Coalition seeks to bring Lake Michigan water to Waukesha

The Sustainable Water Supply Coalition, an alliance of business organizations in southeastern Wisconsin, has been formed to advocate for water policy issues, including access to Lake Michigan water for the city of Waukesha.
“Our first order of business will be to help secure a sustainable source of water for the city of Waukesha,” the coalition announced. “We believe our own ‘backyard’ challenges, such as the city of Waukesha’s need to attain court-ordered radium compliance, must be solved with broad community support for this region to become a true ‘water hub.'”
The coalition’s members include the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC), the Waukesha County Chamber of Commerce, Quad/Graphics Inc. and Waukesha Memorial Hospital.
The coalition is not intended to compete with the M7 Water Council, said Steve Baas, government relations director with the MMAC and vice chair of the coalition. Instead, it is intended as an advocacy group that will focus on specific water-related issues.
“What (the coalition) is doing is on a practical project-by-project basis is to advocate on a more specific basis the philosophy that the Water Council is pushing on a more general basis,” Baas said.
Helping the city of Waukesha gain access to Lake Michigan water brought the coalition together, Baas said, because of the precedent it will set for other municipalities and counties.
“Waukesha… has the potential to serve as a template for responsible intra-basin diversions,” he said. “If you proceed from the premise that access to Great Lakes water is an economic advantage, it’s to our region’s advantage to draw who has access as broadly as possible. We want to be sure we are maximizing our regional advantage with the competitive advantage we were able to get in the (Great Lakes Water Compact).”
For more information about the coalition, visit

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