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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Groundwater Guys

Rat has been most gRATifed with the River Alliance's steady stream of insights about all that's happening with groundwater in Wisconsin. (Check out their newsletter here).

We learned in a fundraising letter from River Alliance in recent days that two guys -- from different parts of the state, with different interests and different approaches -- share a common concern for the fate of the vast underground water world we know as Wisconsin groundwater.

Stu Grimstad is an avid trout angler and Trout Unlimited activist. He knows streams and hydrogeomorphology better than many people who have diplomas big enough to hold that word. He's been an intrepid watchdog for many streams in central Wisconsin, especially lately the Little Plover River (dried up for the fourth year in a row from groundwater pumping), and the Isherwood Lateral, a pathetic little stream-turned-drainage-ditch that Stu and others in Portage County are committed to restoring with the help of farmers Justin and Lynn Isherwood.

Chuck Wagner is well beyond Jobian patience when it comes to the perennial dose of manure his drinking water gets at his rural Kewaunee County home. Yet he soldiers on with many others in the five-county region of northeastern Wisconsin who live on top of so-called "karst" geologic features, which makes groundwater very vulnerable to contamination by the many wastes (cow, human, industrial) spread on farmland. He's a Kewaunee County supervisor and he's involved with River Alliance and many other groups promoting legislation to stem the flow of contamination to Chuck's well and scores of other people like him.

It's good to know that there are regular Chucks and Stus out there working to make sure Wisconsin fresh waters are clean and available. We're all the better for them.

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