Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Groups Offer, Again, To Help Waukesha With Its Stalled Diversion Application

Not sure if there is a connection, of if there is desire to see what direction the incoming Walker administration might take with the details and process, but the meeting referenced below with Waukesha and the Department of Natural Resources on Nov. 18 has apparently been canceled at Waukesha's behest.

The DNR continues to call the application deficient though it was drafted in April - - see the EIS tab on its Waukesha application website. 

Also note in the comment section of this earlier post what the agenda for that meeting was to include.

Regardless, here is the latest offer from the groups, which have offered assistance and critiques to Waukesha for more than a year.

Letter to Waukesha Highlights Deficiencies in Water Diversion Application
Coalition offers to assist city in completing and strengthening application
Waukesha, Wis – A coalition of environmental organizations sent the city of Waukesha a letter today outlining solutions to critical deficiencies in the city’s application to divert water from Lake Michigan under the Great Lakes Compact.
“Waukesha’s current application does not meet requirements set in the Great Lakes Compact,” said Melissa Malott, staff attorney at Clean Wisconsin. “This application is being carefully reviewed by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and will face greater scrutiny at the regional level. Our goal is to help Waukesha complete a strong application that sets a precedent for water diversion applications throughout the region.” 
To gain access to Lake Michigan water, Waukesha’s application must be approved both by the Wisconsin DNR and a regional body comprised of all eight Great Lakes states. The letter comes two days before Waukesha and the DNR were to meet to discuss what the city must do to complete its application.
“The Great Lakes Compact sets appropriate and reasonable standards to protect, preserve, and properly manage the critically important Great Lakes. These standards ensure that diversions outside of the Basin will be rare, minimal, and allowed only when no reasonable alternative exists,” reads the letter. “Waukesha’s application for a diversion must be sufficient to meet the standards of the Great Lakes Compact, and it will be scrutinized as the precedent-setting diversion application for a community outside of the basin.”
In the letter sent today, the Wisconsin Compact Implementation Coalition identifies areas of the application that must be improved to be complete. Specifically, the letter highlights the need for Waukesha’s application to:
·         Thoroughly evaluate water supply alternatives to Lake Michigan water including the amount of water that can be reasonably supplied by water conservation and efficiency measures, the city’s deep and shallow aquifers, riverbank filtration or inducement, and quarries.
·         Provide more thorough details and analysis for the city’s water conservation plan.
·         Fully evaluate all of its options, costs, and environmental impacts relating to returning water to Lake Michigan.
“To win state and regional approval, Waukesha must revise and strengthen its application to meet the standards set in the Great Lakes Compact and set a strong precedent that protects the water in our beautiful Great Lakes,” said Cheryl Nenn, of Milwaukee Riverkeeper. “We hope Waukesha will use this letter and our coalition as a resource to help improve and strengthen its application.”
The Compact Implementation Coalition is a diverse group of environmental conservation organizations working on water and related issues in Waukesha, southeastern Wisconsin, and statewide.  The coalition is committed to the proper implementation of the Great Lakes Compact in Wisconsin.  Members include Waukesha County Environmental Action League, Wisconsin Wildlife Federation, Clean Wisconsin, Midwest Environmental Advocates, Milwaukee Riverkeeper, River Alliance of Wisconsin, and Sixteenth Street Community Health Center.


RogerDBybee said...

Dear Jim:
Great post on a great site!

One problem that surely affects the water supply in Waukesha--perhaps more in the county--is the cancer-like spread of big-box stores and shopping centers surrounded by vast parking lots. The parking lots fail to absorb water during heavy rainstorm, creating a problem with excess runoff. Do the parking lots--which presumably soak up vast amounts of oil from cars and other pollutants--also add to the contamination of the aquifers and wells in and around Waukesha? Best, Roger Bybee

RogerDBybee said...


I did my Working In These Times blog for today on the growing battle over Walker's opposition to high-speed rail between Milwaukee and Madison. LINK: