Minnesota DNR to host listening session on Lake Michigan water diversion proposal

Brainnerd Dispatch, February 8, 2016

e Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will host an open house and listening session about a Waukesha, Wisconsin, proposal to divert water from Lake Michigan. The proposed diversion would be done to address declining groundwater levels and water quality concerns.

The session will be held Thursday, March 3, at the Duluth Holiday Inn and Suites Downtown, located at 200 W. First St. Input gathered will help the state formulate its position on the proposed project.

The city of Waukesha is seeking an exception from the prohibition on diversions of Great Lakes water outside the water basin. Minnesota is a signatory to the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact, which governs Great Lakes water use among the eight Great Lakes states.

The city of Waukesha is asking to divert an annual average of 10.1 million gallons per day from Lake Michigan. Most of this water would be returned to the basin following treatment. Waukesha now relies on a well system, and is proposing to shift to water from Lake Michigan. The area’s groundwater is high in naturally occurring radium.