Conservation Priorities Important to Lakes

One of this year’s WI Conservation Priorities issues is to

Declining water levels on many WI lakes across the state have prompted increasing concern over groundwater management and high capacity well pumping. Whether these wells are located near or far away from the lake, they can dramatically influence the groundwater flow through the lake, effect the lake water levels, and impact water quality and the lake ecosystems.

Groundwater feed most of our lakes, rivers, and streams. Groundwater plays a major role in seepage and groundwater drainage lakes, supplying all or most of the lake’s water. Other types of lakes may have other sources of water besides groundwater—including rain and snowmelt, runoff and streams and rivers (which may be sourced by groundwater themselves)—but groundwater effects all lakes.

Wisconsin’s current groundwater law fails to protect 99% of the state’s lakes, 97% of springs, 92% of rivers and streams, and 100% of wetlands. Under current laws only 97 lakes and 6 flowages are protected.

Information taken from Wisconsin Association of Lakes winter 2008 news The Lake Connection.