The Wisconsin Water Agenda: A Living Document

Mar 29, 2021 | Citizen Advocacy, Environmental Justice, Members, Newsletters, Water Policy, Wisconsin Water Agenda

This article originally appeared in the Winter 2020 WaterWays newsletter. Download a PDF of the full Newsletter. By Bill Davis, Senior Legal Analyst

Progress on the Wisconsin Water Agenda

It has been a little more than a year since we started working on the Wisconsin Water Agenda, and what a year it has been. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve made progress we’re excited about.

Working with our Core Team, we identified 12 necessary elements of an integrated, comprehensive water management system that could meet the water challenges we face, and prevent new ones.

But these elements are just broad descriptors so… what have we been doing since to make the Wisconsin Water Agenda real? The short answer is lots.

The Agenda is a living document for the River Alliance that guides our ongoing and future work in a variety of ways.

Here are a few examples.

  1. We have turned the Agenda elements into a set of policy “screens” that we now use to evaluate legislative, administrative or corporate proposals. So, this helps us determine how a particular bill gets a “thumbs up” or, a “thumbs down” from River Alliance.
  2. The Clean Water Now referenda campaign is, in part, an effort to bolster the water ethos element of the Water Agenda.
  3. I am currently focused on what it would look like to operationalize the Watershed and Decision-making elements of the agenda. I am working with various partners to get into the weeds of what a new system would actually look like. We are not looking at what is possible now, but what would be needed to succeed.

If we know where we want to end up, we can determine the steps to get from where we are to where we need to be. We will continue to keep you informed and involved in this work!

See the 12 elements needed for clean water in Wisconsin: