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Read
the DNR's preliminary final EIS for the proposed city of Waukesha water diversion [PDF].
Read
the DNR's Technical Review for the proposed city of Waukesha water diversion [PDF].
Refer
to the Great Lakes Council decision on the proposed City of Waukesha water diversion [PDF exit DNR].
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Contact information
For information on the DNR's review of this project, contact:
Ben Callan
608-266-3524

City of Waukesha water diversion

Following the DNR's technical review and environmental impact statement analysis, the city of Waukesha's Great Lakes Diversion Application was conditionally approved by the Great Lakes - St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact Council (Compact Council) in June 2016. To address water quantity and water quality concerns, the city of Waukesha (Waukesha) sought an exception from the prohibition of diversions under the in order to use Lake Michigan for the city’s drinking water source. The Compact Council approved Waukesha’s Diversion Application in June 2016 with conditions that included:

  • a reduced diversion volume of 8.2 million gallons per day;
  • a smaller diversion area of only the area currently served by the Waukesha Water Utility;
  • monitoring wastewater impacts to the Root River; and
  • annual reporting to the Great Lakes states and provinces on the diversion.

The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative requested a hearing from the Compact Council on the Waukesha diversion approval in August 2016. The Council reviewed the petition and in April 2017 voted to not open the Waukesha Diversion Decision for reconsideration.

Waukesha has begun the process to obtain all required federal, state and local permits and approvals necessary to construct andvoperate a diversion of Lake Michigan water. Waukesha changed its plan to obtain water from the Oak Creek Water Utility, and now plans to obtain Lake Michigan water from the city of Milwaukee and discharge treated wastewater to the Root River. Waukesha expects to submit its first permit application to the DNR in 2018.

Prior to the issuance of permits or a final diversion approval, the DNR must make publicly available a final EIS (fEIS) and a Wisconsin Environmental Policy Act Compliance Determination. The fEIS will include updated information on the current proposed project. Waukesha submitted to the DNR a supplemental environmental impact report (EIR) on March 23, 2018 [PDF]. The DNR will use information in the updated EIR in the development of the fEIS.

The DNR will issue a final diversion approval once all required permits are issued. The final diversion approval will include all conditions of the approval required by the Compact Council. Construction of the pipeline to Waukesha is currently planned to be completed by 2023.

Last revised: Friday April 13 2018