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Regional Review Process
On December 8, 2015 the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) announced it will be submitting the City of Waukesha's request to tap Lake Michigan water for regional review within 60 days.
The city of Waukesha, WI, located a few miles west of Milwaukee, lies outside the Great Lakes basin and is requesting an exception to the ban on diversions of Great Lakes water under the Great Lakes Compact. The proposed Waukesha diversion application is the first since the Great Lakes Compact was adopted in 2008. This application will serve as a precedent for other future diversion requests.
Approval by Wisconsin is just the first step in a long process. Under the Great Lakes Compact, any diversion application must be approved by all eight Great Lakes states and two Canadian provinces. Any state may veto the diversion application. Now that Wisconsin has finalized its review, the state will forward the diversion application to the Regional Body and Compact Council for review.
As part of this process, citizens across the Great Lakes region will be able to weigh in on the decision by contacting their governors and to let them know that Waukesha's application does not meet the standards of the Great Lakes Compact for the following reasons:
- Diverting Great Lakes Water is a Last Resort
- Waukesha Failed to Demonstrate that it Needs Great Lakes Water
- Waukesha Wants to Divert Great Lakes Water for Towns that Don’t Need It and Have Not Requested Water
- Waukesha has a Feasible Alternative to meet its Water Needs
- Waukesha’s Plan to Return Water to Great Lakes Raises Concerns