The growth in large dairies, and concerns about manure disposal from operations of all sizes, have fueled efforts to more tightly regulate their operations or siting. Here’s a partial roundup.
Two weeks ago, Administrative Law Judge Jeffrey Boldt approved the state Department of Natural Resources’ issuance of permits for a large and controversial dairy farm in Central Wisconsin. But he also reduced the amount of water the farm could pump from proposed high-capacity wells and required the DNR to consider the impact of the withdrawals in conjunction with other, nearby wells — a concept known as cumulative impacts.
Center reporters Kate Golden and Kate Prengaman chat about what it was like reporting their recent story on groundwater concerns in Wisconsin’s Central Sands.
“Long Lake was once a trophy bass lake. So when we moved here, in the first two years, my boys were catching bass like crazy,” said Brian Wolf, who owns a cabin on Long Lake. “It was like catching fish in a barrel as the water declined.”
While experts say the Little Plover is the poster child for the problems of overpumping, some of them hope it also could be the source of solutions.