Post 22 in a series. When Green Turns Brown is an examination of a small town’s digester-energy project, in which Whitewater, Wisconsin would import other cities’ waste, claiming that the result would be both profitable and green.
In the three previous posts, I considered the city-imposed focus of Donohue’s work, with its emphasis on selling water as a commodity (The Scope of Donohue’s Work, Part 1 and Part 2), and the nearby failure of a waste digester despite Consultants, Presentations, Politicians, Funding, and Construction.
It’s worth observing that in no published presentation have either City Manager Clapper or Wastewater Superintendent Reel mentioned the use of the wastewater facility for this principal purpose, despite Donohue’s admission that this was a key goal of city officials.
This admission would be, in fact, the second time that City Manager Clapper’s claim that the wastewater facility project is a mere upgrade is easily refuted: He earlier claimed the project was an upgrade, and involved no changes of kind, despite a by-design effort to turn Whitewater into an importer of other cities’ unwanted waste. (See, The City of Whitewater Digester Clarification That Could Use a Clarification.) A project that was said to be a mere upgrade is shown to be, once again, actually very different: a plan that would sell water to a power plant, for example.
That kind of expanded, different use brings with it new environmental and health risks.
There’s a large amount of ongoing research and investigatory journalism in Wisconsin about the use of water, and dangers to water, and I’ll address those reports later in this series. For today, though, I’ll walk briefly through the door that the actual strategic goals of this wastewater project have opened: by embedding a documentary film about water.
In the film below, Troubled Water, one sees generally the threats to a water supply through government or government-business schemes. (The specific problems Wisconsin faces, and an examination of the geology of our own area, will come later.)
For today, a mere prelude to all that: Troubled Water.