I recommend this very strong op-ed by representatives of a regional water conservation coalition that explains why Waukesha's pitch to the other Great Lakes states for a precedent-setting diversion of water could be sunk:
In its application for a diversion of Lake Michigan water, the city of Waukesha claims its water utility is merely following state planning law by including an expanded water supply service area, which is almost twice the size of its current water supply service area. This reliance on state planning laws is in direct conflict with the Great Lakes Compact, the historic regional agreement enacted into federal law in 2008, which sets forth clear legal guidelines for protecting, conserving and managing the precious and vulnerable water resources of the Great Lakes basin.
Waukesha's attempt to use the expanded service area to demonstrate need for Lake Michigan water will not pass legal muster under the Great Lakes Compact, which trumps state law.
Quite simply, the portions of neighboring communities included in the expansion do not meet two key compact requirements: they fail to demonstrate water conservation efforts to date and fail to show an inadequate existing supply of drinking water... neither the neighboring communities nor the City of Waukesha meet the compact's requirement of diverting Great Lakes water as a last resort. The Great Lakes Compact does not allow for withdrawals based on possible future need of expanded service areas.