Jeff Rumbaugh for Governor

The Great Lakes III

Waukesha does not really need to have up to 8.2 million gallons of Lake Michigan drinking water pumped to it at all. Waukesha has reasonable water supply alternatives. When faced with high radium content in their water supplies over forty other communities in Wisconsin were able to treat their water supplies and provide potable water to their customers years ago without going through a major diversionary pipeline.  Some quite laudable water conservation measures implemented by the city of Waukesha, leaving them very close to having enough water today for their existing customers. Why doesn’t Waukesha look at getting water from the nearby city of Pewaukee? Why not build a pipeline to neighboring towns like Delafield and pump water to Waukesha from there? Surely the town of Genesee could be a source of potable water within the Mississippi River Basin that would be far easier to access via construction of a pipeline to their water supply, and with no need for approvals from the eight State Governors. Waukesha should only ask for the amount of water they need to remedy their existing lack of “adequate supplies of potable water.” Molly Flanagan, VP of Policy at the Alliance For the Great Lakes, states that the City of Waukesha should not be granted access to water diversion from Lake Michigan for three main reasons: Waukesha does not justify why it needs so much more water than it is currently using. Waukesha does not consider all alternatives to provide potable water for it’s residents and also Waukesha proposes to divert Great Lakes water to communities that do not need Great Lakes water and have not requested it. Former Racine Mayor John Dickert states, “this is an issue bigger than all of us…the war for water has just begun.” Allowing Waukesha to divert water has set a bad precedent and will lead to more instances where arguments could be made allowing other areas to apply for a diversion. We cannot allow the Great Lakes to be privatized. As Governor, I will veto such measures, and begin finding practical and safe alternatives for drinking water in the name of all that is sacred on this Earth.