Monday, October 21, 2013

Waukesha's Water Diversion Raises Big Questions Out-Of-State

I have said often on this blog that Waukesha seems to forget that its statements and plans about diverting Great Lakes play differently out-of-state than in-state, or on its home turf - - so you wonder if Waukesha is oblivious to the reality under a two-nation agreement that seven other states and two Canadian provinces play critical roles in the diversion's fate.

Here is yet another example, from Great Lakes Echo, an important regional water policy blog:

The quantity of water Waukesha wants is the equivalent of taking “a teaspoon out of an Olympic-sized swimming pool,” says Dan Duchniak in an oft-repeated line from his diversion stump-speech. Duchniak manages the Waukesha Water Utility and is the city’s point-person for the diversion request. 
Duchniak stresses that Waukesha is less than two miles from the Great Lakes basin and by the terms of the Great Lakes Compact is entitled to Lake Michigan water. In the next breath he emphasizes that the Compact prohibits water from being shipped to Las Vegas which is 2,000 miles from Lake Michigan. 
Water needy cities like Las Vegas and Phoenix are the bĂȘte-noire when it comes to diversion threats. But Waukesha went further and also mentions China as a threat in a FAQ document. China is nearly 7,000 miles outside the Great Lakes basin and Waukesha only two. 
There it is. 
It’s the classic dodge of comparing the biggest possible number to the smallest one to make your case. But it’s not the math that’s faulty, it’s the logic... 
At stake with the Waukesha decision is the strength and integrity of the much-hyped Great Lakes Compact. Can it stand as a viable protector of six quadrillion gallons of water?
That’s what this is about. Not a few million gallons that will be returned to the lake anyway or the city’s proximity to Las Vegas and China.


zombie rotten mcdonald said...

yeah, the Compact states aren't controlled by Koch interests like Wisconsin is.

Anonymous said...

The true fault in Waukesha's application, applying the theory of the stated argument is that Waukesha is already sending water outside it's borders to neighboring communities.

Communities, as in the case of the City of Pewaukee which has it's own municipal water and sewer system have not demonstrated a need and should be required to file their own application for a Lake Michigan Diversion Exception.
Little known is that an intercity piping connection ties the Waukesha system to the City of Pewaukee system. Not just the area included within the new Waukesha Water Utility Service Area, but the entire City of Pewaukee distribution system. It's there for emergency purposes in the event either community has an emergency. How does that work with the compact? Some of Pewaukee is in the new service area and the rest is not, but in an emergency Pewaukee can get Lake Michigan water and not return any? But then again, there has been prior discussion to loop several communities outside the service area.

Having read the new application there are so many unanswered questions and outdated data.

I'm saving several for the public hearing by the representatives of the Compact. A certain reader of this blog has a habit addressing questions by reading blogs.

Not this time.