Contact: Criste Greening   Phone: 715-570-8760   Email: [email protected]

Sustain Rural Wisconsin Network opposes SB76/AB105 and believes passage of this bill will result in PERMANENT damage to our state’s waters – lakes, rivers, streams, wetlands, and residential water wells. Written in its current state, this bill does not solve any problems for our state groundwater and surface water issues and only allows our current problems to continue.

Wisconsin is a mecca for recreation and tourism. Allowing the passage of SB76/AB105 would land a direct blow to the thriving tourism industry upon which many of our rural communities depend.  Those who travel to Wisconsin will be forced to find alternate vacation destinations to boat, fish, and recreate as lake levels continue to be drawn down.

SB76/AB105 will guarantee the continued drawdown of many lakes, trout streams, and residential wells if passed by our current legislature.  Unlimited permits are unprecedented in Wisconsin and pose a serious and immediate danger to our waterways and our residents.  Periodic review of high capacity well permits is essential to protect our waters.  

The transfer provision in SB76/AB105 is of greatest concern and encourages elected officials to purposefully and directly ignore the state’s Public Trust Doctrine, which states the waters of Wisconsin belong to all of us. Transferring water rights with the sale of a property is in direct conflict with that doctrine outlined within our state’s Constitution.  Transfer wording should be deleted entirely from this bill.

As Wisconsin residents, we depend and trust our elected officials to enact legislation that will ensure our surface and groundwater will be here for our children and grandchildren to use and enjoy.  Moreover, we have property rights and hold our representatives to the expectation that they will protect our interests over big industry donors who are attempting to buy preferential legislation.

Numerous scientific studies predicted reduced surface and groundwater due to overpumping from high capacity wells. Statewide, lakes, streams and wells are drying up and we are demanding legislative action to protect our water NOW. Do not vote to pass legislation that will make Wisconsin water issues worse and directly impact our tourism and recreational industry. SB76/AB105 will not stop or prevent further damage to the families of Wisconsin… it ensures the damage will continue.

Sustain Rural Wisconsin Network (SRWN) is a statewide coalition of thousands of individuals and hundreds of organizations dedicated to preserving the environment while maintaining the health and economic vitality of rural communities. We are concerned about Wisconsin’s water resources and support sustainable water use. We cannot support legislation that gives Wisconsin’s water to the highest bidder at the detriment of the citizens.

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