Over the next two days, Midwest environmental groups will be touring the possible drinking water diversion route from Lake Michigan to Waukesha.
Waukesha is trying to reach a deal with Oak Creek to become the first city outside the Great Lakes basin to get Great Lakes water under a compact signed in 2008. But Peter McAvoy of the Compact Implementation Coalition says many environmentalists are concerned about small communities next to Waukesha also receiving Lake Michigan water, "This expanded service area doesn't indicate a need for water."
Waukesha says it would have to offer lake water to its neighboring towns, under orders from the state DNR. McAvoy says environmentalists from several Midwest states will be touring Waukesha this week, and also look at possible routes for treated waste water to be returned to Lake Michigan through either Underwood Creek or the Root River. This week's tour could influence debate in other Great Lakes states, which like the state of Wisconsin would have to approve the Waukesha diversion.