Thursday, April 22, 2010

Wild Card: Milwaukee County Objects To Waukesha Diversion

Another problem crops up for Waukesha's diversion application - - and, remember: as I disclosed earlier on this blog, the application hasn't been sent to the DNR yet for the beginning of a long series of reviews.

Waukesha will have jurisdictional issues with Wauwatosa, where Waukesha wants to release its wastewater. Problems with municipalities when it comes to easements for both the intake and wastewater flow pipes.

And certainly problems with one or more of the other Great Lakes states, all of which must approve the application.

And then you have a water sale contract to negotiate - - should all eight Great Lakes states approve the diversion, leaving Waukesha to find a willing seller.

Maybe some of those non-diversion options look a little better?


Michael J. Cheaney said...

I really don't think that this could be classified as a "PROBLEM"

We all know that Milwaukee WILL NOT UNDER any CIRCUMSTANCES sell water to Waukesha.(And besides even if Milwaukee Did, it would still need the approval of 7 other states. And that is very unlikely to happen.)

So this "negotating with MilCO, is all just song and dance, albeit entertaining song and dance...

James Rowen said...

Mr. Cheaney: Let me separate out a few things.

The Great Lakes states do have to give permission for Waukesha to divert water - - but not to a deal negotiated between Waukesha and a seller, either Milwaukee or another supplier.

First would come the eight-state approval. If that happens, then what comes is the sales contract.

Milwaukee may very well make a deal with Waukesha. That's what a negotiation would determine, but not until the Great Lakes states review the application and sign off on it.

Michael J. Cheaney said...


You are absolutely right. However getting 8 other states to sign off on any application for diversion would end up being an uphill battle from the get go. And not just in a Waukesha/Milwaukee Scenario.

It would be just as difficult IMO for any municipality in any state to do this. (As the bill is intended to do)

I just can't see 8 other states signing off on this....

James Rowen said...

Waukesha has been advised many times publicly and privately about the political and legal difficulties surrounding the Lake Michigan option.

But as you have seen, this is the route it intends to go.

Michigan blocked one similar request from Indiana some years back.

Waukesha can meet the radium standard without LM water, through blending shallow and deep well water. It can also pursue options involving the Fox River, as well as cutting edge recycling and conservation technology.

There are Plan B's; how much time and money Waukesha will loose should it needs one is anyone's guess.

Michael J. Cheaney said...

I don't think this is the route that Waukesha intends to go. This is the route that at least in the short term WOULD be the most cost effective, so it makes sense that they explore the option, knowing full well that;

1. Getting 8 other states to go along with the deal is a longshot at best.

2. Even if the rest of the states agree, Waukesha would have to bend over and kiss Milwaukees ass in order to get the water.

Contrary to popular belief, it seems to me that Milwaukee needs Waukesha more than Waukesha needs Milwaukee.

Yes Milwaukee has the Water, BUT Waukesha has the final say in the RTA, which Milwaukee is just salivating over.....