Milwaukee Riverkeeper Says Waukesha Doesn't Make Case For Lake Michigan Water
This is the heart of Cheryl Nenn's fine op-ed on behalf of a coalition of environmental organizations about Waukesha's proposed Lake Michigan diversion:
The Great Lakes compact, a landmark agreement reached just five years ago by eight states and two Canadian provinces, allows for lake diversions only when "no other reasonable supply alternatives are available." For some of the communities in the expanded [Waukesha] service area, there is no need for an alternative water supply, and communities are planning to continue using existing water sources.
Our group, the Compact Implementation Coalition, is not against the diversion per se. Our mission is to work to ensure effective implementation of the compact as part of a greater effort to protect the lakes for many generations to come. Everyone deserves access to safe, sustainable water. The question for Waukesha is how to provide safe water for its citizens in the most responsible way, while also meeting the compact's legal requirements.
The compact is designed to prohibit diversions, creating exceptions under very strict standards for communities such as Waukesha that are wholly outside the Great Lakes basin. Allowing Waukesha to do any less than what is required in the compact would compromise this historic interstate agreement that protects 95% of the U.S. surface fresh water supply. We do not believe that Waukesha has made a compelling case that it meets these standards, and ultimately it is the city's job to prove it has met these standards.
And River Keeper is right.
Waukesha folks would be dumping chloride, pharmaticals, and dissolved solids directly into the Root River. Nobody is going to abandon their water softners in Waukesha.
On the point that Waukesha has alternatives, the largest talking point is that nobody is telling Waukesha they must get off the deep aquifer. The Waukesha Utility tries to tie the 2018 court order to have a radium compliant source of water from all sources means that if Waukesha installed radium filters on all their deep aquifer wells, not just #10, the court order would be satisfied and the public health issue would be removed from the application. Furthermore, there is no stipulated year by Waukesha when to anticipate the need to address water quality concerns surrounding the deep aquifer addressed in the application. Seems likely that this issue is over exaggerated in the application.
Again, Riverkeeper is spot on about need, boundries, and conservation or lack there of.
If only the commenters on J/S were more intelligent about the issue.
Waukesha's application is all about growth, growth, and more growth.
Classic example of poor suburban planning. Plan for growth without the resources to support habitat. Destroy the natural habitat after the fact.
SEWRPC needs new leadership.
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