The Nature Conservancy’s Statement Regarding New Legislation to Protect Wisconsin’s Groundwater
MADISON, WI | March 08, 2010
The following is a statement from Mary Jean Huston, Director of The Nature Conservancy in Wisconsin:
The Nature Conservancy welcomes the news of the Groundwater Protection Bill and applauds Sen. Mark Miller and Rep. Spencer Black for introducing this important legislation, which represents a major step in protecting Wisconsin’s groundwater:
Wisconsin is a state rich with water resources - from the Great Lakes to the Mississippi River and the 15,000 lakes in between. If properly managed well into the future, Wisconsin’s water wealth will help improve our quality of life, the health of our environment, and drive our economic growth.
Wisconsin residents routinely rank protecting sources of drinking water and water quality in rivers and streams as the most important issue facing our environment. This bill takes a significant step in protecting more of our freshwater springs, increasing water conservation throughout the state, and managing withdrawals in areas that are facing significant water challenges.
An important measure in the bill would expand the number of freshwater springs that receive protection from high-capacity wells. The bill would expand protection from springs that produce 1 cubic foot of water per second to those producing 0.25 cubic feet per second. Freshwater springs are major drivers in the quantity and quality of water in our rivers, lakes and wetlands.
It is critical for our water resources that we recognize the significant impact that our groundwater, and our use of it, has on the quality of our surface waters. If approved, this bill greatly increases the number of springs that will be protected from overuse.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org