Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Ray Of Budget Sanity: High-Volume Well Water Giveaway Perhaps Postponed A Year

Readers of this blog know that for the last few weeks I have devoted several posts and links - - with some transferred to my Purple Wisconsin blog, and amplified in Crossroads - - documenting the damage to Wisconsin ground water supplies posed by a series of GOP-led initiatives, and particularly by an 11th-hour budget amendment forbidding consideration during high-volume well permit reviews of their cumulative impacts on nearby water supplies - - lakes, rivers, streams and other wells, too.

Even the key sponsor of the back-door legislating wouldn't answer questions about how and why he change to the permitting process got tucked into the budget.

It seems the outcry statewide has had a cumulative political impact - - GOP legislators appear to have agreed, though details are sketchy - - to put off the idea until next year, so cooler heads might prevail.

The state's waters, under Article IX of the State Constitution, belong to everyone; ground and surface supplies are linked and it's crazy to let large users deplete the water table for their own uses while disregarding water's common ownership and legally barring challenges from the public on this very point.

Wisconsin now has more than 3,000 of these high-capacity (100,000+ gallons-per-day) wells; some waterways in the central sands area are losing volume or drying up - - video, here - -  and more wells are planned there and statewide as huge dairies and frac sand mines expand rapidly.

Activists - - and props to the River Alliance of Wisconsin and Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters, among many, for their great work these last few weeks  - - have got to keep up their educational and organizing on this issue with these goals:

* Retention of citizen power during the permit review process to insert cumulative impact data into the process.

* Retention of the DNR's authority to include cumulative impacts in the scientific and data evaluation of the permit.

Wisconsin waters have been held in trust for all the people since 1787. Let's keep it that way.

And let's all agree that bills and budgets that exclude people from the process, keep them from the table or force them to do things against their will are anti-democratic and extremist.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That video you provided was sent to Madison for all to see. It may have had an impact on HCW.