The Dane County Water Quality Plan

This website showcases the Dane County Water Quality Plan administered by the Capital Area Regional Planning Commission (CARPC) in Dane County, Wisconsin.

CARPC partners with Dane County communities to collaboratively manage the interrelationship of land use and water quality. Through the Dane County Water Quality Plan, CARPC works to protect, improve, and enhance ground and surface water quality in the greater Madison region.

About the Plan

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) adopts the Dane County Water Quality Plan as part of areawide water quality management planning under state administrative code NR 121 and the federal Clean Water Act. The Summary Plan and its technical appendices provide a policy framework and guidance for state and local water quality protection programs.


CARPC implements the plan by identifying urban service area (USA) and environmental corridor boundaries. These boundaries are routinely amended as communities grow and update their local land use plans. CARPC and WDNR staff approve sewer extensions and sewage treatment facilities based on USA boundaries. CARPC staff also review stormwater management plans prior to land development.

Related Work

To proactively support water quality and flood resilience, CARPC works with local communities and groups to coordinate inter-municipal watershed plans. Recent examples include the Black Earth Watershed Green Infrastructure Plan, the Starkweather Creek Chlorides Management Plan, and the Waubesa Wetlands Report.