Critique opposes U.S. community’s request to draw water from Great Lakes watershed

The London Press, March 30, 3016
Author: Debra Van Brenk

Waukesha considers itself part of a community straddling the watershed.

But Ontario’s technical review suggests pulling the plug on the idea. It says, in part:

  • Waukesha doesn’t qualify, by virtue of its geography — none of which is in the Great Lakes basin. There’s “insufficient” rigour in Wisconsin’s assessment that water diversion would have little or no impact on the quality or quantity of lakes water.
  • Wisconsin’s study “does not seem to take an overly critical review” of its preferred option in comparison with other possible options, such as treating radium out of its current water supply.
  • There’s not enough information on how Waukesha might deal with potential issues in its wastewater treatment.
  • The plan doesn’t identify which other communities in the Mississippi River basin might also be dealing with contaminated aquifers, or whether they might eventually also look to tap into the Great Lakes for water.

“Ontario supports the Great Lakes Sustainable Water Resources agreement and the ban on diversion out of the basin,” Ontario Natural Resources Ministry spokesperson Jolanta Kowalski said in an email. “We will continue to monitor this process as it continues.”