Waukesha Water, Milwaukee Water | Wis.Community

Waukesha Water, Milwaukee Water

I'm not one to draw attention to "Comments" in a media website, but the Comments on this article were illuminating in the sad way of modern political discussion. Raw, hurting, angry, and often devoid of fact.

So, stepping in where only fools dare, I have added my own Comment:

Reading this discussion would make a visitor from Europe believe Waukesha and Milwaukee have nothing in common. The vitriol shouted back and forth across the County lines, however, is only the beginning of the discussion that could actually benefit both counties.

First of all, we ought to recognize how regional thinking could benefit both counties. Milwaukee wants political support to improve its public transportation. Waukesha wants Lake Michigan water.

Milwaukee has a vital interest in making its own city more dense, livable, walkable and less car-dependent. I know no one in Milwaukee who wants our workers to move to Waukesha, but I do know that some employers in Waukesha and Wauwatosa would like to figure out how to get low pay workers into their shops and factories.

The history of Waukesha includes (in my own time) adverts for water-based sodas that proclaimed "made with Waukesha spring water." Restoring the aquifers could bring this water back, but it will take a collaborative effort on the part of the entire region - an effort that would include a sensible use of water resources in Waukesha. Unfortunately developing farmland into water-dependent lawns was a mistake. But it is a mistake that can be partially corrected with appropriate use of the land, such as the planting of native plants that thrive in a variety of yearly rainfalls.

If people living in Waukesha can collaborate on a project like this they could restore their waters. Returning the land in Waukesha to a large percentage of native plantings would complete the circle of history, a circle that just might also restore the wonderful springs of Waukesha county.

Envision Waukesha County a model of prairie and woodland restorations. Instead of investing in a pipe, why not subsidize a county-wide effort to turn lawns to gardens? Conservation of water is the cheap solution.

Milwaukee needs to grow internally; Waukesha needs to be self-reliant. These are regional problems and need regional solutions.

Bill Sell


April 17, 2010 - 10:20am