May 17, 2011
MADSON - People can help shape development of a statewide voluntary water conservation and efficiency program by commenting through June 15 on draft goals and objectives.
The water conservation and efficiency program is aimed at meeting requirements of the 2008 state and federal laws that implement the Great Lakes Compact, according to Shaili Pfeiffer in the Department of Natural Resources water use section.
The proposed water conservation and efficiency goals call for:
To achieve those goals, the state proposes improving monitoring and data reporting, adopting water conservation measures to limit the demand for water, which in turn limits the need to invest in additional water supply facilities, and guiding programs toward long-term sustainable water use. Wisconsin also would develop education programs for all water users and develop science, technology and research to help achieve the goals, Pfeiffer says.
The Great Lakes Compact is a formal agreement among the Great Lake states. A parallel agreement includes the two Canadian provinces that border the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway. In these compacts the states and provinces agree to manage the water in the Great Lakes watershed collectively. The agreements also ban Great Lakes water from being "diverted," or piped out of the basin with a few limited and strictly regulated exceptions.
The Great Lakes Compact became effective on Dec. 8, 2008, after final consent from the U.S. Congress. This date began the ban on diversions of water out of the basin and started the five-year clock for each of the Great Lakes states to develop a water management program with the elements required by the compact, including a statewide water conservation and efficiency program.
People interested in learning more and comment on the goals can find a complete copy available at the Water Use webpage. Comments can be emailed to Steve.Elmore@wisconsin.gov or mailed to Steve Elmore, DG/5, Department of Natural Resources, PO Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707-7921.
The statewide water conservation goals and objectives will be finalized this summer. .
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Shaili Pfeiffer, (608) 267-7630 or Steve Elmore, (608) 264-9246