Beyond the Headlines Madison

Wisconsin's Water Future

Water may seem an ordinary and unheralded resource until you stand in the kitchen of a rural home and watch helplessly as a housewife cries because her family can no longer drink the water from her home’s faucets or use it even to cook or bathe.

The family had just discovered the area around their home was part of an atrazine prohibition zone with numerous wells contaminated by the heavily used agricultural chemical.

Before beginning my interview, I had helped the family carry in several large bottles of drinking water they had just purchased from the grocery. They would be used even to fill their dogs’ water bowls.

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What's Happening


Wisconsin's Water Future Workshop

Apr 26, 2018
1:00 pm
FREE

Pyle Center
702 Langdon St
Madison, WI

Get the Scoop on Wisconsin's Water!

How has the state's rich water heritage shaped the resource of today, its regulation and use? What are the issues we face with both quantity and quality? What solutions will assure clean and plentiful water for the future? Where do we find and how do we use data that allow us to understand and further the story of Wisconsin's water?

This half-day workshop is designed to help reporters and the public deepen their understanding of the state of Wisconsin's waters and what the future may hold. The workshop will include background, resources, and tips for following Wisconsin's water stories.

The workshop will be action packed and leave participants will new information, connections, and ideas. Ron Seely will be the moderator throughout and sessions include: Wisconsin's Water Legacy, Quantity and Conflict, Diving into Data, and Protection and Quality.


Workshop Schedule

1 - 1:45 PM           
Wisconsin's Water Legacy

What is the history of Wisconsin's water, from use and abuse to regulation and restoration? What is its role as the center of culture and for many a source of subsistence?
PRESENTERS: Curt Meine and Dylan Jennings

1:45 - 3 PM
State of the Waters: Quantity and Conflict

Agriculture and development issues often run up against tough questions about whose interests have priority. From high capacity wells to Great Lakes water withdrawals, how do we balance multiple uses and multiple risks?
PRESENTERS: Ken Bradbury, Adrian Stocks, Curt Meine, and Brent Cousin

3:15 - 4 PM
Diving into Water Data

Where do we turn for data on water use and water quality? Once we find it, how do we use it to better understand and tell the stories about Wisconsin's water? Participants are invited to bring wi-fi enabled devices to follow along during this hands-on data exploration.
PRESENTERS: Kyle Burton, Dee Hall and Adrian Stocks

4:15 - 5:30 PM
State of the Waters: Protection and Quality

Is our water drinkable, swimmable and fishable? What issues from agricultural run-off to industrial pollution to lead are we struggling with? Where have we succeeded in protecting our water? Where have we failed? What does the future hold?
PRESENTERS: John Dickert, Kim Wright, Dave Marshall and Steve Carpenter



Ron Seely

Ron Seely

Moderator
Science and Environment Writer


Ron Seely is an award-winning science and environment writer who spent 35 years at the Wisconsin State Journal, 20 years of which he spent writing about science and the environment. 

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Curt Meine

Curt Meine

Conservation Biologist, Historian and Writer


Curt Meine, Ph.D., is an internationally recognized conservation biologist, historian, and writer who has spent more than 30 years exploring the relationship between humans and the landscape, including a focus on issues such as wetland restoration, conservation planning and sustainable agriculture. 

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Dylan Jennings

Dylan Jennings

Director of Public Information, Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission
Tribal Council Member for Bad River Ojibwe


Dylan Jennings is the Director of the Public Information Office of the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission and a Tribal Council Member for the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe. 

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Ken Bradbury

Ken Bradbury

Director and State Geologist
Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey


Ken Bradbury is the Director of the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey, and State Geologist, whose research has focused on characterizing the state’s groundwater resources and modeling groundwater flow from recharge areas to wellheads. 

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Adrian Stocks

Adrian Stocks

Wastewater Field Operation Director
Water Quality Bureau, Wisconsin DNR


Adrian Stocks, Wastewater Field Operations Director for the Bureau of Water Quality at Wisconsin DNR, joined DNR in 2014 as the Wastewater Permits Section Chief. The Permits Section is responsible for policy development and implementation of the municipal and industrial wastewater program. 

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George Meyer

George Meyer

Executive Director
Wisconsin Wildlife Federation


Note: Curt Meine sat in for George Meyer, who could not attend.

George Meyer has been the Executive Director of the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation since 2003. He spent 32 years at Wisconsin DNR, 20 of which were in senior management, including staff attorney, dealing with numerous controversial public policy issues. 

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Bob Nagel

Bob Nagel

Holsum Dairies Manager


Note: Brent Cousin, a veterinarian for Holsum Dairies sat in for Bob Nagel, who could not attend.

Bob Nagel, MS DVM, is a partner and general manager at award-winning Holsum Dairies LLC in Hilbert, WI, which as two 4,000-cow dairy operations that have been honored for sustainability and innovation. 

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Kyle Burton

Field Operations Manager
Bureau of Drinking and Groundwater, Wisconsin DNR


Kyle Burton has been with the Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources’ Bureau of Drinking Water and Groundwater for 18 years. He has served the Public Drinking Water program in numerous capacities over those years including Field Specialist, Field Supervisor, and now as the Bureau’s Field Operations Director, overseeing the field implementation of the Public Drinking Water Program statewide.

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Dee Hall

Dee Hall

Managing Editor and Co-Founder
Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism


Dee J. Hall is co-founder of Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism. She joined the staff as managing editor in 2015 after 24 years as an editor and reporter at the Wisconsin State Journal. 

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John Dickert

John Dickert

President and CEO
Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative


John Dickert is the President and CEO of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative (Cities Initiative). The Cities Initiative works with more than 130 U.S. and Canadian mayors from across the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Basin to advance the protection and restoration of water resources to achieve a more environmentally and economically sustainable Great Lakes region.  

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Kim Wright

Kimberlee Wright

Executive Director
Midwest Environmental Advocates


Kim Wright is Executive Director of Midwest Environmental Advocates, a non-profit environmental law center that provides direct services to people with environmental problems. Prior to joining MEA, Wright managed a statewide grant program for land trusts working in partnership with the Wisconsin DNR to protect critical habitat and natural areas. 

Wright received a law degree and a bachelor of science in rural sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Since graduating from law school she has worked statewide in the public interest, most recently focusing on the erosion of regulatory protections and concerns about science-based decision making. She has served as director of conservation programs for The Nature Conservancy and as the executive director for Domestic Abuse Intervention Services.

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Dave Marshall

Dave Marshall


Friends of the Lower Wisconsin River


Dave Marshall is an environmental consultant and a Science Committee member for the Friends of the Lower Wisconsin River (FLOW). He retired from the DNR bureau of Fisheries and Habitat Protection in 2006 after 30 years with the department working on water quality issues involving lakes and rivers. 

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Steve Carpenter

Steve Carpenter

Professor and Director Emeritus
UW-Madison Center for Limnology


Steve Carpenter is “Free-Range Scientist” at the Center for Limnology of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he is the emeritus Director and Stephen Alfred Forbes Professor. He is a leader of whole-ecosystem experiments focused on lake ecosystems to assess the impacts of nutrient enrichment, fisheries, and contaminants on water quality and fish stocks. 

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Apr 26

Wisconsin's Water Future Workshop


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We thank The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for their generous support of this initiative and the Pulitzer Prizes for their partnership.