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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Robbing Peter to Pay Paul? Water Woes in the Little Plover River

We’ve been hearing about how the Little Plover river, a class 1 trout stream in Portage County, has been drying up or close to it each summer as excessive groundwater pumping has been literally draining the lifeblood out of this little system. Even more powerful have been the images of a dried up creekbed with little dried up fish carcasses strewn across it where once was a flowing stream teeming with trout.

Well the river’s about to run dry again. In the absence of a long-term plan to manage groundwater withdrawal in the Little Plover River basin, DNR is proposing to pour some water into the streambed to avoid having it dry up completely. The water will come from – can you see this coming? – groundwater pumping. Granted, they are quick to reassure that this is only temporary, until a more permanent solution to the problem is drafted. But still, it feels a little like robbing Peter to pay Paul and in the end, there are still no winners. What do you think: is this is a panacea or just a PR placebo? For more on this issue, stay tuned to the River Alliance’s next issue of Wisconsin Rivers newsletter, due out in August.

posted by the River Rat

1 comment:

  1. Dear Brother Rat: I've been wondering about the impact of so many high capacity wells that are tapping into Wisconsin Aquifers at an alarming rate. It seems every new WPDES Permit written for a CAFO here, a CAFO there, a Sewage District here, a Cheese factory there is granted permission by the WDNR to pump thousands of gallons, nay millions of gallons of water per day without "pushback" or public comment similar to the way we treated the waterways which ran behind our villages centuries, no, decades ago. That picture of the male brook trout drying in the summer sun is symbolic of our diminishing quality of water resources in Wisconsin. How many more streams, rivers, and suchlike resources must be sacrificed before laws are passed to protect us and these resources? When will Corporatists among us be reminded that these resources are too precious to give away to a few who feel they are entitled to misuse them instead of leaving them for the perpetuity of the people of Wisconsin and the common good? We need to shut the door before all the resources are gone, agree?