Governors to vote on city’s request for Lake Michigan water

Published 10:17 am Monday, June 20, 2016

WAUKESHA, Wis. — A Wisconsin city’s unprecedented request to draw its water supply from Lake Michigan has met some late opposition from U.S. and Canadian mayors within the Great Lakes basin.

The eight Great Lakes governors are scheduled to meet Tuesday in Chicago for a final vote on Waukesha’s $207 million plan to tap lake water and return fully treated wastewater.

The Milwaukee suburb would be the first U.S. community outside the Great Lakes drainage basin to use lake water since a compact to protect the Great Lakes became law in 2008.

Email newsletter signup

Mayors across the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Basin are urging the governors to reject Waukesha’s request. Racine Mayor John Dickert says the city has reasonable alternatives to provide safe drinking water.

Waukesha is making the request because of radium-contaminated wells.