The Water Problems in Wisconsin

Post 57 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.

I promised to begin reviewing by the particulars of a 12.15.15 discussion of waste importation. I’ll hold off to share news about a series just published over the weekend about environmental risks to Wisconsin’s water supply. Environmental issues are a huge topic for Wisconsinites elsewhere in the state – and in those places they attract concern from all parts of the political spectrum.

This series has been going on for a bit now, and one of the things that strikes me about the discussion in Whitewater, Wisconsin is that for full-time officials it takes place as though there were no other developments anywhere else in the state or nation (except occasional, brief & inapplicable mentions of supposedly successful projects outside the city).

One could say that part of this problem is one of the press – that the area near Whitewater is a black hole for good reporting – but that’s only part of the problem. One could say that some full-time officials who tout waste importation are ignorant, but that’s only part of the problem. For a place like Whitewater, it seems clear that some topics don’t come up because some officials – despite formal schooling – simply shy from considering them, or concoct nutty theories of biology, etc. (There’s more of the latter in the 12.15.15 discussion.)

Elsewhere in Wisconsin, there’s far less quiet, and far more discussion.See, Despite state efforts, arsenic continues to poison many private wells in Wisconsin.

(Whitewater postscript : Throughout this series, local full-time officials have repeated the same irrelevant claims, and the same false claims, no matter how often refuted. Part of the value of the discussion at the 12.15.15 meeting is to show how someone like Whitewater’s wastewater superintendent simply repeats falsehoods and refuted claims with abandon. Taking his remarks over these years, word by word, and showing them to others would, by itself, be a memorial of municipal mendacity. So, to be clear: I’m not alleging there’s arsenic in Whitewater’s water; I’m showing the clip to illustrate that Wisconsinites are concerned about environmental issues, generally. It’s a growing topic across party lines in other parts of the state.)