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State water survey prompts usage review by DNR

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MADISON, Wis. (WSAU) - Officials from the Department of Natural Resources say they're working hard to ensure good groundwater usage in the state.

A report released last week shows that Wisconsin residents and business used 213 billion gallons of groundwater in 2011. Statewide, water usage is split mostly between municipal and agricultural usage. DNR water use chief Eric Ebersberger says that 62 billion gallons of water was drawn for the Central Sands region of the state. "About 80 percent of that is drawn for irrigation."

Ebersberger says the department is aware of some issues in areas like the Little Plover River in Portage County which dried up last year. "Are there some problems in some areas? Yes. What's causing them is a little more complicated though." He says the state is working with the UW System and other groups to do a survey of the region and take a look at the issues at hand which include water usage and the continued drought across central Wisconsin.

The DNR is encouraging all water users – irrigation, industry and municipal water - to use their water sources smartly and to try and prevent wasting water. Simple steps like turning off the faucet when shaving or brushing teeth, buying water-sipping appliances and taking a few minutes to fix a leak are good, easy steps to take. You can get more info online from http://dnr.wi.gov.

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