Attorney General Bill Schuette Questions Wisconsin City Proposal to Divert Great Lakes Water
We earlier reported on a city in Wisconsin that has requested to divert water from the Great Lakes for their city water supply.
The city of Waukesha is outside of the Great Lakes basin, and instead sits in the Mississippi River basin. In order to divert water from the Great Lakes basin a very narrow set of requirements must be met, those include:
That the city will only use the water for public water supply
The city will maximize the portion of the water returned to the Great Lakes and minimize the amount that is returned from outside the basin.
The city is without it’s own adequate source of drinkable water and have no reasonable alternatives in their own basin.
And that they will not endanger the integrity of the Great Lakes basin by diverting the water.
Since this request is the first of it’s kind, Michigan’s Attorney General Bill Schuette has raised a number of questions concerning the plan and has issued a formal notice to the two bodies that address the sustainable management of the Great Lakes. He is requesting the City of Waukesha and the state of Wisconsin submit more in depth answers on the planned diversion of 10.1 million gallons every day.
Waukesha plans to share the water with several neighboring communities, do these other communities also have the same lack of access to other sources like Waukesha?
Are there any alternatives that do not require diverting the Lake Michigan water?
Does the plan include a reasonable method of maximizing the return flow to Lake Michigan?
Does the plan ensure that there will be no significant adverse impact to the Great Lakes region? For example, will it ensure that invasive species, such as viruses, are not transferred into the Great Lakes?
“The Great Lakes are one of the greatest resources not only for Michigan, but for the entire country,” said Schuette. “… Our Great Lake resources are far too important to allow a major disruption without intensive research and approval from all Great Lake states.”