Report raises questions on water diversion

February 27, 2013

A National Wildlife Federation report released today raises questions on whether Waukesha has made their case to divert water from the Great Lakes to meet its water needs. The application is the first since the passage of the Great Lakes Compact which bans diversions of Great Lakes water and promotes wise water use within the eight states and two Canadian provinces bordering the lakes.

Many regional and national conservation groups view Waukesha’s application as precedent-setting. Marc Smith, Senior Policy Manager, states "Our analysis finds that Waukesha might not need to divert Great Lakes water to meet its water needs. The city has options on the table that may satisfy their water needs. In short, they have not justified their need for a Lake Michigan diversion.” The report’s scope did not include costs associated with various alternative sources of water, nor the environmental impacts of infrastructure and return flows to Lake Michigan.

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Full Report [PDF]