report presented at a February 18 meeting at the WATER Institute.
RBI would draw water for treatment from wells placed near the Fox River downstream from Waukesha's wastewater treatment plant, thus recycling the water. Similar methods are used in Cincinnati, Des Moines, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, and Lincoln, NB.
No conclusions have been reached about the potential efficacy of RBI for Waukesha, and the study, while focusing on Waukesha, is not limited to that city.
The meeting was attended by Daniel Duchniak, general manager of the Waukesha Water Utility, Joe Boxhorn, a water specialist from the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission, and members of various non-profit organizations in Milwaukee and Waukesha. (I was among those attending.)