Cheaper to switch to Dom Perignon
When discussing water in Waukesha, what often gets lost in the shouting is that this isn’t a new issue. It’s been studied a long time, and unfortunately Lake Michigan is the best option. We may have to look at the other options if our application fails, but if we’re going for Lake Michigan water the time to do it is now because of how long it will take to get it.
Candidate for mayor Jeff Scrima has been touting a plan to avoid looking for water elsewhere by planning to use wells, the Fox River and nearby quarries. Scrima’s plan got a thorough examination thanks to Alderman Paul Ybarra, and it’s $32 million more than getting water from Lake Michigan.
Nelson pointed out that Scrima’s alternative is the more expensive than the three options proposed by the city after years of research.
“I think there is some significant facts in this study,” Nelson said. “What Mr. Scrima has been publicly proposing would cost taxpayers $32 million more than the Lake Michigan option that we have been suggesting.”
The city has been studying the future water supply for eight years, Duchniak said, and determined the cheapest option would be Lake Michigan.
Due to a drawdown in the city’s groundwater source, the city is faced with declining quality and quantity. The more the city pulls from the deep aquifer, the more the water needs to be treated for contaminants.
The city is ordered to remove radium from its water supply by June 2018, and it is working on a timetable to develop the future water supply. The Common Council is expected to make a decision about the city’s water supply option in late 2010.
If the city chooses the Lake Michigan option, the city has an 18-month window after the projected construction completion date to meet the radium deadline.
Next Scrima will suggest we start storing water in mineshafts.
Of course, none of the planning takes into account how much the neighboring communities will fight Waukesha when, as predicted, the extra straws Waukesha sticks in the ground start to affect the surface bodies of water. Not every community will roll over like the Town of Waukesha did recently. When the wells start to run dry and Pewaukee Lake becomes Pewaukee Puddle, what kind of costs will all those lawsuits bring?
Some issues are just too important for politicians to play games with. It’s nice that Scrima wants to be liked and tells everyone want they want to hear, but it doesn’t mean we have to believe him.