The article by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources: https://dnr.wi.gov/news/releases/article/?id=4513
According to the DNR article, the non consumed water will be returned:
> As part of the diversion approval, the city of Racine must ensure that the diverted water is returned to Lake Michigan minus consumptive use such as evaporation. The water returned to Lake Michigan will be treated at the Racine Wastewater Treatment Plant to meet all applicable state and federal water quality discharge standards. Any industrial customers, such as Foxconn, will work with the City of Racine to meet pretreatment requirements for wastewater.
It's not immediately clear how much of that water will be returned, but at least it won't be consuming 7M gallons daily. I'm not sure what impacts this might have, and neither article really goes into it.
Even if they did, Lake Michigan is estimated to contain one quadrillion gallons of water. Foxconn will have long ceased to exist by the time anyone even notices the water is missing.
An interesting use case is a suburb of Milwaukee called Waukesha which happens to be out of clean drinking water they are reduced to using radon laced wells. The problem pronounces itself when they can’t take water from Lake Michigan because Waukesha is over the Mississippi water basin. Spoiler: they got permission to use the water
Somehow this is punishment for the iphone. You can't just casually cause hundreds or thousands of suicides or whatever it was, for your stupid first world luxury toys, and not expect to suffer some kind of karma backlash.
I’ve always thought we Midwesterners should be shipping trains of freshwater tanks to the 40 million lemmings who decided to move to a natural desert on the left coast.
We’ll only charge the same price per gallon as Evian or Pelligrino. It could solve the Illinois budget crisis quickly.
Area of Lake Michigan: 58000 km^2 = 58E9 m^2
Corresponds to 4.6E-7 m/day or about 6 years for one millimeter or about 150 years for the oddly specific 25.4mm you were asking for.
If we take the 39% loss figure from the article, we get 15 years/1mm and 390 years/25.4mm.
...<title of Lake Michigan article>, while at the same time, somewhere else on this planet (perhaps China?) many factories do the exact same thing, and since it hasn't caused noise, very few think about it. And at the same time people in the Americas, Europe, Africa, Oceania, rest-of-Asia (countries that don't host such factories), go on in their day looking at their smartphone screens, reading news about Lake Michigan.
So yes.. of COURSE people in the US are going to care when a Chinese company comes to the US and starts wasting our natural, shared resources while at the same time not caring at all when China wastes their own shared natural resources. I'm not sure why that would seem odd or confuse you in the least.
In other news: Lots of people are pissed that the current US president is removing protections on national monuments. Same people don't bat an eye when Xi Jinping refuses to create national monuments in China. The sky is blue. Water is wet.
(Background info for others: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1992_Consensus and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two_Chinas ).
It is all one Planet..
If you want to assert that the US gets to dictate how every other nation on earth utilizes their own natural resources, I guess you're a big proponent of the end of mankind, because that's how you get world war 3. Talk about a nationalist...
Are there any other dangerous side-effects or why is this a thing?
Enlighten me please.
The subsidy given to a giant corporation is now past $4 billion, to a company with revenue in the range of $140 billion. Specific exemptions are being cut to allow the company to not produce an environmental impact statement for any emissions or pollutants discharged. It's clear Scott Walker and co want to set a precedent for future deals.
This sort of corporate coziness between a mega corporation and a state not only is unfair to other businesses not getting the tax deal, but unfair to the citizens who had these regulations enacted.
Additionally the Great Lakes have a legacy of industrial pollution we're only starting to recover from. It's hard to understate how dead these lakes were and still are in many places. Tributary rivers once regularly caught on fire from pollutants sitting on the surface. Hundreds of thousands of acres surrounding the lakes are contaminated with heavy metals, PCBs, radioactive waste - uninhabitable without extreme treatment. These lakes are 1/5th of the world's fresh water.
This stemmed not just from the era of no pollution regulation, but even during the EPA era, there was an unwillingness for the government to enforce regulations on the big polluters and employers. Of course when the factories close and the full extent of pollution comes to public light, the companies who made the profit often have merged or evaporated beyond responsibility, leaving taxpayers on the hook with poisoned land and water.
Do you think the politicians making this deal will have any incentive to follow up and take action if Foxconn does start exceeding their already relaxed permitted emissions?
What is the effect of 10,000 bee stings?
What's at issue is the perceived violation of the Great Lakes Compact. That is, the Foxconn side says they went through the proper procedures while those opposed argue that it uses a false front to make it seem like a legitimate use of lake water.
If this is judged to be legitimate then what will likely happen is about 10-20 years of companies using this method to get access to lake water, while a new compact is eventually put into place to disallow it.
Regulation of water withdrawal appears to be important as otherwise I don't see why the states would have gone through the effort of putting the regulations into place.
One of the Slashdot comments points out that billions of gallons can evaporate from the lake naturally in a day. Moving some of that to land near the lake seems like a low risk to me.
Sure. There's also a branch of business which says to screw the long-term environment health and environment consequences for short-term gains.
That these exist doesn't mean that either viewpoint has relevancy for what's going on here.
Incredibly, 7M gallons of water a day is a rounding error for lake Michigan.
I don't mean to minimize the impact this factory might have -- I just mean to emphasize the incredible amount of water Lake Michigan has.
"Foxconn to use rounding error amounts of water from lake Michigan."
And less likely to get people rallied to your cause, which I am assuming the headline/article are about.
My specific concern over use of this dynamic resource is the potential environmental damage due to chemical use/handling, and potential for hazard to life and limb from this. Michigan doesn't quite have a great history with this, courtesy of other large chemical companies.
Basically hydrology impacts are the least of my concerns.
 see http://www.miseagrant.umich.edu/lessons/lessons/by-broad-con...
7M gallons is 935,800 ft^3.
This would fill a football field 19.5 feet high.
If you made that into a cube, it would be 97.8 ft per edge.
If you convert to a flow rate, that's 10.83 ft^3/second.
Also a "football field" isn't constant between football codes (Canadian, Association, Gaelic, Australian, American, etc.) nor even between different grounds in some cases. Not a great unit.
I was going full American here with American football fields (standard 300x160 feet) forgetting about the ambiguity saying "football".
I understand your frustration, but having an idea of what 7,000,000 of anything would look like is non-trivial. If it were 7,000,000 cubic meters you might re-express things to be easier to visualize.
Unfortunately for the time being, the US is using gallons, so I'm stuck making these comparisons to grasp at what that volume looks like.
I know what you mean, and I sympathise that it's a difficult problem. I suppose I tend to think of "a billion cubic metres" as more like one big cubic kilometre than a billion small things. There's some art to merging some numbers into units, but I don't know anyone who's solved it.
American football fields are 360×160 feet.
Knocks it down to 16.2 feet.
I mean I can't imagine them holding 7 million gallons of water per day for very long before they run out of storage space.
My guess is that they will process stuff with the water, then filter and send the water back into the lake.
The water has to be particulate-free for glass polishing. A particle the size of the wavelength of light leaves a visible scratch. I've worked with an optical polishing shop, and a lot of water is consumed just washing everything from one stage to the next.
From what I've read, LCD production is a dirty industry.
Washing the product to remove toxic compounds from the surfaces is where there is a bit of concern. https://phys.org/news/2014-12-toxic-effects-chemicals-tft-lc...
Per year, it is .0066 inches. That is about 1/6 of a millimeter.
At that rate, the lake contains 508198 years worth of water. Thinking in terms of human evolution here... that is a decent chunk of time.
This supposed problem is all FUD, based on big scary numbers. Somebody has a motive to spread this. For example, a country that wants the industry might encourage opposition in the USA.
I agree that stewardship of the environment is very important.
Happens all the time that technical improvements result in cleaner processes.