"They chugged their endowment and flushed it to the Mississippi..."Racine County Supervisor Ken Hall suggests some conditions that the City of Waukesha should meet if its controversial precedent-setting plan to divert Lake Michigan water and return it through the Root River in Racine is to move forward:
Sitting on the deep aquifer they sucked dry, Waukesha’s ways must end. They chugged their endowment and flushed it to the Mississippi, and now their deep wells yield water laced with radium.
Bad luck, bad practices, short-term thinking, they’d cry a river if they could
Today, Lake Michigan counties, like Racine, have water, and conserving that asset means tough conditions for water takers, especially those with low stewardship credibility...
Waukesha talked about improving the environment and public health and some of that may happen, but the application is not sufficient and should be rejected. At least four conditions for the water bailout should be added:
1. No bailout until Waukesha water conservation efforts cut water use per person by another 5 percent. Projecting more water demand per person over the next 37 years is growth, not conservation.
2. Penalties including cutoff for not returning all water taken, as promised.
3. Payments/gallon for the Root River return; for wetland and water quality improvement.
4. An endowment of 2 percent of capital costs for Root River and Lake Michigan improvements.Waukesha's plan has generated opposition across the Great Lakes basin.