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Why Conservation is Important

Water is precious because it is essential for life and it is a limited resource. Of all the water on Earth, we have only 1% to use. 97% of the planet’s water is located in the ocean and due to its salt content is not easily used for drinking. Another 2% is frozen at the poles in the form of icebergs and glaciers.

But if this reason seems too big or global, consider what is happening locally.

In the past, our primary aquifer provided an abundance of high quality water. However, that deep aquifer is covered by a thick layer of shale rock that restricts recharge by rain or snowmelt. It is also shared by many communities in southeastern Wisconsin and northeastern Illinois. Years of pumping in the region have severely reduced the level of groundwater in the aquifer, while increasing contaminants like radium. And adding or switching to shallow aquifer wells instead would have permanent adverse effects on thousands of acres of wetlands.

Our ratepayers know that continued reliance on groundwater is increasingly expensive. More importantly, it is not environmentally sustainable. We are applying to use Lake Michigan water instead, and would recycle it back to the lake after use and treatment. However, aggressive water conservation will still be required.

For all these reasons, the City of Waukesha developed a water conservation/protection plan. Our goal is to reduce the water usage by 20% by the year 2020. Regardless of our future water source, a water resource protection plan will help to protect the environment and ensure an adequate water supply for the future.

Please join us and learn what you can do to help meet our conservation goals and to protect our water supply and our natural resources.

State of Wisconsin