So Waukesha is trying to set a terrible precedent in water politics: It's applying to receive the first exemption to the 2008 Great Lakes Compact, a multi-state agreement that forbid the draining of the Great Lakes. This legally-binding compact was mainly fueled by concerns about water-starved regions far to the south, in the Sun Belt, pleading for resources. But Waukesha has proven that even towns just a few dozen miles from the world's greatest body of fresh water can beggar themselves.
James Rowen at the Political Environment reports that after years of political tussling with its neighbors, Waukesha has completed its application for Great Lakes water, and now the approval process is moving forward:
The decision-making process on the exemption will likely be politically-charged. Waukesha is a well-known national Republican stronghold, its growth largely fueled by people moving away from areas closer to the city of Milwaukee. In Governor Scott Walker's Wisconsin, it's unclear whether state's weakened DNR, where the words "climate change" are reportedly off limits, will be an impartial actor. Meanwhile, to win an exemption from the Great Lakes Compact, the plan will also need the support of eight governors -- a majority of whom are Republicans.
Elsewhere on the Network today: The Dirt examines the tracks records of various models of urban growth boundaries around the country. On Jane Jacobs' birthday, Market Urbanism reflects on her ideological legacy. And Seattle Transit Blog explains the political reasons why rail projects in the region often have more appeal to transit advocates than bus projects.
With fatal crashes on Valencia in San Francisco, Lakeshore and International in Oakland (five in the past week on various streets Oakland), it seems like time to highlight some good news in the midst of the despair