By Sarah Coefield, firstname.lastname@example.org
Great Lakes Echo
May 22, 2009
A Great Lakes water diversion to replace a Wisconsin city’s radium-contaminated wells has been both hailed as a responsible application of new water use regulations and blasted as unwarranted and precipitous. New Berlin is the first city with residents outside of the Great Lakes basin to receive water under the latest version of the Great Lakes Compact, a federal agreement approved by bordering states and ratified by Congress in 2008. The diversion was approved Thursday by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Because New Berlin is both inside and outside of the basin — the land that drains to the Great Lakes – Wisconsin had sole discretion in approving the city’s application. Cities completely outside the basin must receive approval from all the Great Lakes states. Under Wisconsin’s conservation standards, New Berlin will return all the water it withdraws from Lake Michigan and also contribute local water to the lake. That net gain for Lake Michigan represents a successful application of the Great Lakes Compact, Andy Buchsbaum, executive director of the National Wildlife Federation’s Great Lakes region, said Friday.