Situation: The City of Waukesha, WI, has a unique opportunity to create a long-term, sustainable, safe water supply system for its customers by drawing water from Lake Michigan and returning an equal amount to the Great Lakes Basin in cooperation with neighboring communities and leaders, using industry best practices and championing environmental stewardship.
Challenge: From the beginning, Waukesha’s need for an alternative water source was highly publicized and debated not just locally or regionally, but internationally. This led to misinformation being disseminated which complicated and threatened the program. It was clear that the program needed an identity and a strong focus to providing correct information.
Also, the return flow requires pipelines to be constructed in neighboring cities which will not directly benefit from this program. Extensive public relations, public affairs, communications, and education is needed to ensure relationships are built with stakeholders, news media, elected officials, and the public.