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In 2010, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's statewide margin of victory was 123,151 votes. In Waukesha County, a White Flight suburb West of Milwaukee, Walker's raw vote total was over 134,000.  That's the bad news.  

The good news is that Waukesha, Wisconsin has run out of safe water. After decades of typical Republican behavior of exploitation, extraction and excess, the Republicans in Waukesha have reacted to their water shortage with yet another typical Republican idea: it's time for someone to bail them out of the trouble they've got themselves into.  

Waukesha is pursuing a diversion of Lake Michigan water that, according to the city’s Water Utility, is the best solution to replace its failing deep wells with lake water and comply with a 2018 stipulation it reached with the Department of Natural Resources to supply radium-free water. Lack of compliance with this date will result in stiff fines.
Follow me out into the tall grass for the details.

According to the website 21st Century SciTech:

Waukesha’s water problems started in the 1980s. The city had been drawing its drinking water from a 670 meter (2,200 feet) deep aquifer paralleling Lake Michigan. Overuse began to raise the level of radium and sodium in water pumped to the surface. So the city opened a treatment plant to remove the radium. In addition new shallower wells were drilled to supplement the aquifer. The city even looked at recycling waste water. And then the obvious solution was proposed. Why not take the water directly from Lake Michigan, 24 kilometers (15 miles) to the east?
They are willing to replace every drop they take, of course, by dumping an equal amount of treated sewage back into Lake Michigan.
Dan Duchniak (DOOK'-nee-ak) of the Waukesha Water Utility said Monday that the revised application updates the city's conservation plan. He says Waukesha would return as much treated water to the lake as it removes.
Wow. Great idea. What could go wrong?

Here is some more good news. They might not get away with their cockamamie scheme to trade fresh Lake Michigan water for treated sewage. The reason? The Great Lakes Commission.

The Great Lakes Commission is an interstate compact agency that promotes the orderly, integrated and comprehensive development, use and conservation of the water and related natural resources of the Great Lakes basin and St. Lawrence River.
A very important rule enforced by the GLC is that places that lie outside the Great Lakes Watershed are forbidden to use Great Lakes water unless all member states approve. Although some of Waukesha County lies within the watershed, the City of Waukesha and most of the county do not qualify to use Lake Michigan water without GLC member state approval.  

More good news:  Some Great Lakes states still elect Democrats who give a hoot about the environment and have serious reservations about aiding and abetting White Flight suburban sprawl by bailing Waukesha out of its self created problems with good Lake Michigan water, no matter how much sewage our Republican friends offer in return. Reservations about Waukesha's application to use Lake Michigan water have been expressed by officials in both Minnesota and Illinois.  

The Great Lakes states where the Democrats still control the Executive Branch are Minnesota, Illinois and New York. Here is the contact information for all of the GLC Commissioners. Write. Email. Call.

Let the loyal Republicans of Waukesha drink radium and salt water, go thirsty or move. Don't let them have Lake Michigan water. More Republicans can only be bad for the environment.

Originally posted to LeftOfYou on Sat Oct 19, 2013 at 07:48 PM PDT.

Also republished by Michigan, My Michigan and Badger State Progressive.


Should the Great Lakes Commission Approve This?

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