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Hydrogeology Program

The WGNHS has a principal responsibility among state agencies for conducting groundwater survey and research. Many activities under this program are closely coordinated with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and with individual counties or regional planning agencies. The Survey also works cooperatively with the U.S. Geological Survey and other agencies about groundwater issues affecting Wisconsin. 

Research areas

Hydrogeology research at the Survey ranges from original hydrogeologic research to water-resources protection and management. Specific groundwater research projects focus on scientific questions about Wisconsin’s groundwater address questions associated with groundwater movement through fractured rocks, groundwater recharge, land-use impacts on groundwater, arsenic in groundwater, and other topics.

WGNHS hydrogeology researchers

  • develop water-table maps,
  • build computerized models to predict groundwater flow,
  • assist with land-use questions, and
  • conduct various research projects.

These activities provide information to local governments, state agencies, and the public to help increase their effectiveness is dealing with water-resource protection and management issues. WGNHS researchers also collect data and compile maps about the state’s groundwater, usually at the county level (scale 1:100,000). Products include county groundwater reports, well construction databases, and groundwater-quality surveys. 

Educational outreach

Some researchers in the hydrogeology program are faculty in the University of Wisconsin–Extension’s Department of Environmental Sciences. Hydrogeology researchers also cooperate regularly with the Hydrogeology Group at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Other research programs at the Survey

Bedrock geology
Quaternary geology