While the Dane County Water Quality Plan is developed by CARPC, implementation rests with local municipalities (61 in total) and other local agencies.  Many regional agencies are designated to carry out the plan's recommendations, programs and actions. Coalitions and non profits are also essential collaborators for implementation and serve an integral role in protecting local water resources.

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Designated Agencies

With offices for Land Conservation, Lakes and Watersheds, and Water Resource Engineering, the Dane County Land and Water Resources Department provides many critical programs for protecting soil and water resources. The Land Conservation Division helps landowners (both agricultural and non-agricultural) implement conservation strategies for protecting soil resources. The Office of Lakes and Watersheds engages residents and works with other agency staff to protect water resources. The Water Resource Engineering Division implements the county's Erosion Control and Stormwater Management Programs. It also guides the management of water levels within the Yahara chain of lakes.

Dane County UW-Extension provides outreach on soil, water and nutrient management within an agricultural setting.

The Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCHP) has the Bureau of Land and Water Resource Management which focuses on conserving soil, preventing agricultural runoff, and preserving farmland. It implements the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) which pays landowners to remove flooded land from agricultural production. The Bureau also helps develop nutrient management plans for farms.

The Department of Natural Resources manages many aspects of water resources. It issues permits relating to water use and runoff, assesses the quality of the regional waters, and implements plans for improving degraded waterways.

The Public Health Department addresses water issues directly impacting human health. It monitors beach closings, private well testing, surface water contaminants, and other health advisories.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) implements a water quality program throughout Dane County. Creating these long-term data sets of streamflow and water quality enables better assessment of area resources, an essential component of water resources planning.


The Integrated Nowcast/Forecast Operation System (INFOS) for Yahara Lakes is a platform for integrating real-time observations at gauging stations throughout the Yahara Lakes System. Graphics show water levels in the chain of lakes. The project uses models to predict the amount of runoff reaching each lake and how water moves within the lakes.


Ripple Effects, information from the Madison Area Stormwater Partnership (MAMSWaP), promotes practices to reduce and improve stormwater runoff to area waterways.


Wisconsin Salt Wise is a coalition of organizations working together to reduce salt pollution in our lakes, streams and drinking water.

Other Organizations

The Rock River Coalition (RRC) engages members of the Rock River basin community to improve environmental, recreational, cultural and economic resources. The RRC organizes a volunteer stream monitoring program and supports Chapter organizations focusing on smaller watersheds within the Rock River watershed.