Task force releases recommendations to tackle contaminated water

By: Mason Dowling, WAOW

MADISON, Wis. (WAOW) - After a year of study, debate and hearings, the state's Water Quality Task Force published their comprehensive report and recommendations on Wednesday.

Task force members - including State Senator Pat Testin (R-Stevens Point) and Representative Katrina Shankland (D-Stevens Point) - highlighted multiple ways the Badger State can address concerns of contaminated groundwater.

Senator Testin says the recommendation he is most excited about is continuous state funding for County-level water auditors.

"These are the individuals who are hands-on, boots-on-the-ground, working with our producers for the best management practices," he said. "Asking, how can we use the best techniques to reduce runoff, to reduce nitrate contamination."

Vice-Chair of the Task Force Katrina Shankland agreed.

“The proposals we are recommending today are the product of a year-long process of information gathering, bipartisan collaboration, and compromise, and are a long-overdue step in the right direction. These bills will make a real and lasting difference for the public health and for our economy, from agriculture to tourism to our workforce and talent attraction, but the conversation certainly doesn’t stop here," she said in a statement.

Other recommendations from the report include well-water grant programs, and making a central office to coordinate clean-water efforts state-wide.