Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Lake Michigan, In Decline, Muddies Waukesha Diversion Pitch

And those falling water levels make for a poor back-drop also for an ill-timed-and-defined regional pitch.

The authors want to divert even more water from a declining Great Lake
for growth in communities without the need for Lake Michigan water on top of what Waukesha and its stalled diversion application is after.

Global warming, declining lake levels - - the entire changed picture now in sharper focus than just a few years ago - - make the 2008 Great Lakes Compact and the diversions it bars - - other than in genuinely exceptional, last-ditch option cases - - more prescient.


Bill McClenahan said...

Who is requesting more water? Any regional water authority proposal only changes the governance, not the area or quantity of the water that is being requested by Waukesha. And the volume of water that is withdrawn would be returned to the lake, meaning there would be no impact on lake levels. The muddying comes from pieces like this.

Anonymous said...

Falling water levels? I thought that the ice caps were melting and drowning us all. WTF????

James Rowen said...

To Anon - - Ummm...the oceans don't flow into the Great Lakes.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

Watersheds have a liberal bias.

Boxer said...

@Bill McClenahan:
C'mon Bill. Muddying is your job description!
You know as well as anyone that even with return flow (which we remind you Waukesha wasn't even talking about, much less committed to at the beginning of this misadventure) there is still "consumptive use", an amount of water withdrawn but NOT returned to the Lake that has varied between 25 - 15% estimated by Waukesha. And why can't you be more specific about consumptive use? Probably because your water utility client will "consume" (and not return) the maximum amount they can legally get away with, and they don't know quite yet how much they can legally keep.
Your constant spinning is making you dizzy.

Anonymous said...

Bill, regardless of the governance, Waukesha is still outside the watershed and the SEWRPC defined service area adds to the actual needs of the current volume required by Waukesha to comply with the court order. The Town of Waukesha and all the other communities in the SEWRPC defined area are not included in the court order for radium for radium complaint wells by 2018. They do not have a contamination issue there fore making the application defective.

So yes, Bill Waukesha is requesting an increased water supply volume over it's actual needs.

James Rowen said...

Asking for about 50% more than current average daily use, eh?

Anonymous said...


With SEWRPC's regional plan, every community within the basin will be on Lake Michigan water. That means every community within the basin currently on wells will now withdraw from Lake Michigan. That's a lot of straws in the lake. Each new community to Lake Michigan water will have a consumptive use.

Not every state in the compact will be dumb enough to ignor that fact with a review of Waukesha's application for a diversion exception.

You have a responsibility to inform the Waukesha Common Council on it's realistic chances of getting this passed.

Anonymous said...

And the wheels are in motion, Bill.


James Rowen said...

Actually, Grafton and Cedarburg are within the Great Lakes basin and a water draw does not come under the purview of the Great Lakes Compact. This is an advantage the in-basin communities have over the out-of-basin communities.

Anonymous said...

James, what you state is true. But as I noted above, once there are a thousand straws in the great lakes (from within the basin)that were never there before and each new community will have a consumptive use, the Great Lakes will be on the course to depletion.
I'm pretty sure SEWRPC's regional water management plan calls for every community within the basin to be on Lake Mighigan water