The Capital Area Regional Planning Commission (CARPC) works to protect, improve, and enhance water quality by implementing and updating the Dane County Water Quality Plan. The plan consists of a Summary Plan and technical appendices. It provides a policy framework and guidance for federal, state, and local water quality protection programs. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources adopts the plan as part of areawide water quality management planning under state administrative code NR 121 and the federal Clean Water Act.

The Dane County Water Quality Plan has been continually updated, revised, and expanded since its initial adoption and certification in 1979. Previous plans have been compiled as printed reports. This website strives to make this up-to-date information available for the public in a user-friendly form.

Photo By: Mike Kakuska

Components of the complete Dane County Water Quality Plan include, starting with the mostly recently updated:

  • Groundwater Protection Planning Framework (2017) View PDF
  • Point Source Inventory and Analysis (2017) View PDF
  • Surface Water Conditions (2014) View PDF
  • Population, Housing, Economic and Land Use Data (2014) View PDF
  • Private On-Site Waste Water Treatment Systems Management (2013) View PDF
  • Urban Nonpoint Source Analysis (2011) View PDF
  • Dane County Water Quality Plan Summary (2004) View PDF
  • Environmental Corridors Report (1996) View PDF
  • Agricultural Nonpoint Source Analysis (1988) View PDF
  • Residual and Solid Waste Disposal (1988) View PDF
  • Lake Management (1979) View PDF
  • Summary of Public Participation (1979) View PDF
  • Socio-Economic Profile (1979) View PDF
  • Legal and Institutional Analysis (1978) View PDF

Dane County is also included in the water quality management plans for major river basins, which are prepared by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources as part of the statewide continuing water quality management planning process. Watershed plans for the Lower Wisconsin River Basin, the Sugar-Pecatonica River Basin, and the Upper and Middle Rock River Basins cover portions of Dane County. The objective is consistency and mutual support between the Dane County Water Quality Plan, applicable watershed plans, and other regional plans such as the

and others.

The Summary Water Quality Plan is updated to reflect current conditions and includes updated program recommendations for all water quality management program areas and updated short-range priority actions for all local designated management agencies.

Through this plan CARPC develops an environmental protection strategy for both pollution control and resource protection. This strategy encompasses waste treatment, best management practices, erosion control, vegetation management, stormwater management, and land use planning. Resource protection recognizes that land and natural resources perform critical environmental functions such as groundwater recharge and discharge, water quality improvement, erosion control, storage of floodwaters, wildlife habitat and scenic beauty. Some lands are particularly vulnerable in urban and developing areas. It is important to identify these critical and vulnerable lands and resources so that their environmental functions can be protected.