The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is joining communities and leaders from across the country and state in taking part in Imagine a Day Without Water, an annual day of education and action to highlight how water is essential, invaluable and in need of investment.
Every day in Wisconsin, 7 billion gallons of water are used, with each Wisconsin resident using an average of 56 gallons. Most Wisconsin residents don’t have to think twice about where that water will come from every day. Still, many other residents lack reliable access to safe water – including some people with access to a private well that has poor water quality. That’s why working to ensure access to safe, clean water for everyone in Wisconsin is a priority for the DNR.
The DNR’s commitment to ensuring safe water for all includes a continued focus on issues related to water infrastructure and water quality. Ongoing work includes enforcing drinking water standards, replacing lead service lines, and addressing contaminants such as PFAS and nitrates.
With $10 million in funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), the DNR has expanded the eligibility requirements for the Well Compensation and Well Abandonment Grant Programs. These programs provide financial assistance to owners of private or non-community public wells to address contamination in their wells by awarding grants for the replacement, reconstruction, treatment or abandonment of their well.
With the expansion of the eligibility requirements for these programs, many more Wisconsin residents with contamination in their wells will be able to apply and gain access to a reliable source of safe water. In the first week after applications opened on Oct. 3, nine applications were already submitted, and applications will continue to be accepted until all $10 million in funding has run out.