Every three years, all states are required under the federal Clean Water Act to review their water quality standards.
Topics evaluated in the review include policies, rules and guidance related to designated uses, water quality criteria, anti-degradation and variance. The DNR is taking public input as part of this review.
DNR Water Quality Specialist Marcia Willhite says they are asking for public input on surface water quality....
"....the uses that we use the water for, aquatic life protection for example, the actual criteria whether numeric or narrative for phosphorus or whatever, and also how we protect high quality waters through our anti-degredation policy. There's a fact sheet on the website of the kinds of things we're considering and that will drive the people to provide some input...."
Willhite says after they see what topics the public provides, they will come back with a public hearing...
"....once we receive topics from the public we will then go out to the public with a survey with the water quality topics we have received and get rankings. during that time we're soliciting rankings or priorities the public has, then we'll also have a public hearing the we will schedule later this spring...."
The survey is on the DNR website.
Wisconsin has more than 15,000 lakes and 82,000 miles of streams and rivers. Almost 3 percent of Wisconsin’s area—nearly a million acres—is lakes. Nearly 86 percent of Wisconsin's 1,730-mile border is water, counting Great Lakes Superior and Michigan and the Mississippi and Menominee Rivers.