TAKE ACTION: Comment on the Central Sands Lake Study

Apr 29, 2021 | Citizen Advocacy, DNR, Groundwater, Lakes, Water Policy

In the past several decades, low water levels have occurred in some Central Sands waterbodies. Water levels are driven by weather and land use. Given the explosion in the number of high-capacity wells in the Central Sands region there was concern that the level of groundwater pumping from high-capacity wells was having an effect on the lakes and rivers. In 2017’s Act 10, the legislature directed the DNR to evaluate and model the potential impacts of groundwater withdrawals on lake levels for Pleasant, Long and Plainfield Lakes in Waushara County. The Central Sands Lakes Study is the result.

We commend the DNR for a thorough, well-documented study of Pleasant, Long, and Plainfield Lakes as required by 2017 Act 10. The DNR is accepting written comments on the study until May 7th. We suggest you include the following comments along with your opinion of the study. 

• This is a solid study, and clearly shows that high-capacity wells do have an impact on lakes.

• The study demonstrates the connection between pumping and water level in all precipitation regimes, i.e. high and low precipitation years.

• It points out the complexity of the Central Sands in terms of showing that it will often not just be one well that is causing an effect but multiple wells. 

• I support the recommendations in the study particularly the recommendation to create a water use district because it can deal with the effect of multiple wells on waterbodies.  Working at the scale of the Central Sands as a whole is a step towards integrated management which lead to better decisions that are more equitable for all resident of the Central Sands and better for the environment.

• People clearly want action to improve and protect our waters as evidenced by the results from the April 6th referenda in Wood, Portage and Marquette counties where overwhelming majorities of voters 76% of Wood county voters, 77% of Portage county voters, and 73% of Marquette county voters said they wanted more action to protect and clean our waters.


Action You Can Take

Comments on the DNR’s draft Central Sands Lakes Study findings and recommendations must be submitted to the DNR on or before May 7, 2021. If you live in or have property in the Central Sands, be sure to include your personal story about how low water levels have impacted your life. This can include change in property values, needing a new well, and recreational use of your lake or river.  

You may submit written comments by U.S. mail, or email to:
Department of Natural Resources
Attn: Nicki Clayton – DG/5
PO Box 7921
Madison, WI 53707
[email protected]

If you have questions, please contact Bill Davis [email protected].