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Water Supply Service Area Planning

Wisconsin law (S. 281.348, Wis. Stats.) requires that all water utilities that serve a population of 10,000 or more people will be required to develop a water supply service area plan by 2026. A few communities will need to develop this plan sooner if they fall in one of the following categories:

Water Tower
  • Communities located in the Great Lakes basin that plan to start a new withdrawal or increase an existing withdrawal over an established baseline will need a water supply service area plan as part of the application for a permit to increase or start a new withdrawal.
  • Communities located outside of the Great Lakes basin that are applying for a new or increased diversion of Great Lakes water.

The statute requires the following elements in the water supply service area plan:

  • information about current sources of water, future demand and population projections
  • supply options to meet future needs including a cost-effectiveness analysis of different options with consideration for:
    • a regional or individual water system
    • water conservation alternatives
  • assessment of environmental and economic impacts of different supply options
  • the planning period is not more than 20 years
  • an opportunity for public comment on the plan

Rules to implement the water supply service area planning process are currently being drafted. View updates on the status of this and other water use rules.

Contact information
For information on this page, contact:
Shaili Pfeiffer
Water Use Section
Bureau of Drinking and Groundwater
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
PO Box 7921
Madison WI 53707-7921
Phone number: 608-267-7630
Last revised: Friday July 27 2012