The growth in large dairies, and concerns about manure disposal from operations of all sizes, have fueled efforts to more tightly regulate their operations or siting. Here’s a partial roundup.
Category: Groundwater supply
Across central Wisconsin, in a region known as the Central Sands, residents have watched water levels in lakes and small streams drop for years. In a state with about 15,000 lakes and more than a quadrillion gallons of groundwater, it is hard to believe that water could ever be in short supply. Experts say, however, that the burgeoning number of so-called high-capacity wells is drawing down some ground and surface water.
Big farms, frac sand mines could feel force of judge’s groundwater ruling
Two weeks ago, Administrative Law Judge Jeffrey Boldt approved the state Department of Natural Resources’ issuance of permits for a large and controversial dairy farm in Central Wisconsin. But he also reduced the amount of water the farm could pump from proposed high-capacity wells and required the DNR to consider the impact of the withdrawals in conjunction with other, nearby wells — a concept known as cumulative impacts.
Podcast: Behind the scenes on the Central Sands groundwater beat
Center reporters Kate Golden and Kate Prengaman chat about what it was like reporting their recent story on groundwater concerns in Wisconsin’s Central Sands.
Groundwater war pits Wisconsin farms against fish
“Long Lake was once a trophy bass lake. So when we moved here, in the first two years, my boys were catching bass like crazy,” said Brian Wolf, who owns a cabin on Long Lake. “It was like catching fish in a barrel as the water declined.”
Saving the ‘endangered’ Little Plover River
While experts say the Little Plover is the poster child for the problems of overpumping, some of them hope it also could be the source of solutions.