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Look up
data about the quality of groundwater near homes or businesses or get an estimate of groundwater availability.
Protect
the quality and quantity of groundwater for your family, business customers and community.
Learn
where your groundwater comes from and how it moves underground to reach your drinking water well and the lakes and streams you enjoy.

GCC Report to the Legislature Groundwater quantity

Groundwater is abundant in Wisconsin and available in sufficient amounts throughout most of Wisconsin to provide adequate water supplies for most municipal, industrial, agricultural and domestic uses. However, groundwater pumping can lower water levels in a aquifer and in certain settings reduce groundwater discharge to surface water bodies connected to the aquifer.

Water quantity trends and topics

Water use

photo of water use map viewer

Water Withdrawal and High Capacity Well Viewer.

2016 water use reporting showed that the largest category of groundwater withdrawals was municipal public water supplies, and the second largest category of groundwater withdrawal was agricultural irrigation.

» Read more.


Groundwater/surface water interactions

photo of dried up Little Plover River

The Little Plover River has dried in parts during various
years since 2005. © UW-SP

In many areas of the state groundwater and surface water are well connected requiring a better understanding of the role water withdrawals have on streamflow and lake water levels.

» Read more.


Regional drawdowns

photo of

Several areas of Wisconsin have seen regional drawdowns of the groundwater due to extensive groundwater withdrawals – these drawdowns can affect water availability and water quality.

» Read more.


Water quantity tools and strategies

Statewide groundwater level network

photo of Statewide Groundwater level Network

Wisconsin's groundwater-level monitoring network has
been operated jointly by WGNHS and USGS since 1946.

Water levels collected from the network help scientists and managers evaluate effects of well pumping, the response of groundwater levels to drought or increased precipitation and effects of land-use change on groundwater resources.

» Read more.
» View the network [exit DNR].


Water use data

photo of water quantity viewer

Wisconsin Water Quantity Data Viewer.

DNR's interactive map viewer allows the public to access information about approved surface and ground water withdrawals, existing and pending high capacity wells, water quantity monitoring by various agencies and locations of groundwater protection features throughout Wisconsin. DNR's water use search tool allows users to find individual or aggregate water withdrawals from high capacity wells and surface water withdrawals.

» Wisconsin Water Quantity Data Viewer
» High capacity well and surface water withdrawal search

Little Plover River Model and Watershed Enhancement Project

photo of Little Plover River

Little Plover River © WGNHS

A state-of-the-art groundwater flow model was developed as a tool for understanding the interactions between groundwater withdrawals and streamflow in the Little Plover River basin in Wisconsin's Central Sands region. As stakeholders work together to evaluate management options to ensure sustained flows in the river, the model allows “what-if” evaluations of possible water use or land-use changes.

» Read more.


Central Sands Lakes Study

photo of

Installation of lakebed piezometer © DNR

Under 2017 Wisconsin Act 10, the legislature requested that the DNR evaluate and model the potential impacts of groundwater withdrawals on three lakes in Waushara County. As part of the study the DNR will determine if there is the potential for significant impacts to the lake's average seasonal levels as a result of groundwater withdrawals.

» Read more.


Chippewa County Groundwater Model

photo of Chippewa county

Chippewa County © WGNHS

Chippewa County is working with WGNHS and USGS to conduct a groundwater resources study in western Chippewa County to evaluate the relationship between groundwater withdrawals and water levels in nearby wells and. The model will also be used to evaluate how changes in pumping rates, placement of new high-capacity wells and changes to the landscape affect wells and streams in the future.

» Read more.


Last revised: Thursday August 30 2018