Skip to main content

Water use in Wisconsin

Alert icon

7/23/20 COVID-19 UPDATE: 

Badger Bounce Back Phase 2

Thank you for your patience during the COVID-19 public health emergency. As state agencies continue operations, please understand that most of our staff are continuing to telework and may have limited access to files and delayed online connectivity. The department is following the Badger Bounce Back [exit DNR] plan's phased approach to the resumption of activities that have been delayed or put on hold due to Safer at Home.

Now that the department has entered phase 2 of the plan, programs will continue the transition back to field work – including compliance inspections – that began in phase 1. In most cases, staff will continue to schedule pre-inspection calls with facilities to gather some of the information that would previously have been collected while on-site. These advance calls will also be used to discuss safety protocols for on-site visits that may be needed to complete all aspects of a compliance assessment.

Staff will keep their voicemails and out-of-office messages up to date and will respond as they are able.

For the most up-to-date information, please visit our COVID-19 information webpage. For program-specific information, please search keyword "COVID19."

Wisconsin is water-rich and DNR is committed to ensuring that our water use is sustainable. The DNR’s Water Use Program implements the Great Lakes–St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact and focuses on statewide water quantity

High Capacity Well Data and Maps

Tools used to search for high capacity wells and surface water withdrawal sources

Reporting Water Use

Registered withdrawers are required to measure the volume of water withdrawn monthly and report annually to DNR

Great Lakes Compact and diversions

An agreement between Great Lakes states detailing how to manage and protect the Great Lakes and manage diversions

Wisconsin water withdrawal data & reports

View yearly reports and summaries of water withdrawals

Water Use Registration

Register a water withdrawal if you have a water supply system with the capacity to withdraw 100,000 gallons per day

High Capacity Wells

A well that has the capacity to withdraw more than 100,000 gallons per day

Central Sands Lakes Study

To implement 2017 Wisconsin Act 10, DNR is evaluating the hydrology of three lakes in the Central Sands

Water use permitting

Apply and receive a water use permit prior to withdrawing water in the Great Lakes Basin
Water use permitting

Water conservation and efficiency

Wisconsin’s abundant water resources are the foundation for safe drinking water, recreational and economic activity
Water conservation and efficiency

Groundwater levels and aquifer response

Precipitation trends cause statewide groundwater levels to continue to rise
Groundwater levels and aquifer response

Water Use StoryMap 

Wisconsin uses approximately 2 trillion gallons of water every year - explore this StoryMap to learn more
Water Use StoryMap 

Groundwater StoryMap

Learn how groundwater moves and about our primary aquifers
Groundwater StoryMap