Monday, November 28, 2011

Conservation, Alternatives Ignored By Great Lakes Diversion Supporter

John Torinus weighs in.


Paul Trotter said...

Pragmatic means of returning water?
Translation:Use natural waterways as Waukesha's sewage pipes. I wonder how Tosa residents would feel about Mr. Healthcare's pragmatic views. I can see it now, fine dining on the back porch of the Chancery and watching Waukesha's waste water flow by and no doubt with a redish tint to it.

Cheryl Nenn said...

The Great Lakes are a one time gift from the glaciers, and only 1% of the water is renewed every year in terms of rainfall and snowmelt. However, saying then that we should allow UP TO 1% of Great Lakes water to be consumed or diverted every year is faulty judgment. First of all, that 1% of water besides being available for drinking water, also provides ecological benefits (e.g. higher water levels needed for wetlands that provide habitat for fish and aquatic life), recreational benefits to boaters, etc. In addition, warmer water temperatures and decreased ice pack on the Lakes in recent years due to climate change is leading to higher evaporative loss of Great Lakes water than has been seen previously. Thus, that 1% figure may be outweighed by climatic effects. Secondly, although when looked at individually, Waukesha’s diversion might not seem to be a large quantity in context of the 1% renewability rate of the Great Lakes, the diversion application is very important as it sets a precedent for the international Great Lakes Compact regulating water diversions and in-basin conservation. Clearly, no single Great Lakes diversion is going to be anywhere close to the 1% renewability rate, but when taken together, there could be significant cumulative impacts on water levels and water quantity from all existing and future diversions of Great Lakes water. So it is important and fitting that WDNR is looking at the Waukesha application for not only environmental, social, and economic impacts, but also looking at direct, indirect, and cumulative effects on the Lakes from some fairly controversial provisions that are part of Waukesha's request (e.g.such as the return flow that Paul mentions, diverting water to the Mississippi during high rain events, discharging pollutants to an impaired waterway, not returning water from those residents on septic, etc etc etc).

Anonymous said...

The only social and economic impact being studied is the effect on Milwaukee. Waukesha has ignored and not submitted any similar reciprical study to the one by CED. Waukesha's poor and elderly will be economically disadvantaged by a 4 fold increase in the water and sewer bill.