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ARCHIVED Weekly News Published October 22, 2013

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Water use report available online; 2012 drought spurs increased pumping

MADISON - A report detailing the amount of groundwater and surface water pumped by Wisconsin's largest water users is now available online for 2012 and reflects increased usage due in large part to the 2012 drought, state water officials say.

Overall, the amount of water pumped from high capacity surface and groundwater withdrawals totaled 2.258 trillion gallons in 2012, up 4.6 percent from 2011, according to Bob Smail, the Department of Natural Resources water supply specialist who created the report.

That increase includes a 36.4 percent increase in the amount of groundwater pumped from Wisconsin aquifers, with agricultural irrigation surpassing municipal withdrawals as the largest withdrawer of groundwater in 2012, the report shows.

Under state law, any wells or surface water intakes on a property with the capacity to withdraw at least 100,000 gallons per day or 70 gallons per minute are required to report their usage annually. For 2012, there were 14,184 registered high capacity withdrawal sources in the state -- 13,191 wells and 995 surface water sources.

Major changes in water use from the 2011 reporting year are:

Smail says the quality of reports provided by water supply system owners and operators has improved significantly from when the program began several years ago. "The high quality of data allows us to understand how withdrawals vary along with changes in weather and economic demand," he says.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Bob Smail, 608-267-4581; Eric Ebersberger, 608-266-1722



Green your Halloween!

MADISON - Halloween revelers can celebrate a "green" Halloween this year while reducing their impact on the environment and saving money, says Elisabeth Olson, a natural resources educator with the Department of Natural Resources.

"Green your Halloween and save money and the environment," Olson says. "These tips can help you do both and make for a more creative and family-friendly event."

Olson recommends these tips to reduce, reuse and recycle this Halloween:

For more seasonal tips on recycling and waste reduction, search the DNR website for Recycling for All Seasons.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Elisabeth Olson 608-264-9258; Brad Wolbert 608-264-6286



Oct. 31 online chat set for discussing whooping cranes

Eleven of 15 crane species worldwide are endangered, and Wisconsin is playing a critical role in efforts to restore whooping cranes. Join a live online chat Oct. 31 at noon to get the latest updates on the effort's progress, research, and the ongoing fall migration of cranes.

The chat features Davin Lopez, the Department of Natural Resources whooping crane coordinator and partners including Joan Garland, outreach coordinator for the International Crane Foundation, and Heather Ray, the associate director of development for Operation Migration.

To participate, visit the DNR home page,, and look for the box on the right to enter the chat, or search the phrase "ask the experts." Or join the conversation on DNR's Facebook page,, by clicking the "Cover it Live Chat" box on the top of the page.


Read more: Previous Weekly News

Last Revised: Tuesday, October 22, 2013

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