Wednesday, October 8, 2014

About Waukesha's water diversion - - not a drop after 54 months

Let us be the first to note that it has been exactly  4.5 years - - or fifty-four months - - since the Waukesha Common Council approved an application for a diversion of water from Lake Michigan.

And in those fifty-four months have come and gone two Waukesha mayors, at least a million dollars in consulting and legal fees, and Lord knows how many meetings, application rewrites, deadlines, fits and no starts - - but not a drop of water has been diverted, nor a shovel of earth turned nor a single regulatory approval won to get the show on the road.

And the potential price for all those pumps, pipes and plethora of project costs has shot past the $200 million mark.

Kinda suggests that there's been a lot of official grandiosity, monument building and development dreaming pumped out of Waukesha since April 8, 2010, but little demonstration of real need.

Here's a few other ways to measure how much time has passed since the Waukesha Common Council said it was sending the Wisconsin DNR an application worthy of implementation:

*  Jim Doyle isn't Governor of Wisconsin anymore. Scott Walker moved to the mansion from the Milwaukee County Executive's office nearly four years ago at a time when people thought John Doe was in an old movie.

*  iPhone 3 was Apple's latest and greatest.

*  The TV hit series "Modern Family" hadn't begun its second season.

*  You could still buy a new Ford Crown Vic or a Ford Ranger.

*  Price Fielder was the Milwaukee Brewers first baseman. Jeff Suppan was in the starting rotation. Primoz Brezec played for The Milwaukee Bucks.

*  In fact, when the Waukesha Common Council said it was done with the application - - and city officials began talking about quick approvals and tight timetables - - Brett Favre was already gone from Green Bay, had played one season with The New York Jets and was halfway through a two-year stint with The Minnesota Vikings.

See what I mean? April, 2010 was a long time ago.

Maybe that Waukesha application is history, too, since there are available alternatives through conservation, better filtration, wells at the Fox River bank and closer shallow aquifers at the ready.


Anonymous said...

It's funny how Waukesha needs to ask for a handout after mismanaging their resources. It's so hypocritical.

Boxer said...

Lots of money over the dam, but no water. Egos, Water Utility and City hubris exceeding flood stage.

Boxer said...

Your timeline, though accurate for the time period covered, doesn't include the water drama that preceded the "first " application. That goes all the way back to 2000-2001 as Waukesha tried to influence the content of the Great Lakes Compact to favor it's preselected "alternative" of a Lake Michigan diversion. Or the legal water drama that raged throughout the '80s and'90s as Waukesha tried to wiggle out from complying with the EPA's radium standard, all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court where they lost -- and lost every step of the way. More tax- and ratepayer--money wasted. But were supposed to trust our "leaders" who keep insisting they know what's best for Waukesha residents, the City of Milwaukee, and the Great Lakes region.

Anonymous said...

Very impressive, Jim. I've been a Bucks 10 pack holder for thirty years and I barely remember Primo Brezec.

James Rowen said...

Thanks. It's a full-service blog.

Betsey said...

That it is.

Anonymous said...

You left out the recent passing of Town of Wauukesha land barron and Waukesha County Supervisor, Walter Kolb.

Many have asked how his passing will impact the push for Lake Michigan water.

Anonymous said...

So much grandiosity, rhetoric, whining, posturing & drama from a community longing to leech off the pure waters of one of the greatest fresh water bodies on our planet without doing any effective work to achieve it. And of course so much money lost. Will it be a wake up call for Waukesha residents? Not likely. At least it will be a consistent example for those who strive to protect our planet of how those who take so much expect so much more while abusing what they have. Waukesha residents have never adhered to water conservation requirements yet as I remember one letter to the J/S they used the term "jealous" when responding to Milwaukee County's supply of fresh water. Able to take but unable to effectively give Waukesha's leaders will not go through the looking glass of self projection.