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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Going Thirsty in the Central Sands

Rat's muskratty relatives have been corresponding lately from the central sands area of Wisconsin, where they've noticed that there's no water in some places where it used to be -- and there's no drought going on.

In the central sands, the water table is as close to the surface as a layer of paint on drywall, and hundreds of millions of gallons of water get sprinkled on sweet corn and snap peas that end up in the canned and frozen vegetable section of grocery stores. My city cousins tell me that in the village of Plover, they can't seem to build enough industrial parks and outlet malls, and they wonder what that all will do to the water supply.

Rat hears that the River Alliance and other groups are working on legislation that would keep better track of where groundwater is coming from, and where it's going. Good idea -- problem is, there's no house-burning-down crisis that justifies action by legislators. This is thinking about the future -- something that doesn't happen much under the Dome.

There's a good review of the issue in today's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

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