WSW: Approval For Waukesha And The Future Of Great Lakes Diversions
Great Lakes Echo commentator Gary Wilson says whether or not you agree with the decision to allow Waukesha, Wisconsin to withdraw water from Lake Michigan, the process had validity.
Wilson says under the Great Lakes Compact, Waukesha’s request met the criteria for allowing withdrawal for a city outside the Great Lakes basin. He says there are safe guards in place to ensure that the water taken from Lake Michigan is replaced.
Approving the withdrawal required a unanimous vote of the eight Great Lakes governors. Two Canadian Provinces did not have a vote, but did play an advisory role. Wilson says it was clear in the meetings leading up to the vote that Michigan was a playing a leading role in making a final decision on Waukesha’s request.
Critics of allowing Waukesha to withdraw water from Lake Michigan questioned whether they had other options for treating their water for radium contamination. But Wilson says research considered by the Great Lakes governors showed that treating the water was not a sustainable process over time.
Wilson says any other city that considers making a request for Great Lakes water should examine the process that Waukesha went through. He says they need to be aware that “it’s going to be expensive and it’s going to take time.” Wilson says there’s still no guarantee. Wilson says one governor can still block any request for Great Lakes water diversions.