Monday, March 10, 2014

Canadians Talking Water Wars

We've noted here before that Keith Hobbs, the Thunder Bay, Canada Mayor, does not look kindly on Waukesha's pitch to divert Great Lakes water, but others in Canada see the Waukesha diversion as the beginning of something worse:

Mr. Hobbs believes granting Waukesha’s application for access to the lake would set a dangerous precedent and touch off potential water wars. Some news for the mayor: It may be too late. It looks like those wars are coming anyway.
According to Canada’s ambassador to the United States, water is the new oil. In a recent interview, Gary Doer said that by the end of the decade, the pressure on water quality and quantity will be immense. He predicted that water debates and disputes between the two countries will make the clash over the Keystone XL pipeline “look silly” by comparison.
Doer was in Milwaukee last year and I noted he was not too friendly to diversion planning:
So concerns expressed publicly by Canadian Ambassador to the United States Gary Doer about Waukesha's languishing application (Waukesha's Common Council approved it three years ago, though efforts to gain a diversion have floated around since 2006) should be taken seriously as the Wisconsin DNR continues to review the application and decides whether to forward it to the Canadians for their advice and to the other seven Great Lakes states which would have to approve it unanimously under the 2008 Compact for the diversion to occur:
During a visit to Milwaukee last week, Canadian ambassador Gary Doer said Canada generally opposes transferring water from one watershed to another, fearing it would hurt water quality, “and today's project may make sense, but 100 of them won't.”


Anonymous said...

To Premier Doer,

Please join Waukesha in celebrating the 4 year anniversary of this "month application". Since it's submission to the DNR, the Mayor was voted out of office, the Water Commissioner and chief architect moved to Florida, the City Administrator move to cow pastures in Illinois, the City Attorney is giving up and retiring next month, the city engineer retired, there have been 3 common council presidents, and half the alderman who voted it's passage have moved on. About the only cheerleaders who believe in the "model application" are the consultants. Keep in mind they're paid to do so, as is the Waukesha Water Utility Manager.
Unless you ever do get a copy of the application, you might notice the hardware in the 3 ring binders are a little worn. Sorry about that, the model application had to be tweaked as they said in the beginning.

Nathanael said...

Ontario won't let you divert the water. Quebec won't let you. New York won't let you. Vermont won't let you. All these states and provinces are very serious about water wars.

Diversions require *unanimous* consent under the agreement and the only "grandfathered" diversion is for Chicago.

Anonymous said...

The real issue for Waukesha is that the other states must approve the diversion.

If a state wants to, it can simply start it's own "study" on the diversion request and kill it by letting it die on the vine.

The other GL states do not need to do anything to kill it, and that is the easiest solution for governors to give their state constituents.

I'm guessing at the Governor's campaign election rally in NY we will likely not see a sign that reads "Give Waukesha Water Now!"

They simply ignore the application request and it goes away...

Anonymous said...

The compact was agreed upon so there would be a process for communities that straddle the Great Lakes Basin that need a sustainable source of water. Waukesha will be the test case that will determine if the compact works. Remember if the criteria agreed upon is met it is in the best interest of the States or Provinces to approve it, because at some point they will also have communities that will need to apply.

Anonymous said...

" Remember if the criteria agreed upon is met it is in the best interest of the States or Provinces to approve it, because at some point they will also have communities that will need to apply."

Waukesha hasn't met the criteria and the application should be withdraw by it's Common Council rather than continue to embarrass the city.

Shawn Reiley won't win the election for mayor and save the day for the Lake Michigan supporters. He's not winning any supporters by blindly ignoring reality.

Anonymous said...

The City has met the criteria of the compact. It was delayed by our idiot mayor Scrima who ignored the science and proclaimed "as long as it rains Waukesha will have water". His actions caused a two year delay in the application. He is the only Waukesha official who took that stance and in less than three weeks he will be an ex-mayor. The mayor has been the one to embarrass the city on a regular basis these past four years, he is clueless. Thankfully his time is numbered. I predict a 67% to 33% victory by Reilly.

Anonymous said...

"The City has met the criteria of the compact."


As of this 4 year anniversary of the submission of the application to the DNR, they have not said the application meets the criteria of the Great Lakes Compact. That would be true for when the application was for Milwaukee water, or after.

Scrima had nothing to do with approval process of the application.

The delay was caused by developers and investor land owners in the Town of Waukesha, one Waukesha County Supervisor in particular. Getting SEWRPC to expand the service area to other communities who don't have need for another source of water. Lake Michigan water to the Town of Waukesha is for the development of an industrial park which the City would have embraced with open arms when they request to be annexed. The application is all about profiteering at the expense of everyone else.

Town Chairman, John Merek is in big piles of crap when the application is completely withdrawn or voted down and the City will expand it's shallow well program.

Makes one wonder what's the real agenda for getting Lake Michigan water with Waukesha mayoral candidate, Shawn Reillly.

Why do you think almost everyone supporting Lake Michigan water has bailed, including the Water Commissioner, Dan Warren who is now seeking residency in Florida?