Smith said, "Our goal for this report is to provide the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources an objective scientific evaluation of the Waukesha diversion application. The report focuses on conservation measures, demand forecast, and environmental impacts of withdrawals." The diversion application is the first since the Great Lakes Compact passed in 2008. Waukesha is eligible to apply for Great Lakes water because it lies within a county that straddles the Great Lakes and Mississippi River divide. That county, Waukesha County in southeastern Wisconsin, is located 18 miles west of Milwaukee and Lake Michigan.
Smith said, "The Great Lakes Compact is clear on what is expected of any diversion application. We support the thorough review of the application by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Our report indicates that as of today, Waukesha does not show the burden of proof in this application." The precedent-setting application must not only stand up to the scrutiny of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, but must undergo regional review by the governors of the seven Great Lakes states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York and the Canadian premiers of Ontario and Quebec. Applications for exceptions in straddling counties must also be approved by all eight of the governors.
Access a release from NWF and link to the complete 35-page report and a blog posting (click here). [GLakes/Diversion]