A small Wisconsin city’s water plan could have big consequences for the Great Lakes

Environmental Defense, January 14, 2016
Author: Natalija Fisher

A proposal by the city of Waukesha, Wisconsin could cause a damaging ripple effect across both the Canadian and American sides of the Great Lakes basin, if it gets the go ahead. And the Ontario and Quebec governments need to get involved before it’s too late.

The city wants to divert 10.1 million gallons of water, the equivalent of almost two Olympic sized swimming pools, from Lake Michigan to Waukesha daily. Worse still, if permitted, this could set a precedent that would allow other communities to do the same.

This kind of diversion is prohibited under the the Great Lakes–St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact (Compact) and the Great Lakes–St. Lawrence River Basin Sustainable Water Resources Agreement (Agreement). But Waukesha is asking for an exemption to these agreements.