Residents concerned over diminishing groundwater levels in Waushara County

To the Editor:

My husband and I, along with other citizens, attended the Waushara County Land Water & Education Committee meeting on Feb. 1 to listen to and add our comments regarding the current diminishing groundwater levels in Waushara County and the central sands region.

The committee agreed to have a speaker added to their agenda to discuss current groundwater problems caused by the increased use of high-capacity wells pumping from our groundwater resource.

There are multiple examples in Waushara County of decreased lake levels – Pleasant Lake and its connected Turtle Bay Wetland, Long Lake/Oasis, Hancock Pine Lake, Huron Lake, Bohn Lake, Beans Lake show lowered surface water levels that not only impact fish/wildlife/plant habitat, but also the important tourism/recreational revenues that help provide our county and communities with significant funds for infrastructure, schools, and programs needed, as well as economic stimulus for businesses that support water/recreational/tourist interests.

The deep sandy soil predominantly found in the central sands region requires increased irrigation for the corn and potato crops grown primarily in this region, and as more high-capacity wells are added to cover larger acreage, our groundwater levels will continue to decrease.

No longer can precipitation and the recharge process make up the loss to our watersheds. Citizens at this committee meeting asked the members to help address this issue through consideration of county and local measures as appropriate. Representatives from the Central Sands Water Action Coalition and Trout Unlimited offered their support and help to work with the committee and Waushara County in whatever way they could.

All of us value the quality of life that our water resources offer us here in Waushara County, and now is the time to add protections that will sustain our groundwater into the future for all of us and our families that live in and love Waushara County.

 

/s/ Marty & Arnie Wilke, Spring Lake