Waukesha's new agreement with Oak Creek to purchase water from Lake Michigan will affect the DNR's review of Waukesha's Great Lakes diversion request.
Waukesha is trying to become the first city outside the Great Lakes basin to get lake water under terms of the 2008 Great Lakes compact. In a deal reached this week, Waukesha would pay Oak Creek for water, and also spend about 180-million dollars on construction costs.
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The DNR's Eric Ebersberger is helping review Waukesha's application for state approval. He says the DNR can now compare price tags with Waukesha getting water from the Mississippi River basin.
"We're using a factor of 30-percent, so anything within 30-percent, we would look at as being similar to the Oak Creek alternative, but then there are also other criteria that come in after the cost determination, such as 'is it as environmentally sustainable?' or, 'is it as protective of public health?'"
Ebersberger says his agency also wants to hear more about a tentative plan to use the Root River to send treated wastewater back to Lake Michigan.