City council will issue a protest to the diversion of water from the Great Lakes tonight for a Wisconsin city.
The city of Waukesha in late June was given a green light to divert water from Lake Michigan for its drinking water supply after eight representatives from the states that border the Great Lakes voted unanimously to allow the diversion. A single no vote would have scuttled the city’s plan.
Waukesha is the first city to apply for a diversion of Great Lakes water since a ban on such practices was enacted in 2008. The city, located about 17 miles west of Lake Michigan, is faced with a drinking water crisis, as wells supplying its water have been found for several years to contain levels of the radioactive element radium that exceed regulatory limits set by the Safe Drinking Water Act.
The Great Lakes Compact (http://www.glslcompactcouncil.org/) prohibits diverting water from Lake Michigan and the other the Great Lakes outside of the Great Lakes watershed, where bodies of water form a drainage basin that feeds into the lakes. The law was approved by all eight governors of states within the watershed: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.