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Series: Waukesha And Lake Michigan Water

The Milwaukee suburb of Waukesha received approval in 2016 to draw drinking water from Lake Michigan after a years-long bid to replace its radium-tainted groundwater supply. Waukesha became the first community not located within the Great Lakes Basin to gain access to this water source. The decision marked an historic test of the binational Great Lakes Compact between the U.S. and Canada governing use of the five lakes. As Waukesha prepares to start accessing the water by the early 2020s, controversies continue over how it will affect state and regional waterways and the precedent it sets in Great Lakes water policy.
 
In 2016, Waukesha gained approval under the Great Lakes Compact to divert water from Lake Michigan. But now cities surrounding in the U.S. and Canada are challenging the decision. Scott Gordon with WisContext discusses the legal issues at the center of the dispute.
The city of Waukesha says it's moving ahead with plans to pipe in drinking water from Lake Michigan. But there could be a snag.
Waukesha scored a victory with the historic June 21, 2016 agreement to let the Milwaukee suburb draw 8.2 million gallons per day of drinking water from Lake Michigan. But following a years-long negotiation, both the state of Wisconsin and city of Waukesha had to make some concessions.
A first of-its-kind vote at Great Lakes Compact hearing approved a diversion of water from Lake Michigan to supply the city of Waukesha.
Waukesha is in the process of gaining approval to divert Great Lakes water to the county. It would mark the first time an area outside the Great Lakes basin has been approved to use Lake Michigan water.