Waukesha Officials Set To Make Case For Lake Michigan Water Diversion

DNR Will Hear Drinking Water Proposal Next Month

Antti T. Nissinen (CC-BY)

Waukesha officials are preparing their case to get the state’s approval to obtain drinking water from Lake Michigan, but critics of the possibly precedent-setting Great Lakes diversion are ramping up too.

Dan Duchniak, general manager of Waukesha’s water utility, updated the Waukesha Common Council Tuesday night on the Department of Natural Resources’ preliminary approval for the city to pipe in Lake Michigan water. Duchniak said those who claim Waukesha has alternatives to lake water are wrong.

“Even through conserving more or changing our service area or trying to tweak this and that, we can’t get out of this,” Duchniak said. “We need a new water supply.”

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Duchniak asked the alders to testify in favor of Waukesha’s proposal at DNR public hearings next month.

Thursday, water diversion opponents are slated to release their study of an alternative that they say will save Waukesha residents almost $190 million in construction costs and taxes while supplying a growing population with safe, radium-free drinking water.