Great Lakes governors weigh WI city’s request for Lake Michigan water

Jan 12, 2016

Governors of the eight Great Lakes States will soon have to decide wheter or not to allow the city of Waukesha, Wisconsin to start drawing its water from Lake Michigan. The city says its water supply is tainted by radium and that Lake Michigan water is its only viable alternative, but some environmentalists worry about setting a precedent for cities outside of the basin using Great Lakes Water. We talk with Jon Allan of the Michigan Office of the Great Lakes.

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Jon Allen is director of Michigan’s Office of the Great Lakes.
Credit Courtesy photo / Michigan Office of the Great Lakes

The Great Lakes hold 20-percent of the world’s fresh surface water, and the eight states and two Canadian provinces that border the lakes are pretty protective of that water. Perhaps that’s why an application from Waukesha, Wisconsin to draw drinking water from Lake Michigan is generating controversy. The city says Lake Michigan is its only viable source for safe drinking water, but some environmentalists are urging the governors of the Great Lakes states to deny that request.

Current State talks to Director of Michigan’s Office of the Great Lakes Jon Allan about why Waukesha is looking to Lake Michigan for water.

This segment is supported by Michigan State University's Knight Center for Environmental Journalism. More news about the Great Lakes environment can be found at GreatLakesEcho.org and on Current State every Tuesday as part of our partnership.