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Programs

Source Water Protection

Source Water Protection Initiative

A statewide effort to implement nutrient reduction strategies by creating local partnerships with the shared goals of reducing nitrate in community drinking water through cost-effective methods. 

Demonstration Project

We are partnering with municipalities, producers, agronomists, county conservation, and researchers to better understand nitrate transport and develop tools for three communities struggling to provide safe drinking water. Farmers in Spring Green, Fall Creek, and Waupaca are participating by providing farm management information and testing technologies and management practices that increase nitrogen use efficiency. Data collected on the demonstration farms are helping researchers calibrate models to better understand nitrate transport and to develop decision-making tools to assist municipalities in determining options to achieve compliance. 

Resources

Reports

Groundwater Coordinating Council’s 2016 Report to the Legislature includes valuable sections on nitrate and pesticides

Wisconsin Groundwater Quality: Agricultural Chemicals in Wisconsin Groundwater provides an overview of groundwater quality from the Department of Agriculture, the National Agricultural Statistics Service, and the Department of Health and Family Services. The 2008 report is the most recent available. 

Nutrient Reduction Strategy is the current state initiative to reduce nutrients. An update will be available soon.

GROUNDWATER DATA

Learn more about  groundwater quality in your county to strategize on where to start. Click here to learn more about the available data for both private and public sampling programs. 

Source Water Protection Ordinances 

Thinking about an ordinance? Wisconsin Rural Water Association can help you determine what might be best for your community. Contact Andrew Aslesen (AAslesen@wrwa.org) for more information.

Partnership Opportunities

From local partnerships to state funding programs, find options for complementing your groundwater program.

WHAT COUNTIES ARE DOING TO PROTECT GROUNDWATER

Engaging stakeholders, launching private monitoring programs, well compensation, mapping susceptibility, building county department partnerships; your fellow county colleagues are building source water protection programs unique to their needs. Click here to learn more about what other counties are up to.

Harful Algal Blooms

Researchers are linking nitrogen to the toxicity of Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs). Here are a few notable articles and references to better understand why nitrogen needs a place in our monitoring programs.

Article - Microcystis Rising: Why Phosphorus Reduction Isn’t Enough to Stop CyanoHABs

Great Lakes HAB Colloboratory's website has a number of useful resources, including the handout: How Does Nitrogen Affect Harmful Algal Blooms?

Wisconsin DNR has community resources and information about statewide blue-green algae studies.