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Waters of Wisconsin Initiative

Jason A. Smith Plus

The Waters of Wisconsin Initiative Channel provides expert resources for anyone interested in the future of Wisconsin's rivers, lakes, streams, and groundwater. Water defines life in Wisconsin, which is home to 15,000 inland lakes, 3,000 miles of perennial…


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The Waters of Wisconsin Initiative Channel provides expert resources for anyone interested in the future of Wisconsin's rivers, lakes, streams, and groundwater. Water defines life in Wisconsin, which is home to 15,000 inland lakes, 3,000 miles of perennial rivers and streams, 5.3 million acres of wetlands, and our four aquifers hold 1.2 quadrillion gallons of groundwater.

Our landscape, history, cultures, communities, ecosystems, and economy are fundamentally shaped by water. Wisconsin has a special responsibility to safeguard these waters for ourselves, future generations, and the community of life that depends on them. Building on the successes of our first Waters of Wisconsin (WOW) Initiative between 2000 and 2003, the Wisconsin Academy is renewing its commitment to Wisconsin waters by revisiting our WOW Initiative. Many of the challenges of a decade ago are still with us today, and new and more complex threats to water will require a fresh examination of the way forward.

Through the Waters of Wisconsin Initiative, the Wisconsin Academy will foster nonpartisan, science-based strategies and solutions to safeguard Wisconsin’s freshwater ecosystems and water supply for generations to come. We will engage a wide cross-section of Wisconsin people and their ideas in the process.

To do this, the WOW initiative will:

•  engage with leaders in science, policy, practice, education, arts and culture to collaborate on needs and opportunities to advance Wisconsin water strategies
• provide information and insight to our members and wider public audiences through analysis and stories in Wisconsin People & Ideas magazine, Academy Evening talks, community forums, and the Wisconsin Academy website (wisconsinacademy.org/) which will feature profiles of and blogs from leaders in Wisconsin water management and strategy.

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