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Contact(s): Dan Helsel, DNR natural resource manager,, 715-284-1431; Jennifer Sereno, DNR communications,, 608-770-8084
April 5, 2016

STEVENS POINT, Wis. - Citizens and stakeholders are invited to learn more about the recently completed Little Plover River Groundwater Model and Optimization Study at an informational meeting hosted by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources on April 12, 2016.

Ken Bradbury, director and state geologist with UW-Extension's Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey and Michael Fienen, a research hydrologist with the U.S. Geological Survey's Wisconsin Water Science Center, will present the results of their two-year study of the Little Plover River groundwater system.

DNR contracted for the study, which builds on the work of other hydrogeologists and existing stream and high capacity well data. The study uses state-of-the-art groundwater and optimization modeling software to simulate the Little Plover River groundwater and surface water flow system, said Dan Helsel, the DNR natural resources manager who coordinated the project for the department.

"Stakeholders from all sides of the groundwater use issue recognize the expertise of Ken Bradbury and Michael Fienen," Helsel said. "The model they have created represents the best available science and will help inform future management decisions."

The principal investigators worked closely with a technical resource team composed of hydrogeologists representing the Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association, the Central Sands Water Action Coalition, the River Alliance of Wisconsin and the village of Plover, among others.

The study provides a science-based tool to evaluate different water management actions and their impact on the flow of the Little Plover River. The methodology can be applied to study the impacts of multiple high capacity wells in other areas of the state.

"With the creation of this tool, DNR is positioned to work with stakeholders to evaluate and implement different scenarios that make meaningful changes to optimize a healthy river flow," said Helsel.

The informational meeting is being hosted by the DNR, Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey and the U.S. Geological Survey at the request of state Sens. Julie Lassa, Luther Olsen and Robert Cowles and Reps. Katrina Shankland, Scott Krug and Nancy VanderMeer. It will be held Tuesday, April 12 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Noel Fine Arts Center, Michelsen Hall, NFAC 270, 1800 Portage Street, UW-Stevens Point, Stevens Point, WI 54481.

To learn more about the watershed, visit and search "Plover and Little Plover Rivers."

Last Revised: Tuesday, April 05, 2016

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