“Great Lakes states are so zealous about guarding their increasingly valuable natural resource from thirsty outsiders that all eight of the region’s governors had to sign off before an inland Wisconsin city was allowed to siphon water out of Lake Michigan,” Michael Hawthorne reports for The Chicago Tribune. “Less than a year after Waukesha secured permission to withdraw more than 7 million gallons a day from the lake, Taiwan-based Foxconn Technology Group could end up winning access to a similar amount of fresh water for its new Wisconsin factory with merely a stroke of a pen from Gov. Scott Walker, the company’s chief political sponsor.”

“Foxconn’s bid for Lake Michigan water is the latest test of the decade-old Great Lakes Compact, an agreement among the region’s states intended to make it almost impossible to direct water outside the natural basin of the Great Lakes unless it is added to certain products, such as beer and soft drinks,” Hawthorne reports. “At issue with both Waukesha and Foxconn is an exemption that allows limited diversions outside the basin for ‘a group of largely residential customers that may also serve industrial, commercial, and other institutional operators.'”

“Waukesha, a city of 70,000 west of Milwaukee, lies fully outside the basin but is within a county that straddles the meandering subcontinental divide that separates areas of the Midwest that drain into the Great Lakes from those where water flows toward the Mississippi River. Foxconn’s plant would be built on top of the divide,” Hawthorne reports. “Lawyers, activists and politicians who drafted the compact are split on whether Foxconn’s bid violates the spirit, if not the actual language, of the agreement, which they hammered out in 2008 after an Ontario firm unveiled plans to ship 158 million gallons a year from Lake Superior to Asia.”

“Cameron Davis, who served as Great Lakes czar for former President Barack Obama, noted the amount of Lake Michigan water that would be diverted for Foxconn is tiny when compared with the volume of the lake,” Hawthorne reports. “The bigger question about Foxconn, Davis said, is whether Wisconsin ensures the factory is prevented from releasing toxic pollution into the lake.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Hopefully, the water returned to the lake will be at least as clean as when it was withdrawn.

President Trump gives remarks at groundbreaking of Apple supplier Foxconn’s $10 billion Wisconsin factory – June 28, 2018
President Trump announces Apple supplier Foxconn’s $10 billion investment in Wisconsin and up to 13,000 jobs – July 27, 2017
President Trump to announce Apple-supplier Foxconn manufacturing plant in Wisconsin today at 5pm EDT – July 26, 2017
Apple supplier Foxconn nearing decision to build plant in Wisconsin to produce display panels – July 25, 2017
Made in America iPhones, after all? Apple supplier Foxconn considering iPhone plant in Wisconsin – June 15, 2017
China Premier Li visits Apple supplier Foxconn after CEO’s meeting with President Trump – May 10, 2017
Foxconn-Sharp considering LCD plant in USA, plans in response to President-elect Trump’s ‘Make in America’ call – January 13, 2017

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “Arline M.” for the heads up.]