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Water Resources Planning

The Commission provides a variety of water resources planning services to the Region. These include efforts that derive from our role as the State-designated areawide water quality management planning agency for the Region, as well as efforts related to floodplain and coastal management.


Since completing an initial Regional Water Quality Management Plan in 1979, the Commission has worked cooperatively with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) and other partners to conduct a continuing water quality management planning effort. A great deal of solutions and projects have come out of this plan and our staff has continually supported their implementation in a variety of ways.

From the very beginning, the watershed has been used as the basic planning unit for environmental-related work. A series of comprehensive watershed plans have been developed over the years addressing interrelated issues in each major watershed, focusing on water quality and floodland management. Those plans provided the basis for regional sanitary sewerage and water quality management plans as well as ongoing efforts to address stormwater and floodland management issues.


Water Resources Planning Services

The Commission provides extensive assistance across the Region in support of local water resources planning efforts, including:

  • Watershed Restoration/Protection Planning
  • Hydrologic and Hydraulic Modeling
  • Floodplain Studies and FEMA Submittals
  • Stormwater Modeling
  • Flooding Alternatives Evaluation
  • Water Quality Monitoring
  • Streambank/Lake Shoreline Habitat and Erosion Assessments
  • Fisheries Habitat/Fish Passage Assessments
  • Project Scope Development and Grant Writing Services


Lake and Stream Management

Each year, Commission staff work on a variety of lake and stream management planning projects. These projects focus on multiple issues such as aquatic plant growth and management, water quality, flooding, watershed conditions, pollutant (nutrient and sediment) sources and transport, identifying and prioritizing parcels for implementing best management practices, groundwater recharge protection, algae, shoreline maintenance, recreational use, public access, water levels, and wildlife. More on these efforts may be found on the Lakes & Streams page.


Flood Management

The Commission’s comprehensive watershed studies include floodplain management components that provide the basis for many of the floodplain management activities within the Region. Due to significant expertise in hydrologic and hydraulic modeling, Commission staff are regularly involved in floodplain and stormwater management planning activities across the Region. More on these efforts may be found on the Flood Management Planning page.


Coastal Management

Commission staff assist the Wisconsin Department of Administration in conducting the Wisconsin Coastal Management Program. The program was established in 1978 under the Federal Coastal Zone Management Act to preserve and improve Wisconsin’s Great Lakes coastal resources for present and future generations. More on these efforts may be found on the Coastal Management page.