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DNR Completes Final Environmental Impact Statement on the Proposed Waukesha Great Lakes Water Diversion

Contact(s): Raechelle Belli, 608-264-8942,

December 13, 2019 at 2:08:40 pm

MADISON, Wis. - The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has completed a Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the City of Waukesha's proposal to divert water from Lake Michigan for its municipal water supply. The project would also return treated wastewater to Lake Michigan via the Root River.

The Final EIS [PDF] is the result of a multi-year analysis of the environmental impacts of the proposed project and alternatives. Public comments and feedback were elicited throughout the EIS process, and as part of the DNR's review of Waukesha's application for a Great Lakes diversion.

The DNR made the EIS available for public review on Aug. 2 and accepted comments for 45 days. A summary of these comments and DNR's responses are in the comment-response document [PDF]. The DNR revised the EIS based on comments received, as well as updated information on the proposed project. The Final EIS and supporting materials can be found on the DNR's Waukesha water diversion webpage, or by searching the DNR website,, for "Waukesha diversion."

The DNR is issuing a Waterway and Wetland permit for the construction of water supply and return flow pipelines. The DNR also reviewed the City of Waukesha's application to reissue its WPDES wastewater permit, which includes conditions and requirements for the discharge of treated wastewater to the Root River. Other permits and approvals will also be required. More information can be found on the DNR's Waukesha water diversion permits review webpage.

In June 2016, the Great Lakes Compact Council approved the City of Waukesha's request to divert 8.2 million gallons per day under the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact. Before the project can begin, the DNR must issue a final diversion approval.

Last Revised: Friday, December 13, 2019

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