Waukesha Water Utility Taking Great Lakes Project to National Politicians
Waukesha will seek $50 million in grants for Lake Michigan water project.
Could Waukesha get federal funding to help build its pipeline to Oak Creek to purchase Lake Michigan water?
Waukesha Water Utility General Manager Dan Duchniak will soon travel to Washington, D.C., to meet with top Wisconsin political figures as the city will seek $50 million in grants, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Waukesha Water Utility staff have frequently said they will seek grants as they work on a massive project addressing Waukesha’s water quality.
Waukesha is planning a $183 million pipeline to Oak Creek to address problems with its declining water quality and water supply.
The Waukesha Water Utility spent a year-and-a-half in negotiations with Oak Creek and Racine over getting Lake Michigan water. Waukesha still faces a long climb to get Lake Michigan water, including gaining approval from all Great Lakes states. The application remains pending with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources after nearly three years.
Waukesha is outside of the Great Lakes Basin but is in a community within a county that straddles the Great Lakes Basin, which requires Waukesha to return Lake Michigan water to the Great Lakes. It also requires approval by all Great Lakes states under the terms of the Great Lakes Compact.
Waukesha is forced to either treat or replace its water supply by 2018 because radium levels have put the city's water supply out of legal compliance. The city's wells also face problems with declining water quality due to arsenic and saltwater and with a limited groundwater supply.