Thursday, July 10, 2014

Waukesha's Stalled Water Diversion Application, Still Stalled

The Circle of Blue website takes a look at Waukesha's application for a diversion of Lake Michigan water - - and my prediction is that the Wisconsin DNR will not take critical, public steps with it until after the November election - - and highlights the stalled application's central flaw:
Dave Dempsey, a long-time environmental advocate and the award-winning author of “Great Lakes for Sale,” argues that Waukesha’s application doesn’t meet the requirements for exceptions provided in the Great Lakes Compact. The amount of water Waukesha seeks is 45 percent more than it uses now and is designed to allow the city’s sprawling growth pattern to expand. 
“Waukesha’s proposal goes beyond what is needed to address legitimate public health concerns,” Dempsey says. “If approved, it will set an unfortunate precedent for implementation of the compact. Great Lakes diversions for urban sprawl could open the door for other diversion demands that could threaten the unity of the Great Lakes states.” 
“If Waukesha is not required to downscale its proposal,” Dempsey adds, “the decision will signal that the region’s decision makers are not as serious as they need to be in conserving Great Lakes water.”
I'd written this more than four years ago shortly after Waukesha conveyed its application  to the Wisconsin DNR, where it still sits, after multiple revisions, without hearings nor a completed environmental impact statement:
The weakest link in the application - - and what will raise questions all the way from the Town of Waukesha to the City of Milwaukee, and with reviewers and regulators in all the eight Great Lakes states, is Waukesha's plan to send Lake Michigan water into parts of Pewaukee, Genesee and the Town of Waukesha. 
Expanding the current [water] service territory land mass by 80%... 
Water for growth is not the goal of the Compact. Take it from a Compact expert's superb analysis, here.
Another major problem with the application is its plan to discharge treated wastewater into a river running into a neighboring county and through the City of Racine - - something Racine officials strongly dislike.

The DNR maintains a website, with archives, devoted to the application's content and status, here

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"“Waukesha’s proposal goes beyond what is needed to address legitimate public health concerns,”

What public health concerns???

Waukesha can install radium filters on all it's deep aquifer wells, just like every other community required to be in compliance. They just choose not to. They don't even need more water for the expanded service area because the deep aquifer is no longer being drawn down. Since the application was submitted in 2010, the aquifer reversed the draw down and had steadily increased in height to the surface.

The mayor and the water utility manager know this.