"There are so many lakes in Wisconsin that not even half of them have been named.
With some 84,000 miles of rivers and streams, more than 15,000 lakes, millions of acres of wetlands and more than a quadrillion gallons of groundwater, Wisconsin has long been a model for environmental conservation and a destination for those looking to enjoy nature.
But residents, environmentalists, and researchers say that legacy and the state’s water resources are under threat. While the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) secretary became a politicized appointment 20 years ago, many say Gov. Scott Walker’s administration has had an unprecedented impact on the state’s natural resources, and that Wisconsin’s bountiful waters are more imperiled than ever.
In the past 10 years, the number of frac sand mines in Wisconsin has grown from five to more than 60. The number of dairy CAFOs — concentrated animal feeding operations — ballooned from 50 to 250. There are more than 3,000 high capacity wells — which pull at least 70 gallons of water out of the ground each minute — in one region alone, up from fewer than 100 five decades ago."
Three part series: