Undercurrents: beneath the obvious

November 15, 2006

Water czar will lead efforts to conserve (Wisconsin)

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports on Wisconsin’s Governor Jim Doyle’s Conserve Wisconsin Agenda, that focuses on protecting Wisconsin’s waters, conserving land and ensuring sustainable energy. The Public Service Commission and the state Department of Natural Resources working with an advisory group of environmentalists, utility and government officials, farmers and industrialists put together a report as a framework for conservation.

The report, entitled “A Menu of Demand Side Initiatives for Water Utilities,” was presented to the Special Committee on Great Lakes Water Resource Compact. The committee is charged with recommending to the Legislature how it should proceed with an initiative among the Great Lake states and Canadian providences to tighten rules for water withdrawals.Driving the call for new regulations is fear that dry states and commercial interests outside the Great Lakes basin want to tap into the large water resource.

Caught up in the wash are communities such as Waukesha that want to abandon their failing wells and withdraw Lake Michigan water but are technically outside the surface-water boundaries.

One aspect of the compact is a call for water conservation on state and local levels.

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