Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Waukesha activist seeks further PSC review of water diversion plan

We're about to learn whether Wisconsin still will allow a single citizen to take on several levels of government to which that citizen pays the taxes or fees that underwrite the whole citizen-government democratic compact.

Former Waukesha school board member and water policy activist Steven Edlund has filed a petition with the Wisconsin Public Service Commission that formally asks the PSC to grant him the status challenge arrangements between Waukesha and New Berlin that will facilitate the distribution of a precedent-setting diversion of water out of the Great Lakes basin from Lake Michigan 
Lake Michigan gale 
through the City of Milwaukee Water Works.

Those arrangements and some of the issue's complex history were extensively  recounted in a Waukesha environmental newsletter, (begin on p. 7): 

Edlund and other Waukesha County residents have been objecting to the project's rising estimated cost and the water data and assumptions behind it for years:

The city claimed the groundwater table was dropping as much as 5 to 7 feet each year. Based on U.S. Geological Survey monitoring data and Water Utility well reports, the deep aquifer stopped declining around the year 2000 and has now risen to levels not seen since the 1980s.
Never the less, Waukesha is proceeding with its long-delayed, $286 million diversion plan, having recently received a low-cost federal loan guarantee worth more than $137 for a project which has more than tripled from its initial estimated cost of $78 million:
Big gov't OK's 'crazy' low-cost Federal millions in Waukesha water diversion funding
The precedent-setting $286 million diversion plan has unfolded over years, is far behind schedule and way above initial cost estimates as low as $78 million - some history, here - and only recently cleared yet another hurdle - this time with New Berlin....
It's fashionable on the right to call government spending 'bailouts' or 'socialism' or wasteful, or election-year-incumbency handouts, whatever.
I doubt you will hear any of that from the situational ideologues. 
For the record: I've been writing about the diversion possibility for more than 14 years, here - and that's before I began this blog which has scores of posts about it accessible through key words in the index box at the upper left. 


Anonymous said...

For many long years prior to the Waukesha "boom" in housing, commercial and industrial development the city and county were told of the problems with their water supply and that allowing an explosion in growth would quickly lead to disaster. But the city/county/private bigwigs just kept the sprawl going all the while bad-mouthing Milwaukee and Milwaukee County in order to drain people from there and into the supposedly fabulous new situation to be had in Waukesha. But they did all of this while knowingly and purposefully failing to disclose accurately the dire situation of water in Waukesha etc. The bigs always felt that they could "muscle" their way through Milwaukee County and to Lake Michigan. It's all in the DNR files if anybody cares to go and read.Put simply growth should have been restrained but greed and ignorance kept that from happening.So here we are now knowing that Waukesha County will still not restrain growth.

Where's the ethics? said...

The PSC is now a majority of Governor Evers appointees. They need to examine the facts of the City of Waukesha's claims without Waukesha County politics influencing decisions negatively for the lives of 70,000 citizens. Scott Walker is gone.

Sandy Hamm said...

Thank you Steve for all your efforts. You have my full support.