Wisconsin city water desires widely opposed

The London Press, March 25, 2016
Author: Debora Van Brenk

Southwestern Ontario environmentalists, farmers, conservation authorities, First Nations groups and mayors are among the ­thousands who have sounded off on a plan by a small Wisconsin city to draw water from the Great Lakes.

“We’re concerned about it because Great Lakes water is our greatest asset and we have to make sure it’s properly looked after,” Bill Weber, mayor of Lambton Shores, said Wednesday.

Lambton Shores, like Toronto and Mississauga and Montreal and others, has officially filed their opposition to the Waukesha, Wis., plan. So has an association of 121 Great Lakes mayors on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border.

Waukesha, on Milwuakee’s outskirts, wants Great Lakes states’ governors to allow the small city to replace its radium-contaminated water wells with a pipeline that would carry almost 40 million litres of water a day from Lake Michigan.

Waukesha is on the Mississippi watershed, just barely, and an international agreement allows water-­taking from the Great Lakes only by communities within the area that drains into the lakes. Much of Southwestern Ontario, including London — served by pipelines from both lakes Huron and Erie — relies on that water.