The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has determined the City of Waukesha's application for a Lake Michigan diversion is "sufficiently complete" enough to begin the application's formal review.
The state agency will hold a series of informational meetings and hearings in late July to explain what comes next under State law and the Great Lakes Compact of 2008 for an application to divert water to a community like the City of Waukesha that is completely outside the Great Lakes Basin.
I'll include the hearing information below, and will reprint it prior to the meetings, but you might want to save this and plan accordingly. Curiously, none of the meetings are in the City of Waukesha or the City of Milwaukee - - Waukesha's preferred potential water supply seller.
Key technical issues include Waukesha's legal eligibility for the diversion, plus the sufficiency of its water conservation methods and related plan to return most of the diversion as treated wastewater via Underwood Creek to the lake.
Waukesha would also have to have a signed water supply purchase contract with a lakefront community, as well as the approval of all eight Great Lakes states' Governors, before the lake could be tapped.
So there are fundamental political issues accompanying the application, too.
[Note: the Town of Waukesha has yet to officially decide if it wishes to be included in the application; the City of Waukesha included the Town in the application and proposed diversion map and area, accounting for roughly 10% of the proposed diversion's average daily draw and resulting discharge, but the Town was not consulted during the application's preparation, thus has not accepted the terms of a diversion, its obligations or benefits.]
The DNR has a website offering information about the application review process, including:
Informational Meetings/Hearings Locations:
Tuesday July 26, 2011, Waukesha County Technical College, Business Building, Lecture Hall B140 and B130, 800 Main Street, Pewaukee, WI 53072
Wednesday July 27, 2011, Hart Park, Riverview Room, 7300 Chestnut Street, Wauwatosa, WI 53213Thursday July 28, 2011, Sturtevant DNR Service Center, 9531 Rayne Road, Sturtevant, Wisconsin 53177
Schedule:5:30 pm – Open house (with displays, handouts and DNR staff available to answer questions)
6:00 pm – Presentation (brief overview of application and process), a Question and Answer period, followed by a formal public hearing
Comments:Any comments are welcome; however, comments are particularly requested on the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and the review criteria.
DNR Bureau of Drinking Water and Groundwater
Madison, WI 53707-7921