Challenge to Foxconn Water Diversion Moves Forward

On May 25, 2018, Midwest Environmental Advocates filed a legal action on behalf of petitioners, Milwaukee Riverkeeper, League of Women Voters of Wisconsin, River Alliance of Wisconsin and Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, to challenge Wisconsin DNR’s approval of the City of Racine’s request to divert Lake Michigan water to supply Foxconn’s proposed facility. This week, the Wisconsin DNR notified Midwest Environmental Advocates that their request for a contested case hearing had been granted. The DNR will soon be forwarding the case to the Division of Hearings and Appeals where an Administrative Law Judge will be assigned to oversee the proceedings.

Following this announcement, Foxconn released information about a planned $30 million investment for a water recycling system that will reduce their daily consumption from ~7 million gallons to around 2.5 million gallons. Despite its relatively marginal impact on Great Lakes water levels, Freshwater Future continues to oppose the diversion given the negative precedent it sets with regard to the Great Lakes Compact, which states diversions for “straddling communities” must be for public use. Foxconn is a private corporation.

From Freshwater Future’s weekly emails, Freshwater Weekly.

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The Great Lakes make up 84% of North America’s surface fresh water and about 21% of the world’s supply of surface fresh water.

The Great Lakes water system is the largest inland shipping system in the world.

The only Great Lake entirely within the U.S. is Lake Michigan.

Lake Michigan’s shores hold the largest fresh water sand dunes in the world.

The Great Lakes were formed due to glacial movements that caused depressions in the earth that eventually filled with water.

Lake Michigan and Lake Huron are considered one lake hydrologically since they are connected by the Straits of Mackinac.

Although it falls under the category of what we define as a lake, Lake Superior acts more like an inland sea.

There are 9,000-year-old animal-herding structures below Lake Huron.

The Lake Huron shoreline extends 3,827 miles and encompasses 30,000 islands. It is the longest shoreline of the Great Lakes.

The water in Lake Erie is recycled every 2.6 years, the shortest of any Great Lake.

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