Wisconsin Lakes

We Speak for Lakes

WI Lakes

Community Decisions for Clean Water

UW-Madison project provides tools for communities to help make decisions for the betterment of their waters.

The Water Sustainability and Climate Project (WSC) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is an integrated effort to understand how water and the many other benefits people derive from nature could change over time. The project is focused on the Yahara Watershed in southern Wisconsin, a place that is both unique and representative of other places in the Upper Midwest. 

As guest blogger Jenny Seifert, Science Writer and Outreach Coordinator for the project shows us, however, the project can benefit lake communities all across Wisconsin.

New resources for the future of water and people 

The future of water and people depends on the choices we make today – and the ideas we share with each other. Two new resources by the UW-Madison Water Sustainability and Climate project help communities think about what they can do to make sure the future is one they’d want.

Madison's Isthmus from the air

Madison’s Isthmus is a key feature of the Yahara watershed

Changes and Choices in the Yahara is a mini-documentary series that highlights the lessons learned by the project’s researchers about the impacts of changing land use, climate and human demands on land, water and human well-being in the Yahara Watershed. The seven short videos underscore the importance of making choices that will build resilience in the region and beyond.

The Yahara 2070 discussion guides are free, action-oriented conversation tools designed to help groups imagine possible futures and then develop their own vision of a desirable future to work toward. Similar to a book club, the guides use the Yahara 2070 scenarios, four short stories about the future of the Yahara Watershed, to catalyze conversation and action.

While focused on the Yahara Watershed, the relevance of these resources extends to much of Wisconsin and the Upper Midwest. You’re invited to consider possible solutions for building resilience and imagine a desirable future.