Flooding from Extreme Climate Events Ignored, Prohibited: You don't have to believe in climate change to prevent flooding in the future. So after we've seen the rare and unusually heavy rain event that flooded Middleton, Cross Plains, Black Earth, and Mazomanie, wouldn't it be just as wise to lessen the effects of stormwater runoff? Forget that, if you're Scott Walker.
The Walker administrations outright attack on local control should now be hitting home for many dealing with the aftermath of flooding, because it's going to affect and cost you a bundle. Walker has set us up for future disasters, but by then no one will remember how it happened. Here's a story from last May 2018 that sounds like it could have been written today:
State Journal: Legislation signed by Gov. Scott Walker limits the ability of local governments to regulate stormwater runoff. The governor and Legislature prohibited local ordinances from requiring on-site retention of more than 90 percent of the difference between the pre- and post-development annual runoff from a site.So after all the flooding, Walker only wants to make things worse, instead of better, or even reconsidering the wisdom of the prohibition? Sure.
Flood risks are increasing throughout the world. Wisconsin has always been a leader in managing flood risk. A local municipality’s ability to protect the public safety and property of its residents requires the ability to control stormwater quantity and flooding, based on local conditions.
For example, land development has greatly increased water levels in Stricker, Tiedeman, and Esser ponds in Middleton. To prevent local flooding, all three ponds have been equipped with the capacity to drain into Lake Mendota during wet periods, increasing the flood risk in the Yahara lakes. Middleton’s current stormwater ordinance requires new developments maintain the pre-development runoff amount. This requirement is no longer allowed by Act 243.
The recent stormwater management legislation is counter to this tradition. Section 61 of Act 243 should be repealed. -Ken Potter is a professor emeritus in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UW-Madison.
Oh, we can't forget this now important possibility...