The Water Quality Task Force
An Overview

What is the Task Force? And what’s next?

This page summarizes information gathered at the 2019 Water Quality Task Force public hearings. The legislature formed the Task Force, “to gather information and make policy recommendations to better assess and improve the quality of both surface water and ground water in our state.” 

  • Public hearings were held across Wisconsin and hundreds of people testified.
  • Top issues include: Lead, nitrates, nonpoint pollution and PFAs (“forever chemicals”).
  • We must continue to demand long-term solutions for Wisconsin’s water issues, not short-term Band-Aid fixes.

Now that the hearings have concluded, the task force will review the information they gathered and create legislation that will impact each of us. We will post updates on this page as the legislature moves forward with their proposals. 

Task Force Hearing Locations

Recommendations to the Task Force

On October 15, 2019, the Department of Natural Resources, Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection and Department of Health Services presented a summary of their recommendations to the Governor and Water Quality Task Force. 

Our friends at Clean Wisconsin also complied a summary of the recommendations from the invited speakers from all of the Water Quality Task Force hearings. 

Testimony Excerpts from Across the State

“I do like to eat food, but I also like to drink the water from my faucet and I don’t think I should have to choose.”

Donna Swanson

Lives near a CAFO

“I’ve had to install a reverse osmosis system to make my water safe to drink. This was done at my own expense.”

Charles Horn

Retired DNR Conservation Warden

“I do believe that all Wisconsinites have a right to clean safe water.”

Marci Hess

Wisconsin Resident

Explore Task Force Hearings by City

Janesville (May 29, 2019)
Locals tell state water task force to focus on nitrate contamination, GazetteXtra
Featured Testimony: Peg Scheaffer (PDF)
La Crosse (June 13, 2019)
Task force discusses water quality, Channel 19
Watch on WisconsinEye
Featured Testimony: La Crosse County Health Department (PDF)
Tomahawk (July 23, 2019)
Featured Testimony: Oneida County Lakes Economic Value-Dave Noel (PDF)
Featured Testimony: Short Lane Ag Supply (PDF)
Milwaukee (August 13, 2019)
Watch on WisconsinEye
Featured Testimony: Milwaukee Water Commons (PDF)
Featured Testimony: Milwaukee Riverkeeper (PDF)
Marinette (August 29, 2019)
Watch on WisconsinEye
Featured Testimony: Wisconsin Department of Health Services (PFAS)
Featured Testimony: River Alliance of Wisconsin (PDF)
Superior (September 5, 2019)
Featured Testimony: Wisconsin’s Green Fire, Bob Martini-Regulation enhances local economies (PDF)
Featured Testimony: Sustain Rural Wisconsin Network (PDF)


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