Friday, April 22, 2016

Diversion reviewers cite long-standing flaw in Waukesha water bid

Decision-making officials from eight Great Lakes states and advisers from two Canadian provinces reviewing Waukesha's request for a precedent-setting diversion of water from Lake Michigan - - an application that took years to write and large sums of staff and consulting time to prepare, and which Scott Walker's DNR had said was up to snuff - - have chopped from the application the so-called expanded service territory beyond Waukesha's municipal borders and into neighboring communities which had bumped up the diversion's daily demand and its underlying controversy.

Big surprise, as I'd pointed out the obvious nearly six years ago:
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 service territory land mass by 80%. 
That expansion - - mapped out and green-lighted by the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission for the Waukesha application administatively, without public review…[means] you have the application resting on the shakiest of premises, because: 
Water for growth is not the goal of the Compact. Take it from a Compact expert's superb analysis, here.
Lake Michigan Landsat Satellite Photo.jpg 
And which Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett warned about four years ago: 
The City of Waukesha will run into "a buzz saw" of opposition from other Great Lakes states if it persists in its bid to distribute Lake Michigan water to a future service area extending beyond its boundaries, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said Thursday...
He made his comments to representatives of environmental and conservation groups from Wisconsin and the other states…. 
Barrett insisted Waukesha's diversion request was vulnerable on the issue of a future water service area designated by the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission. The larger area encompasses portions of the City of Pewaukee and towns of Delafield, Genesee and Waukesha.
The reviewers made the decision to remove the expanded service territory from the application during the second of two days of meetings in Chicago.

The application's reviewers will make a final decision in June. 

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