Protecting and conserving our groundwater resources
Though not as visible as our lakes, rivers and streams, the quality and quantity of our groundwater play a vital role in our daily lives. Groundwater is necessary to sustain our communities, our economy and our beautiful waterways and wetlands.
Groundwater provides drinking water for 70 percent of Wisconsin residents and helps to maintain lake and river levels across the state. Overusing or contaminating the groundwater supply can threaten the health of our families and the quality of our waters. Many areas in Wisconsin experience the negative impacts of drawn-down aquifers and contaminated groundwater. The Little Plover River, a Class 1 trout stream located near Stevens Point, for example, has run dry multiple times in recent years as a result of insufficient levels of groundwater.
Clean Wisconsin works with legislators and municipalities to conserve groundwater and ensure Wisconsin residents have access to clean, healthy drinking water. A large part of this work focuses on strengthening the 2004 Groundwater Protection Act (Act 310), which was a good first step in protecting the state's groundwater but has proven inadequate for the long-term protection of the waters of Wisconsin. The Little Plover is only one of many rivers, lakes and springs in the state that have run dry since the passage of this law in 2004. Many of these occurrences have been linked to the increasing number of high capacity wells and demonstrate that the 2004 law alone is not sufficient. Clean Wisconsin will continue its work to strengthen groundwater protections in the legislature as well as work with municipalities and encourage them to adopt strong water conservation measures.