Potential increased water need
from industrial customers like the Golden Guernsey Dairy -
now owned by Lifeway Foods - is one of the reasons why the
city is not decreasing the amount of water requested from
Freeman file photo
Waukesha won’t dial back its request for Lake Michigan water for
industrial customers, mainly because many manufacturing
businesses have plans to re-expand to their pre-9/11 levels.
In a Thursday
letter to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources,
Waukesha Water Utility General Manager Dan Duchniak justified
the city’s increase in projected water demands for industrial
customers from 0.9 million gallons per day in 2012 to 2.1
million gallons per day in 2050.
the utility spoke to 10 industrial customers, and several said
they planned to expand in the future to recoup losses they have
incurred since the economy tanked after the terrorist attacks
upon the United States on Sept. 11, 2001.
He declined to
mention any businesses specifically.
Cooper Power Systems recently announced plans for a $54 million,
almost 52,000-square-foot expansion that could add 200 new jobs
to the Badger Drive plant, and Lifeway Foods, the new owner of
the shuttered Golden Guernsey plant, has plans to hire dozens of
workers to replace the 100 who lost their jobs when the plant
closed last year.
Duchniak said that industrial demand is a small percentage of
the city’s water use - a little more than 10 percent - but just
one of those industrial customers having a significant expansion
can drastically affect how much water the city needs.
“When you try
to project out for 100 years like we’re doing, you have to
develop a margin. We build a range and choose an amount within
that range,” Duchniak said. “From a planning perspective it’s
never effective to choose the lowest alternative, because the
cost implications of being wrong are huge.
underestimate how much we need and then install a $200 million
infrastructure that includes a water main that’s too small, it
would cost us significant dollars to increase that pipe size.”
until June 2018 to implement a sustainable, radium-compliant
water source and has selected a Lake Michigan diversion as the
best option. However, since the city is outside the Great Lakes
basin, it must get approval from the governors of all eight
Great Lakes states.
decreased its initial request of an average of 10.9 million
gallons of water per day to 10.1 million gallons per day by
2050, thanks in part to studies that more accurately predict
future development in the city’s water service area, as well as
the effect of conservation.
Representatives from the Waukesha County Business Alliance
wanted to make it clear where the alliance stands on Waukesha’s
application for Lake Michigan water.
County Business Alliance continues to support the city of
Waukesha’s water application as currently proposed,” said Amanda
Payne, director of public relations and marketing for the
Business Alliance. “The Alliance feels that the application is
the best environmental decision for the region, as it will have
no impact on Great Lakes levels; will improve the quality and
level of return flow in the Root River, and provides Waukesha
with a safe and reliable water supply for the long term.”