Conservation voters release water quality protection checklist

Dec 05, 2019

MADISON – Wisconsin Conservation Voters issued its requirements for successfully addressing the state’s water quality crisis today.

“The Water Quality Protection Checklist,” gives legislators eight specific requirements for protecting Wisconsin’s water quality.

This year, unsafe drinking water has been one of the state’s most prominent environmental and public health issues. Gov. Tony Evers declared 2019 the Year of Clean Drinking Water and Speaker Robin Vos created a bipartisan task force to deliver solutions to water problems plaguing Wisconsin communities.

As the task force works to find solutions and the legislature continues its session, Wisconsin Conservation Voters has compiled a checklist to ensure all lawmakers understand what success is, and how to address the state’s water quality crisis in a comprehensive manner.

The checklist will also serve as the criteria for how Wisconsin Conservation Voters will evaluate legislators on water quality issues in its published review of the legislative session next year.

“This checklist makes it clear to legislators how they’ll be measured, and if they succeed or fail to protect our water and our health,” said Government Affairs Director Jennifer Giegerich. “As more and more communities suffer the terrible effects of drinking water pollution, this is no time for half-measures or Band-Aid fixes that don’t address the heart of the water quality crisis. After this legislative session, voters across the state will have explicit evidence of who fought for their water – and who failed them, their families, and communities.”

The checklist will be emailed to all legislators and is available online at

The Water Quality Protection Checklist
To properly protect your constituents and the state of Wisconsin from the harmful effects of unsafe drinking water, which is linked to cancer, diabetes, infant brain damage, lifelong learning and behavioral problems, and many more negative health outcomes, you must:

  • Draft legislation, or support rulemaking, to incorporate a water quality standard for nitrate pollution in targeted performance standards for manure.
  • Provide adequate and ongoing funding for county conservationists, water quality data collection, and staff at the U.S. Geological Survey to conduct water quality mapping.
  • Draft legislation to increase CAFO fees to cover the cost of staff necessary to oversee the CAFO permitting program.
  • Draft legislation to increase cost-share to farmers, with a priority in sensitive areas.
  • Adopt AB 21 to modernize income requirements and make wells that human beings – not just farm animals – use eligible for replacement.
  • Adopt the CLEAR Act (SB 302/AB 321), which will require the DNR to establish standards for emerging toxins like PFAS in our drinking water, surface water, groundwater, soil, and air.
  • Adopt SB 371/AB 399, which will provide $40 million in bonding authority for communities to replace lead pipes.
  • Adopt the SCHOOLs bills to require testing for lead in schools (SB 423) and in daycares and summer camps (SB 424) and remediate when necessary.

For more information

Contact Ryan Billingham, communications director, 608-208-1129 or