Water Resources in SW Wisconsin

Water Resources in SW Wisconsin

This page is intended to provide basic information about surface and ground water resources in southwest Wisconsin and includes links to sources for additional information. If you have questions about water resources in your area, contact Joe Bonnell, UW-Madison Extension’s Natural Resource Educator for Iowa, Green, Lafayette, and Grant Counties.

Groundwater in SW Wisconsin

Surface Water and Watershed Management in SW Wisconsin

Additional Resources


  • The Central Wisconsin Groundwater Center is a part of the UW-Madison Department of Extension and is housed at UW-Stevens Point. Their website has a number of video presentations and reports on groundwater and well water quality.
  • The Water and Environmental Analysis Lab at UW-Stevens Point will analyze samples from private drinking water wells for contaminants.
  • Groundwater in Iowa County: A Citizen’s Guide is an excellent resource for learning the basic science of groundwater. While the guide was created specifically for Iowa County, much of the information is relevant to other counties in the region.
  • The Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey website has information about Wisconsin aquifers, drinking water quality, groundwater level monitoring, sinkholes, springs, and well records. You can also view maps of aquifer yield (how many gallons of water can be pumped from a given well per minute), recharge rates, and depth to the water table.

Surface water

  • A great deal of information can be accessed from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ Surface Water landing page, including information about Wisconsin’s water quality standards, water quality reports, and WDNR programs aimed at assessing and protecting surface water quality and habitat.
  • The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Surface Water Data Viewer is an online tool for accessing and viewing water quality data collected across the state of Wisconsin.
  • PDF files of the State of Wisconsin’s bi-annual Water Quality Report to Congress can be downloaded from the WDNR website.
  • The University of Wisconsin – Madison Extension Lakes Program works with lake associations and lake districts to preserve Wisconsin’s lakes through education, communication and collaboration. They also offer a variety of programs, like the Water Action Volunteers Stream Monitoring Network that trains private citizens to monitor water quality in their area.

Watershed management and farmer-led watershed councils