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Contact: DNR Office of Communications

DNR Seeking Data On Water Quality Of Lakes, Streams And Rivers

MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is seeking data on the water quality of lakes, streams and rivers in our state. Every two years, the DNR asks Wisconsinites and interested groups to submit their biological, chemical and physical surface water data. 

Along with department-collected data, submitted data will be used to assess the quality of our state’s water resources and pinpoint problem areas. In accordance with the Clean Water Act, the DNR uses these assessments to prepare a statewide Integrated Water Quality Report which includes an updated list of impaired waters. 

Data will be accepted from Jan. 18 – Feb. 23, 2023.

The DNR is especially interested in data that:

  • Documents improvement due to implementation of pollution control practices;
  • Documents healthy waters;
  • Supports planning for restoration or protection of water bodies;
  • Identifies public health risks;
  • Is from water bodies in the Fox River (IL) basin; and
  • Could be used for water quality criteria development in addition to assessments.

Data must be submitted electronically, and the information must be submitted in specific Excel spreadsheet formats, along with quality assurance documentation. 

Required elements include:

  • A Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP);
  • Data in the specified Excel spreadsheet format (template provided);
  • Locational information in specified spreadsheet format (template provided); and
  • General information about the submitter.

Templates and further instructions are available on the Surface Water Public Participation webpage. Data received as PDF files or in other hard copy formats will not be accepted.

Guidance on minimum data requirements and how the DNR evaluates data is available in the draft 2024 Wisconsin Consolidated Assessment and Listing Methodology. This guidance is currently undergoing revisions for the 2024 reporting cycle, and the 2024 version is on the DNR website.

Please contact DNR staff with any questions at