Lake MI water diversion foe: alternatives exist

Jun 10, 2016

Later this month, Governors of the Great Lakes states will decide on a proposed Lake Michigan water diversion. Environmentalists and other opponents say the community of Waukesha has options that are being dismissed. We talk with one of those opponents.

Credit Lloyd Degrane

On Tuesday of this week, Current State heard from a supporter of a request by the city of Waukesha, Wisconsin to divert water from Lake Michigan because of radium in its local water supply. Great Lakes governors will vote on the request, made in accordance with the Great Lakes Compact in 11 days.

Those supporters and a review board say the city’s request is justified by sound science, and in May, the 10-member Great Lakes Compact Council recommended approval.

However, environmentalists and many others oppose the request for various reasons. They claim alternatives to a diversion exist, including ongoing treatment of contaminated water and conservation.

Current State speaks with Peter McAvoy, an attorney and MSU graduate who’s spent more than three decades working on environmental issues. He offers legal counsel to the Compact Implementation Coalition, a group of environmental groups which opposes Waukesha’s request.