Tuesday, May 3, 2016

On Lake Michigan diversion map, can WI DNR & Waukesha backtrack?

Reviewers from eight Great Lakes states and advisers from two Canadian provinces have made it clear through a revised, recommended diversion map that Waukesha's application for piped-in Lake Michigan water cannot include major portions of a proposed, expanded service territory that would extend into neighboring towns sought by the City of Waukesha's diversion application produced by years of expensive research, consulting and pressure:
The new map which excludes the towns of Delafield and Genesee and most of the town of Waukesha from the service area — was created April 27, a few days after Great Lakes Regional Body officials met in Chicago to the discuss the service area and Waukesha's original request to divert up to 10.1 million gallons of lake water per day by 2050.
The revision would reduce the average Lake Michigan water draw from a proposed, maximum 10.1 million gallons daily to 8.76 million gallons daily, cut the service territory by about 43% and thereby limit the use of diverted water to fuel development.

Which is what the business community has been arguing - - for years - - and recently.

A revised service map does not address critics' concerns about Waukesha's need for the diversion and rejection of potential water source alternatives, nor does the map fully address critics' questions about using the Root River through the downstream City of Racine in another county as Waukesha's new discharge route for treated waste water. 

It was clear since 2010 that the expanded service territory and its sprawl opportunities were going to be problems once the application made its way to the other states and provinces for analysis and a decision, but Waukesha and the DNR forged ahead and kept this obviously controversial portion in an already-controversial, precedent-setting diversion application.

Contrast the now-shrinking proposed service territory to what was declared as an iron-clad, non-negotiable extended service territory laid out several years ago by Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Secretary and chamber of commerce water-carrier and mouthpiece Cathy Stepp when she said that any potential water supplier of Lake Michigan water to Waukesha was required by state law to supply the entire expanded service territory.

The state Department of Natural Resources will require any municipality, including Milwaukee, selling Lake Michigan water to the City of Waukesha to supply its entire future water service area and not just the city, Natural Resources Secretary Cathy Stepp said Thursday in a letter to Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and Common Council President Willie Hines.
You have to wonder if Waukesha and the DNR are willing to back the new map before the Great Lakes governors vote in a few weeks on whether to approve Waukesha's application - - a unanimous vote of the governors is required for implementation - - or will Waukesha and the DNR try and negotiate further for a larger service territory, or go to court over the revision and basically put the entire US/Canadian Great Lakes protective Compact at risk?

Final questions:

If Waukesha and the DNR accept the revised map and reduced water ask, how much of the original plan was credible, how much was overreach and how much of the remainder is justifiable?


Anonymous said...

Since the political faction behind this Great Lakes water coup is also the proponents of putting feces and urine in other people's drinking water, wouldn't it make more sense to just ship the manure lagoons to Waukesha for their water use?

Two problems solved!

Anonymous said...

"If Waukesha and the DNR accept the revised map and reduced water ask, how much of the original plan was credible, how much was overreach and how much of the remainder is justifiable?"

And what authority and input does SEWRPC have on the new proposed service area? I thought Waukehs had claimed that SEWRPC was the legal authority under state statutes to define water/sewer service areas?

Let's hear from Bill McClenahan before he's cut from Waukesha's contractors payroll.