Brewtown Politico

Carrying a little stick and speaking loudly in Milwaukee


Waukesha won't tap Lake Michigan anytime soon

Earlier this week, the Waukesha Freeman reported that the new compact will be signed by the Council of Great Lakes Governors in December.

The optimistic headline reads "Compact to allow Waukesha County
access to Lake Michigan water." As Xoff notes though, there are many hurdles ahead before lake water can be piped out to the city of Waukesha.

Since Waukesha lies west of the subcontinental divide, it drains its water into the Mississippi River and not Lake Michigan. The Freeman article mentions that the sticking point is a requirement mandating that communities accessing lake water west of the divide return its treated wastewater back to Lake Michigan. Waukesha officials seem unwilling to do that, because of the cost.

Waukesha has become a sprawling suburban community in recent years with a lot of new housing, strip malls, and roads being built. The growth has taxed the water resources of a city once known for its quality water. Radium levels in Waukesha's water are now in violation of federal clean water standards.

Whether Waukesha will eventually agree to the conditions required to get Milwaukee's water or whether it explores new sources within Waukesha County remains to be seen. Regardless, their experience should serve as a lesson to other city planners and officials. Growing beyond your means can have expensive and hazardous consequences.


At 11/26/2005 03:18:00 PM, Blogger Craig said...

It's embarrassing when you live in a county that doesn't care about it's water or it's environmental issues.

At 11/27/2005 10:02:00 AM, Blogger Carlos said...

Case in point: who builds a water park and then complains about not having enough water?


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