Wisconsin Lakes

We Speak for Lakes

WI Lakes

It’s Your Water, Wisconsin!


By Mike Engleson, Executive Director

In a discussion at a recent meeting of the Central Sands Water Action Coalition (CSWAC) I attended with representatives from the River Alliance of Wisconsin and Clean Wisconsin, two important points kept coming to the forefront. First, we discussed the need for a way to demonstrate to legislators the depth and breadth of support for strong but reasonable water protections in Wisconsin, at a time when we seem to be moving farther and farther away from those protections.

We also discussed the need for water advocates, no matter the issue that most concerns you or the part of the state from which you hail, to come together and realize that all these issues – from drinking water to polluted runoff to groundwater quantity to a defense of the Public Trust Doctrine itself – are somehow interconnected (just like our waters) and that we all need to be helping each other out.

From this discussion, “It’s Your Water, Wisconsin!” was born. First and foremost, this is an opportunity for individuals and organizations to sign on (through a simple form available at itsyourwaterwisconsin.org) to a Declaration of Principles for Wisconsin Waters, which include:

  • Every single person in Wisconsin requires and deserves safe, clean drinking water.
  • Wisconsin’s water belongs to everyone. There should be no conflict between business needs and public needs.
  • With diverse landscapes and natural resources, local governments and constituents must have a role in creating and implementing policies to protect the unique waters in their jurisdictions appropriately.
  • Clean and plentiful water that supports a healthy habitat for fisheries, wildlife, residents and visitors is essential for a strong tourism industry and a vital economy in Wisconsin.

We’re also hoping, through social media vehicles like Facebook and Twitter, as well as future opportunities under the It’s Your Water, Wisconsin! brand, to build conversations between different groups, bound by an understanding of the fundamental importance and sanctity of Wisconsin’s water in all its many forms and the many ways it is used by our people.

Wisconsin Lakes is proud to join with the River Alliance of Wisconsin and the Central Sands Water Action Coalition in leading this effort, and I encourage everyone to go to itsyourwaterwisconsin.org, sign onto the principles, and then share your water story on Facebook and Twitter. Let’s get the conversation ramped up to where, headed into 2017, lawmakers in Wisconsin can’t ignore the depth of passion and understanding for clean, safe, well-protected water in our state.