Earth Ministry / Sustainability

Green Sanctuary

UUCW is a certified Green Sanctuary Church, a congregation that lives out its commitment to the Earth by creating a sustainable life style for its Members as individuals and as a faith community. Sustainable living is not about our material comfort, (though these choices are an important part of the overall life style); it is about choosing to live in a way that nurtures life, builds relationships, and rejects material consumption as the sole determinant of happiness.

Five Goals of Earth Ministry

  1. Promote awareness of societal issues for UUs
  2. Generate commitment for personal lifestyle changes
  3. Motivate UUs to community action on environmental issues
  4. Build a connection between spiritual practice and environmental consciousness
  5. Build awareness of and rectify environmental injustices

Earth Ministry Calendar

Learn about the Cool Choices game at UUCW, a fun way to promote sustainability.

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Read about UUCW's recycling efforts.

Waukesha Water Diversion

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After 3 years, the City of Waukesha has finally submitted its revised Great Lakes diversion application proposing to divert an average of 10 million gallons of water per day from Lake Michigan to Waukesha.

Why is there so much attention being paid to Waukesha's proposed Great Lakes diversion?
Waukesha is the first test case of the Great Lakes Compact, which was established to ensure that Great Lakes water stays in the Great Lakes. And thus, Waukesha's application will set a precedent for all future water diversions out of the Great Lakes, not only for Wisconsin but for the entire Great Lakes Region.

Position of the Compact Implementation Coalition
The Compact Implementation Coalition, comprised of conservation and environmental organizations, works for effective implementation of the Great Lakes Compact in Wisconsin. Our Coalition is not for or against diversions of water from the Great Lakes basin. Our goal is to protect the integrity of the Compact, which prohibits diversions except under limited circumstances and only as a last resort; protects and manages this magnificent resource in a unified manner; and requires the adoption and implementation of strong water conservation measures. After years of attempting to work with the City of Waukesha on evaluating water supply options for the City, and offering constructive suggestions for its diversion application, the revised application does not meet several of the basic requirements of the Great Lakes Compact. Examples of some major deficiencies of the revised application are:

  • The City of Waukesha has not made a compelling case that it is without a reasonable local water supply alternative and, therefore, it does not need a diversion;
  • The City seeks water for a greatly expanded service area that includes communities or portions of communities that have their own adequate supplies of potable water;
  •  The City does not fully employ conservation measures available to reduce its water need;
  •  The City proposes to discharge treated wastewater into a waterway that is already impaired by pollution and does not demonstrate how this would comply with the requirements of the Clean Water Act.

In reviewing the City of Waukesha’s application, Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources should address these and other deficiencies in the City of Waukesha’s application in a straightforward manner. The Department should ensure that these issues are fully resolved and in compliance with the Great Lakes Compact, or if not, it should not approve this application.

Given huge changes in the diversion application, City of Waukesha Water Utility held public information meetings in Waukesha, Racine, Oak Creek and Milwaukee in November 2013 to provide an overview of the revised application and answer questions. Meetings did not, however, allow for public input. 

WDNR is currently working on the technical review of the application as well as an Environmental Impact Statement. WDNR will also hold hearings after the draft documents are done, most likely in early 2014.



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Read about UUCW's involvement in the Greater Milwaukee area


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