Friday, April 22, 2016

Trust Walker to oversee Lake Michigan diversion in public trust spirit?

Reviewers from the eight Great Lakes states and two Canadian provinces are devoting a second day of work today in Chicago on Waukesha's controversial and precedent-setting application for a diversion of Lake Michigan water
Lake Michigan Landsat Satellite Photo.jpg
under the terms of a US-Canadian water management Compact designed to strictly limit such diversions essentially to last-resort cases.

A non-diversion alternative has been prepared, but Waukesha has rejected it.

Among the stumbling blocks to Waukesha's diversion application - - already backed by Scott Walker and given a technical thumbs-up by his Department of Natural Resources - is Waukesha's insistence since it drafted the application six years ago that it is allowed under state law to send a portion of diverted water beyond its borders that includes some undeveloped land in an expanded service 80% larger than its current municipal land mass and to several neighboring communities which did not ask for the diversion and have no demonstrated need for it.

The application asks for a daily average diversion of about ten million gallons day, while the city's current usage is around six million gallons daily; the reviewers will decide if they are bound by Wisconsin's expanded service territory legislation, and will assess the DNR's evaluation of the application as well asWaukesha's options, conservation practices and more,

Keep in mind Waukesha's long history of property annexation and its inclusion of the neighboring towns in its diversion application without those municipalities' prior approvals.

I'd add some additional concerns:

*  Walker's "open for business" sloganeering, also remembering that Waukesha is the hub city in Walker's strongest base voting county and noting this Milwaukee Business Journal December editorial (paywall warning) which makes the water-and-development connection:
Waukesha water case also about development
The attempt by the city of Waukesha to tap Lake Michigan for its water supply is getting intense scrutiny for its potential environmental impact, as it rightfully should. But the move by Waukesha is also about determining the future economic development of one of the most populated areas of southeastern Wisconsin.  
*  Can the same "open for business" Governor and corporate-friendly Legislature which has long defied federal water standards and enforcement, cut DNR staff, diminished its science focus, eased waterway phosphorus removal schedules statewide - - a summary Wi water crisis posting here - - encouraged sand and iron ore open pit mining, increased wetlands-filling and shoreline development procedures, softened environmental inspections and prosecutions, and enabled the expansion of large animal feeding (and manure-producing) operations be entrusted with making sure that diverted Lake Michigan water is not used to fuel sprawl, and will not harm the quality of, or add flood risk, to the diversion's Root River discharge route?

*  Should a Wisconsin DNR that is intentionally defined and managed by Walker with "a chamber of commerce mentality," and which is increasingly run with business interests at the fore be made responsible for diversion oversight in the public interest? 

Simply put, should the Great Lakes governors turn over Compact diversion compliance to sharply politicized policy-makers and their hand-picked, ideological agency managers in Wisconsin who have shown little respect for the water they are supposed to manage for everyone as the public trust laid out in the Great Lakes Compact and guaranteed by the Wisconsin State Constitution?


Anonymous said...

Walker's BFF and anti-Milwaukee/pro-Waukesha Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is reporting:

Great Lakes officials trim Waukesha's water request

I feel dirty linking to the biggest propaganda tool in Wisconsin, but here ya go:

This is going to be approved. Now please excuse me while I go bleach my brain...

Anonymous said...

Scotty must have sold a lot of missized tee-shirts. He raised $128,000 in the last month according to Walker's latest Federal Election Commission filing. At $45 for a random-sized and random color shirt, 2,845 T's!

Has anyone explained why God snookered Walker and his financial backers with directives from heaven to run for the White House bilking Wisconsin taxpayers for his travel, security detail, and 70-person entourage while blowing $90,000 a day?

That God guy sure has a warped sense of humor.

Anonymous said...

At 8.2 million gallons per day, Waukesha can treat any and all radium related problems thus the application should be dead.

Furthermore, the deep aquifer is NOT 350 below pre settlement levels in the deep sandstone aquifer from which Waukesha draws.

Any spoonfed lazy reporter can go here to see that for himself;

USGS : 2016-02-08 Water Level, Feet Below Land Surface 363.34

Gee, isn't there a shale layer with a level a minimum of 80 feet thick at it's thinnest point of measurement and up to 200' thick?

So if you believe the WDNR, Waukesha was underwater during the "pre settlement levels".

I'd rather get my news online, thank you.