Time for another round of “how low can you go?”
Let’s start at home with Gov. Scott Walker, his cronies and their recent midnight proposals to put our state’s drinking water in jeopardy of creating another Flint, Michigan crisis.
Assembly Bill 554/Senate 432, known by some as “The Fast Path to Water Privatization,” would allow private, out-of-state, for-profit conglomerates to take over our municipal water systems.
Presently, by law, local community citizens must vote to permit the sale of public water systems because their property taxes paid to build and maintain the system. These bills would take away the democratic right of citizens to protect their own water supplies. Once again guys, for violating your duties to your constituents.
Also related to our water resources has been the alarming growth of high capacity wells. In 1950 there were fewer than 100 high capacity wells in the Central Sands region. Now, there are more than 3,000.
Thanks to a judicial ruling in September 2014, the DNR was required to consider the cumulative impact on an area’s groundwater before granting a new high capacity well permit. In 2014, the DNR approved 690 wells. The following year, that number dropped to 250 wells.
Right now, Republicans are pushing a little known bill, AB874/SB239, that would basically eliminate the DNR in the permitting process, grant permanent rights to existing wells and allow any number of wells to be situated on a single property. There is one farm in central Wisconsin that has applied for 49 such wells with no liability as to how this may affect the well water of others.
If enacted, this bill would open the floodgates for high capacity wells in Wisconsin.
How much lower can we go in Wisconsin?