Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Waiting On Key Water Documents - - And Policy Coordination

Man, oh man: is there a lot of unfinished business in Southeast Wisconsin on the water front.

No - - I'm not referring to Waukesha's Great Lakes diversion application - - it goes to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources this week.


If you are keeping score, there are also these documents and reports still being drafted:

The DNR's definition - - the scoping document - - indicating what will be included in its review of the Waukesha application. Key elements will be a side-by-side comparison of all relevant water supply alternatives, along with crucial environmental analyses.

Then there is the socio-economic analysis being conducted on the regional planning commission's water supply study. That study preliminarily recommended the Waukesha diversion, but didn't take a look at the diversion's socio-economic impacts.

So a UWM think tank was brought in to study that aspect - - which may influence both the final regional water supply study and how Milwaukee and Waukesha might make a deal for water - - if the diversion gets the approval of all eight Great Lakes states.

And speaking of studies, another group of UWM experts at the WATER Institute is taking a look at whether water can be pulled from the Fox River's bank to help Waukesha reduce its need for Lake Michigan or new shallow well water.

So here's a question: what would things look like in these parts if everyone paid as much attention to housing, or transit - - or looked at all these elements of planning and infrastructure and public policy in a coordinated way?

Yeah, I know; that's nuts.

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