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Milwaukee's Regional Partnership Initiative Umbrella: Come in Out of the Rain

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Recently the Milwaukee region completed an update to the region's 208 regional water quality management plan and 201 facilities plan for the regional sewerage district's assets and the region's watersheds. Cultural changes embodied in never-before agency integration, first-time watershed-based problem identification, and efforts that drove a sea-change in public sentiment were significant. In this context, these integrated plans underscored that polluted stormwater runoff from urban and agricultural land uses is the largest source of pollutants to Lake Michigan in the Greater Milwaukee Watersheds – a finding often asserted but until now not supported. As this paper will demonstrate, this was a gargantuan finding in and of itself for a wastewater utility, and a seemingly endless path to embark upon to supplement traditional wastewater infrastructure improvements with non-traditional green solutions catalyzed through partnership activities. Yet, embark we must.

It was quickly realized that to address these findings, a coordinated effort among many different groups would be necessary. This realization spawned the idea of the Milwaukee Regional Partnership (Milwaukee RPI) as a means to work together within nature's watersheds to efficiently meet the region's water resource challenges.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2008

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