UPDATE: Waukesha applies to withdraw Lake Michigan water

UPDATED Monday, October 14, 2013 --- 12:10 p.m.

WAUKESHA, Wis. (AP) -- The city of Waukesha has submitted an updated application to Wisconsin's Department of Natural Resources for permission to use Lake Michigan for its drinking water.

The Milwaukee-area community is under a federal order to find a new source because the underground aquifer it uses is tainted with radon.

The city is only 15 miles from Lake Michigan but outside its watershed, although it's in a county that straddles the line. A regional compact requires that such outliers get permission from all eight states that drain into the Great Lakes before withdrawing their water.

Dan Duchniak of the Waukesha Water Utility said Monday that the revised application updates the city's conservation plan. He says Waukesha would return as much treated water to the lake as it removes.

Copyright 2013. The Associated Press.


Posted Tuesday, October 8, 2013 --- 2:04 p.m.

WAUKESHA, Wis. (AP) -- The Wisconsin city of Waukesha was once known for its mineral-rich springs. But now its underground aquifer is polluted. So the city wants to draw from Lake Michigan, only 15 miles away.

But there's a catch.

It's illegal to tap into the Great Lakes from outside their watershed unless the eight states in the region agree. Waukesha has the hard luck to lie just beyond the watershed boundary. So it's preparing to seek permission.

City officials say Lake Michigan is the only reasonable alternative. They say they'll return virtually all the water they take.

But skeptics fear setting a precedent that could lead other cities to make the same request.

It's a sensitive issue in a region where fresh water is an economic advantage over the Sun Belt.

Copyright 2013. The Associated Press.

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