Tool helps guide decisions about Dane County groundwater

Rollout of new model scheduled for Jan. 19

Contact Mike Parsen,, (608) 262-9419

A tool that helps water professionals make important decisions about Dane County’s groundwater will be rolled out at a public meeting in Fitchburg on Jan. 19.

The Dane County groundwater model is the culmination of a multi-year project between the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey (WGNHS), the U.S. Geological Survey, and the Capital Area Regional Planning Commission.

“This collaborative effort seeks to provide sound scientific information to support informed decision-making regarding our county’s groundwater resources,” says Mike Parsen, hydrogeologist with the WGNHS. “The tool will be of immediate value to many, including county planners, engineering consultants, water utilities, researchers, and others interested in better understanding Dane County’s groundwater resources.”

The model will aid in:

  • Siting of new groundwater wells.
  • Improving well-head protection plans for water utilities and municipalities.
  • Assessing short- and long-term responses to climate change.
  • Determining the impacts of land-use change on groundwater resources.
  • Evaluating well and groundwater quality problems.
  • Developing more detailed groundwater models for site-specific evaluations.

Project partners also include the Dane County Land and Water Resources Department, Madison Water Utility, Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, as well as several other water utilities and municipalities in Dane County.

A public presentation will be held at the Fitchburg Public Library (main meeting room) on Tuesday, Jan. 19th from 10:00am to 12:00pm.

Parsen and Ken Bradbury, director of the WGNHS, will provide an overview of the Dane County groundwater model. Guest presenters Matt Diebel and Cory McDonald from the Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources will describe their recent research using output from the model.

The meeting is for professionals involved with Dane County’s groundwater resources, but the public is welcome. A video of the event recorded by Fitchburg’s Access Television will be available from the WGNHS at a later date.

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