WI Land+Water Commends Unanimous Endorsement of Recommended Water Quality Goals by the State Land and Water Conservation Board

February 19, 2020 |

MADISON – On October 2, 2018, the Wisconsin Land and Water Conservation Board (LWCB) unanimously endorsed water quality goals recommended by WI Land+Water’s Food, Land and Water (FLW) Project. Addressing both surface water and groundwater quality issues, the statewide goals provide recommendations to reduce phosphorus (P) and nitrogen (N) pollution, meet Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) targets in watersheds, and remove 90 percent of all P-impaired waters from Wisconsin’s impaired waters list by 2050.

“The Board’s endorsement of these water quality goals is a significant step towards addressing the water pollution issues that threaten Wisconsin,” said Matt Krueger, Executive Director of WI Land+Water. “The inherent strength of the Food, Land and Water Project is the collaboration it represents, across a broad coalition of sectors – agricultural and conservation groups, citizen advocates, industry leaders, agencies, municipalities, and more – towards shared solutions. I commend the Board’s endorsement of these goals and the constructive step forward that it represents.”

The goals agreed upon by the Wisconsin Land and Water Conservation Board:

Surface Water Quality Goals

Reduce statewide farm P (phosphorus) runoff by at least 30% by 2035 (reductions may vary between watersheds) and make steady interim progress toward that goal.

Meet all watershed Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) targets (combined P loading from farm and nonfarm sources) within 20 years, or within 20 years of TMDL approval, whichever date is later, and make steady interim progress toward those targets.

Meet P concentration standards for P-impaired waters (from both farm and nonfarm sources), to remove 90% of all P-impaired waters from the Wisconsin impaired waters list by 2050.

Groundwater Quality Goals

  • Ensure safe drinking water for all Wisconsin residents. The LWCB supports initiatives toward this goal.
  • Reduce nitrate and pathogen contamination of groundwater.
  • Maintain compliance with groundwater standards where those standards are currently being met, and accelerate efforts to restore compliance where the standards are not being met.
  • Keep Wisconsin agriculture and rural communities vibrant and economically sustainable, while achieving our groundwater quality goals.

WI Land+Water’s Food, Land & Water Project successfully brings together stakeholders from a wide array of industries and public entities to address Wisconsin’s most important resource problems. This collaborative, statewide approach built a roadmap to improving surface water quality, groundwater quality, groundwater quantity, and the future of working lands. Both the comprehensive research and strategies are published in the report Food, Land & Water: Moving Forward. WI Land+Water and partner entities are presently working towards implementation of the goals identified in the FLW report.

For more information about the Wisconsin Land and Water Conservation Board, visit https://datcp.wi.gov/Pages/About_Us/LandWaterConservationBoard.aspx. For more information about the LWCB’s endorsement, refer to the Board’s news release “State Board Endorses Water Quality Goals and Action Steps” from October 19, 2018.

Wisconsin Land and Water Conservation Association is a nonprofit organization that supports the local and statewide efforts of all county Land Conservation Committee supervisors and conservation staff across Wisconsin. It is our mission to support the county conservationists that help landowners and users meet their objectives, while protecting our common economic and environmental infrastructure – land and water resources.

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