The negotiations between the cities of Milwaukee and Waukesha for fresh water have gone dry.
The Milwaukee Common Council voted today to only negotiate to provide water from Lake Michigan to Waukesha’s current water service area.
The Milwaukee Common Council is refusing to negotiate based on Waukesha’s future water service area – set by officials with the Southeast Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (SEWRPC) – because it includes properties in the Town of Waukesha, Town of Genesee, Town of Delafield and the City of Pewaukee.
“We are disappointed that Milwaukee prematurely killed this opportunity to negotiate a historic regional cooperation agreement with Waukesha,” said Waukesha interim City Administrator Steve Crandell in a prepared statement. “The DNR (Department of Natural Resources) and SEWRPC have both made it clear that neither Milwaukee nor Waukesha has the authority to change the service area. In spite of this Milwaukee has refused to negotiate to provide water to the area we are obligated to serve under the state law that adopted the Great Lakes Compact. It is illegal, under state law, to restrict the service area by municipal boundaries.”
The impasse could clear the way for Waukesha to negotiate a water agreement with Oak Creek or Racine.
Any plan to divert water from Lake Michigan to the Waukesha area would require approval by the eight states in the Great Lakes Compact, because Waukesha is located outside of the Lake Michigan water basin.
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