How can we ensure healthy aquatic ecosystems and clean, abundant water supplies for tomorrow’s Wisconsin? Begun in 1999, the Waters of Wisconsin (WOW) initiative directly engaged hundreds of Wisconsin citizens in a conversation about our state’s water resources and aquatic ecosystems. The effort culminated in October 2002 with a two-day public forum attended by more than 900 scientists, water users and managers, officials and policy makers, business leaders, Native American tribes, nonprofit organizations and advocates, artists, poets, musicians, and other interested citizens. The goal of the initiative was to point the way toward a bright future for our state’s waters, and for all that depends on them: our health, our communities, our economy, and our aquatic environment. Ten years later, co-chair of Waters of Wisconsin Committee John Magnuson shares his perspective on the importance of this enduring initiative.