Central Sands background and resources - Wisconsin DNR

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Contact information
For information on this page, contact:
DNRDGCentralSands@wisconsin.gov
WI Department of Natural Resources
Water Use Section DG/5
PO Box 7921
Madison WI 53707-7921

Central Sands background and resources

The Central Sands region lies east of the Wisconsin River and encompasses 1.75 million acres in parts of Adams, Marathon, Marquette, Portage, Shawano, Waupaca, Waushara and Wood counties. The region is underlain by deposits of sand and gravel, with localized deposits of fine-grained sediment that were left by glaciers at the end of the last ice age. The 800 miles of trout stream and 300 lakes are generally well connected to the sand and gravel aquifer and provide recreation and tourism value including hunting, fishing, canoeing and kayaking. The productive sand and gravel aquifer also supports groundwater withdrawals from water use sectors including irrigated agriculture, municipalities and industry.

The land cover in the Central Sands region is half forest and one quarter agricultural, which is mostly irrigated. In recent years, the number of high capacity wells and reduced water levels in some areas has caused concerns about the potential impacts of groundwater withdrawals on water resources.

Additional resources

Map of the Central Sands

The Central Wisconsin Sand and Gravel Aquifer is defined as a contiguous area east of the Wisconsin River with sand and gravel surficial deposits greater than 50 feet deep.

Map of the Central Sands
Last revised: Friday August 03 2018