And while Ohio and the six Great Lakes states other than Wisconsin do not yet have Waukesha's application in hand - - the WI DNR may wrap up the plan's review by the end of the year - - the early criticism is significant because all eight US Great Lakes states must approve a diversion application like Waukesha's, and a single "no" vote by a Great Lakes state Governor sinks the bid.
Add to an earlier negative editorial in the Toledo,(OH), Blade another editorial caution from the Akron, (OH), Beacon Journal:
What John Kasich and his fellow governors must weigh is the precedent that could be set, the potential for opening doors to others, the compact put at risk. The governors must take care in their analyses and decision-making.
One key measure of a diversion request involves whether the amount of water is reasonable in view of the applicant’s needs. Waukesha wants to divert between 10.1 million gallons per day and 16.7 million gallons per day. A recent independent assessment noted that water demand in the city has been declining the past three decades, with average daily use between 6.7 million gallons and 11.1 million gallons. A fair question has been raised by environmental groups: Why such a gap between the current use and the proposed diversion?The Blade's editorial, "Put away the straw," was tougher:
The diversion plan would violate the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact, the 2008 agreement among the eight states that border the lakes to protect their water. Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder have every reason to exercise their authority under the compact to veto the plan.
These concerns and comments from outside Wisconsin are not a surprise.
While much attention quite logically has been paid to the diversion application in and near Waukesha, there has always been a larger audience watching with statutory veto power across the US Great Lakes region - - and into Canada where two provinces participate as advisers only - - as I noted on this blog again after a recent diversion hearing in Waukesha:
Simon Belisle, a representative of the Chicago-based Great Lakes & St. Lawrence Cities Initiative - - a US-Canadian coalition representing 117 regional municipalities - - said his members believed the application's expanded service territory was "contrary to the terms of the Great Lakes Compact."
The cities' coalition doesn't have a vote on the application, but it represents a lot of people in Great Lakes states where Governors will eventually cast ballots.
Take a look for yourself - - outside of Wisconsin you've got Chicago, Toledo, OH, Erie, PA, Flint, MI, Rochester, NY, Duluth, MN, Hammond, IN, and more.It appears as if Waukesha, and the Wisconsin DNR if it sends the application on to the other states for their formal review have got quite a sales job on their hands.
For the record, I refer you to this 2012 blog posting:
TUESDAY, JULY 24, 2012