STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WSAU) — State legislators and curious citizens gathered at the Michelsen Concert Hall on the UW-Stevens Point campus Tuesday night to hear the findings of a study from the DNR on the Little Plover River and the effect of high capacity wells on its water flow.
The findings were preliminary, but they confirmed what many already believed. After the heaviest usage of the high capacity wells in place now during the summer months, the study simulated the water table returning to its normal level quickly, but the river itself never returned to its original flow levels with the annual frequency of the pump usage. The high capacity wells would have to be stopped for more than a year for the river flow levels to go back to their original state.
Dr. Ken Bradbury of the Wisconsin Geological & Natural History Survey and Dr. Mike Fienen of the United States Geological Survey presented their findings from the DNR sponsored study. Bradbury said the state suffers overall from a relatively flat water table, making the smallest change have a larger impact.
“This change in the water table up here a little bit can start affecting the stream. That’s why we see this happening in central Wisconsin, because our landscape is so flat, we don’t have a lot of topography on the landscape,” said Bradbury.