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Governor Approves Water Diversion

Jun 24, 2016

This week Governor Rick Snyder, along with seven other Great Lakes states, voted to allow Waukesha, Wisconsin to draw eight million gallons per day from Lake Michigan.  Currently the city is drawing water from the Lake Michigan Basin for their municipal water supply, treats and diverts the water to the Mississippi River Basin.  Under the approval granted, Waukesha can withdraw water directly from Lake Michigan, but now has to return all of it, with strict environmental standards, back to the Great Lakes.  To ensure they are returning 100% of the water borrowed, the city is required to document the daily, monthly, and annual amounts of water withdrawn and returned.  Additionally, all Great Lakes states can conduct audits to inspect the records and if at any point any condition is violated, the agreement can be withdrawn by any of the states.

Shortly after the announcement, Attorney General Bill Schuette issued a press release voicing his concerns with the agreement.  “I was disappointed to learn that the Governors of the Great Lakes will allow water to be diverted outside of our watershed to be used by municipalities outside of the Great Lakes basin.  The Great Lakes Compact was specifically designed to prevent the diversion of water from the Great Lakes and approving this application is setting a bad precedent.”

For more information, please visit www.Michigan.gov/waterdiversion.

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