In Dane County, groundwater is the source for all public and domestic water supplies. Take a look at how groundwater and surface water has been used over the past 40 years.

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Dane County Water Use
Groundwater Withdrawals by Municipality

Photo Courtesy of EPA

Dane County Water Use

Hover over a bar segment to see the amount of water used by each sector. Check data on and off to examine specific sectors.

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Data Source: Wisconsin Water Science Center USGS, updated April 2018

Water Use explanations:

Aquaculture: For raising aquatic organisms, such as fish and shellfish
Irrigation: For crops, golf courses, nurseries, and parks
Livestock: On-farm needs, such as livestock watering, feedlots, and dairy operations
Commercial:  Used by private businesses
Domestic: Indoor and outdoor residential uses; supplied by public water supply or private well
Industrial: Used in manufacturing facilities
Mining: For mineral extraction
Public Use: Publicly supplied water to public services such as firefighting and to public facilities such as pools, parks, and municipal buildings
Thermoelectric Power: Includes recirculation and once-through cooling

How big is one million gallons?

A cube 51.1 feet long on each side. In 2015, Dane County used 60 million gallons of groundwater per day. That is the equivalent of an acre covered with 184 feet of water, everyday! 51% of the groundwater withdrawn was for domestic use.

Wisconsin relies heavily on groundwater resources. See information posted by the Wisconsin DNR to learn more about water withdrawals across the state, both from surface and groundwater. In 2016, Dane County had the second largest groundwater withdrawals of all Wisconsin counties.

Groundwater Withdrawals by Municipality 2011-2017

  • Select a year by sliding the button or clicking the arrows
  • Click on a community to see groundwater withdrawals
  • Explore monthly groundwater withdrawals over time

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Data Source: WDNR updated November 2018

Sector Explanations:

Public: Public/municipal/community utility
Commercial: Hospitals, schools, businesses
Industrial: Manufacturing, industry
Irrigation: Agriculture, golf courses, orchards/nurseries
Livestock: Dairy farming, animal husbandry

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