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About Wisconsin's waters.
Goals for water resources.
Monitoring water quality.
Assessments & reporting
Evaluating condition.
Planning for water quality.
Managing water resources.
Contact information
For questions and comments about WisCALM, the Integrated Report or surface water quality assessments, contact:
Impaired waters program

Water condition assessments and reporting


Wisconsin's Consolidated Assessment and Listing Methodology (WisCALM)

Every two years, Sections 303(d) and 305(b) of the Clean Water Act require states to publish a list of all waters not meeting water quality standards and an overall report on surface water quality status of all waters in the state. To assess surface water quality throughout the state, Wisconsin’s Consolidated Assessment and Listing Methodology (WisCALM) guidance document is updated every two years. WisCALM provides guidance on assessment of water quality data against surface water quality standards and for Clean Water Act reporting on surface water quality status. WisCALM updates are given to the public for their review before the guidance is finalized. Once finalized the guidance is used in the current assessment cycle.

Wisconsin's 2020 WisCALM

A public comment period for the 2020 draft WisCALM guidance document was held from January 22 – March 1, 2019. Comments were received from five separate entities and some updates to WisCALM were made in response.

Data submittal

2019 data submittal

Every two years, the DNR requests that citizens and interested groups submit their surface water data (biological, chemical and physical). Data meeting specified requirements will be evaluated, along with DNR-collected data, to assess the quality of the state's water resources. In accordance with the Clean Water Act, the DNR uses these assessments to prepare a statewide Integrated Water Quality Report to Congress (the "Integrated Report"), which includes an updated list of impaired waters.

Data was accepted from the public from January 22 to March 1, 2019, to be used for the 2020 Integrated Report.

The DNR is especially interested in getting data that:

  • documents improvement due to implementation of pollution control practices;
  • documents healthy waters;
  • supports planning for restoration or protection of waterbodies;
  • identifies public health risks; and
  • is from waterbodies in the NE Lakeshore areas, Fox River (Southeast) basin, or Grant, Platte, Sugar or Pecatonica River basins.

You may submit any type of data, but a synopsis of data of particular interest to DNR is shown in the following table, including a summary of minimum data requirements.

Specific data requirements must be met for DNR to assess your data. More detailed guidance on minimum data requirements and how DNR evaluates the data is available in the Wisconsin Consolidated Assessment and Listing Methodology (WisCALM).

Prepare your data

To enable the DNR to efficiently process public data, data must be prepared and submitted to DNR electronically in specific Excel spreadsheet formats, along with quality assurance documentation. Data received as PDF files or in other hard copy formats will not be entered into the Excel spreadsheets by DNR staff and may not be assessed.

The following four required elements must be either emailed or mailed on CD to DNR.

  1. A quality assurance plan describing protocols followed.
  2. Data in the following specified Excel spreadsheet format: Data Upload Template [XLS]
  3. For any stations that do not have a DNR SWIMS Station ID number, you must provide locational information in the following specified Excel spreadsheet format: Locational Template [XLSX]
  4. Complete contact information for the submitter, including:
    • full name;
    • mailing address;
    • affiliation;
    • phone number(s); and
    • email address(es).

If you are providing water chemistry data from a lab (total phosphorus, chlorophyll-a) you may be required to submit additional information. A template for that data submittal can be requested through the contact email address.

Send your data

Email your files to or send via mail to Ashley Beranek, DNR, Bureau of Water Quality - WQ/3, 101 S Webster St, Madison, WI 53707.

Last revised: Monday December 23 2019