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Atlas data, webinars, reports
About Wisconsin's waters.
Standards
Goals for water resources.
Monitoring
Monitoring water quality.
Assessments & reporting
Evaluating condition.
Planning
Planning for water quality.
Management
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

Public comment and data submittal periods open now

The 2020 version of WisCALM has been drafted and is open for public comment from January 22 to March 1, 2019. Read details in the WisCALM tab below.

In addition, public water quality data will be accepted through March 1, 2019. Details are in the Data submittal tab below.

WisCALM

Water condition assessment guidance (WisCALM)

Wisconsin's Consolidated Assessment and Listing Methodology (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 and trends. WisCALM is updated for each biennial surface water assessment cycle and was recently updated for the 2020 assessment cycle.

Assessing waterbodies against water quality standards and identifying impaired waters that don't meet standards is part of the overarching federal Clean Water Act (CWA) framework for restoring impaired waters. Under the CWA, states are required to monitor and assess their waters to determine if they meet water quality standards and thereby support the designated uses they are intended to provide.

2020 WisCALM public comment period

The 2020 version of WisCALM has been drafted and is open for public comment from January 22 to March 1, 2019. The DNR is asking for public input on the updates to its assessment and listing methodology. These comments will be considered in further updates made before the guidance is used to assess water quality in early 2019.

Comments may be submitted via email to DNRImpairedWaters@wisconsin.gov or via mail to Ashley Beranek, DNR, Bureau of Water Quality - WQ/3, 101 S Webster St, Madison, WI 53707.

Summary of 2020 updates

Some of the updates for 2020 include:

  • an updated definition of the Impaired Waters List and creation of the Restoration Waters List and Healthy Waters List;
  • chlorophyll-a lake listing benchmark and terminology change;
  • addition of a Quick Link section with links including Wisconsin Administrative Code, federal guidance documents and monitoring strategies and protocols among others; and
  • moved Quick-Reference section to Appendix A and included more reference material.

A robust description of changes made in the 2020 WisCALM document can be found in 2020 WisCALM Public Comment Period: Update Supplemental Information [PDF].

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 will be accepted from the public from January 22 to March 1, 2019, to be used for the upcoming 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 DNRImpairedWaters@wisconsin.gov or send via mail to Ashley Beranek, DNR, Bureau of Water Quality - WQ/3, 101 S Webster St, Madison, WI 53707.

Previous reports

Previous reports

Every two years, Section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act requires states to publish a list of all waters that are not meeting water quality standards. These reports are called the Integrated Water Quality Report to Congress, or simply the "Integrated Report." The following is a list of Integrated Reports from 2010-2018.

Last revised: Tuesday January 22 2019