Testimony for the City of Waukesha’s Water Application

This week, the Alliance will be in Madison to testify in support of Assembly Bill 281 which relates to the water supply service area by the Great Lakes Council. The bill, which was introduced by Representatives Allen and Neylon and co-sponsored by Senator Kapenga, says a diversion area set by the Great Lakes governors, acting as the Great Lakes Council, shall be the water supply service area for purposes of state law.

In June 2016, Waukesha had its application to borrow and return Lake Michigan water unanimously approved by the Great Lakes governors under the Compact. The diversion area approved by the Great Lakes governors is smaller than what had been proposed by regional planners. The bill only affects water supply service areas in communities that obtain a diversion that is approved by the Great Lakes governors under the Compact.

The Alliance has been a long-standing supporter of the city’s quest for Lake Michigan water. The city’s proposal was thoroughly vetted by our Infrastructure policy committee, our Policy Board and the Alliance Board of Directors.  We’ve spent years updating and educating our entire membership about this issue.  Support for the city’s water application has been widespread among our members. Many years of study and hard work went into developing Waukesha’s water application and gaining approval from the Great Lakes Council.  Now, in order to avoid any potential conflicts between the Council’s determination and state law, the Alliance supports AB-281.