Watershed bid looms for Great Lakes

The London Free Press, March 11, 2016
Author: Debora Van Brenk

Critics of the plan include Restore Our Water International, which said the precedent would be dangerous to everyone who relies on the Great Lakes.

“The question is, how many straws can you put into the Great Lakes and what is the impact?” asks Mary Muter of ROWI, which has expressed concern about dramatically fluctuating lake levels.

Waukesha – which is part of the Mississippi River watershed despite being only a short drive from Milwaukee on Lake Michigan – draws its drinking water from wells contaminated with radium.

The city promises to return the water, clean, via the nearby Root River.

But Muter said Waukesah is asking for 16 million litres a day, an amount that far exceeds its current use, its future needs or its plan for conservation. She said the city can filter radium from its water wells.

Her group’s biggest concern is that dozens of other communities outside the watershed are standing in line in the hopes Waukesha’s bid succeeds.

“This is just greed,” she said.