Huron County Opposes Wisconsin City’s Water Diversion Plan

Blackburn News, April 7, 2016
Author: Bob Montgomery

Huron County will be writing a letter to add its voice to the opposition to a proposal by a city in Wisconsin to divert over 30-million litres of water a day from Lake Michigan.

The city of Waukesha has a problem with radium in its water and has asked for permission to divert water from Lake Michigan to supply the city of about 71,000 people.  Officials in Waukesha have stated that the water would be returned to Lake Michigan.

But Huron County Warden Paul Gowing points out the water that is returned would be grey water.

Gowing says the bigger issue for Huron County, several other municipalities as well as Ontario and Quebec and the American states that surround the Great Lakes is that Waukesha is not in the Great Lakes basin, but is part of a county that is in the Great Lakes basin.

Officials in Waukesha claim that entitles them to divert water from Lake Michigan.

Those opposed to the proposal are concerned that once that precedent has been set, how can accessed be denied to anyone else.  Approval will require a unanimous vote from the eight states with voting rights.

Experts have also stated that it would be cheaper to treat the water in Waukeska than to divert water from Lake Michigan.