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Source Water Protection

NEW! Groundwater Webinar Series

Thank you for joining us  throughout our October webinar series to learn more about groundwater, the health effects of nitrate, existing programs and data, and launching a community monitoring program.

Click here to view all recorded webinars. 

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. 

Confused by the different well types and associated regulations? Click here!

Conservation and Public Health Workgroup

County Land & Water Conservation and Public Health departments have been working together to better understand the extent of impacted drinking water in their counties. WI Land+Water and the Wisconsin Association for Local Health Departments and Boards (WALHDAB) recognized the success of these local partnerships and launched a workgroup to help identify ways to foster these relationships.

Find overlapping goals and reach out to your county health department colleagues with this handout. 

Click here to learn more about the workgroup and to view resources to help launch your groundwater program.

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. 



Groundwater Coordinating Council’s 2018 Report to the Legislature includes valuable sections on nitrate.

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

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

UWSP Center for Watershed Science and Education's Guide to Organizing a Community Drinking Water Testing and Educational Program. Currently being updated to include a more researched-based approach to groundwater monitoring.

UWEX Country Acres: A Guide to Buying and Managing Rural Property. The Conservation Public Health workgroup is reviewing this 1999 packet for suggested updates and accompanying documents (such as a guide to short-term rentals).  

Click here to see a list of groundwater publications available from DNR. 


 Learn more about groundwater quality and availability 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. 

Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey (WGNHS) maps and data look up. Find maps and data reports for your county.

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.


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.