WGWA Newsletter Vol. 30, No. 2, Second Quarter 2016
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Dear WGWA Members:
The WGWA Annual State Conference was held Friday, March 25th, 2016 at the Marriott Milwaukee West in Waukesha, WI.   The conference is WGWA's premier educational and networking event of the year and drew industry professionals and experts from across the state.  A full conference recap can be found using this link.

The current and past WGWA board members have been working over the past several months to identify industry professionals to fill our open leadership position.  Very soon a ballot will be sent out for your vote on who will be taking over as President and President-Elect.  There are still open committee roles, please let us know if you would like to join the WGWA leadership team.  Watch for the WGWA ballot to be sent out very soon!

Our Newsletter committee has found some very interesting reads for this issue and we also have an update from Wellntel Inc.  Enjoy the newsletter.
-Aaron Schneider
(WGWA, Past President)
Radium levels rise in Wisconsin tap Water
The Sheboygan Press is reporting on causes of the rise in radium in drinking water.  Through a report by Mary Kate McCoy from the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism, we found a detailed report on what research has found.  In the article "Radium Levels Rise In Wisconsin Tap Water" you will find comments from WGWA state conference presenter Dr. John Luczaj and a few other industry professionals.
Wisconsin's "radium belt" stretches across northeast Wisconsin down to southeastern part of the state.
 (Photo: Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism)
Reporters Silke Schmidt and Dee J. Hall contributed to this report. The story was produced as part of journalism classes participating in The Confluence, a collaborative project involving the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism and University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

For the full article courtesy the Sheboygan Press, click here.
Milwaukee Based Groundwater Technology Start-up Growing Nationally:

"Our data are sparse; our models are incomplete; but, we must decide” 
So began the keynote of the 2016 National Groundwater Association Groundwater Summit. Ty Ferré, Ph.D., professor of Hydrology and Water Resources at University of Arizona, summing up the problem perplexing groundwater scientists and stakeholders worldwide. It is the problem that Wellntel, a Wisconsin-based groundwater technology start-up, is working to solve. 
WGWA last heard from Wellntel at the Annual Meeting in Spring 2015. Marian Singer, CoFounder, shared Wellntel’s new groundwater level information system vision. The system is built on a simple but powerful idea - a sensor installed at the wellhead, taking continuous static, and as needed, pumping level readings, pushing those readings to a secure, cloud-based analytics and calibration engine. System owners can login, watch their groundwater resource trends, set alerts and decide whether to share the data with a trusted servicer, their local/state groundwater agency or not at all.
Since commercial launch in July 2015, the company has deployed more than 300 systems, nationwide and gathered nearly 2 million groundwater readings. While many of those systems are on private residential and agriculture wells, an increasing number make up are in networks sponsored by local, regional, state and federal agencies as well as private businesses. With accuracy comparable to scientific level loggers and pressure transducers, Wellntel’s consumer price point, ease-of-use, and continuous, connected cloud interface are driving new installations and transforming existing monitoring networks.
In Wisconsin, Wellntel has been deployed 14 counties across the state. For example, in northwestern Wisconsin, volunteers and agency sponsors including the USGS, WGNHS and the Wisconsin DNR in three counties have come together to create a long term, low cost, low maintenance monitoring system. Wellntel systems are installed at town halls and on private domestic and agricultural wells. The project goal is to use Wellntel data to establish a groundwater baseline, understand long term trends and inform local water management decisions.
Since Wellntel is non-invasive and doesn’t touch water, sensors can be deployed by consultants, researchers and agencies not only on public monitoring wells but also private volunteer wells. This has a two fold benefit: researchers can inexpensively leverage existing individuals who volunteer their private water well assets to create new data points. A second benefit is the creation of social capital. Each owner in these new networks has a Wellntel account, can see and learn from their new groundwater and well water insights, learn about their water resources, understand their own impact and use the data as a springboard to new conversions, with their families, neighbors and city councils. 
Wellntel’s data is cloud-based, cutting the time to collect, calibrate and prep data for analysis by 80-90% over traditional continuous monitoring options. This extends existing budgets by reducing manpower needed for data preparation, frees up capital to expand location and study reach, and focuses time and energy toward improving groundwater models and supporting better local groundwater decision-making.

Wellntel is starting a groundwater information revolution.  New, never-before seen insights from Wellntel will close the data gap Ty Ferré, Ph.D.opined in his NGWA Summit keynote, but also help enlist groundwater stewards everywhere. If you’d like to join them, contact Marian Singer to schedule a call or a visit at at or (414)416-6281.
The latest news on Waukesha's bid for Lake Michigan water

Tuesday, May 8th, Great Lakes officials met in Chicago to review Waukesha’s request for Lake Michigan water.  In a Journal Sentinel article by Don Behm titled "Panel further reduces area in Waukesha's bid for Lake Michigan water,"  Don highlights the latest views from across the Great Lakes as well as reaction from Waukesha.  Read the full article here.
Stepp: DNR puts science to work in Kewaunee County

Cathy Stepp, Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources, responds via this article about groundwater quality issues in northeast Wisconsin.  Recently, State Rep. Eric Genrich (D-Green Bay) has been quoted to saying: “We are dealing with a public health crisis. We have communities in northeast Wisconsin where half of the wells that are tested are contaminated and the water is undrinkable, where residents no longer have access to safe, clean drinking water.”  (related article here).  Secretary Stepp says in her article that public education is an important part of the process and the DNR will be focusing on educational and outreach efforts to equip consumers with the best possible information about their wells and overall drinking water quality.  Read Secretary Stepp article here.
Event Highlight:
June 14-15, 2016: Water Summit 2016 in Milwaukee, WI The Water Council’s annual Water Summit strives to create a channel for water professionals to share ideas, provide unique networking opportunities, discuss vital current global water issues and advance innovative solutions shaping the future of water technology and our world’s water crisis.  Now in its 9th year, the Summit attracts over 400 water leaders and a lineup of expert, international speakers. For more information, click here. 

Regional Events:

May 15-25, 2016: Testing the Waters a Paddle and Probe Adventure An exciting exploration of the Rock River between Mayville and Beloit: 10 days of paddling the Rock River Water Trail, checking water quality and hosting community educational events and school programs. For more information, click here

July 18-22, 2016: Earth Educators Rendezvous on UW-Madison Campus. The Rendezvous brings together college faculty, graduate students, and K-12 teachers from all disciplines who are interested in improving their teaching about Earth. For more information, click here

June 19-22, 2016: American Water Works Association Annual Conference in Chicago, Illinois, "Uniting the World of Water". For more information, click here

June 22-25, 2016: 2016 SCGIS Conference in Asilomar Conference Center, Monterey CA, "Climate Change and the Future of Water". For more information, click here

Found on the Internet
A world with less water
(From DW)
Water scarcity has long been a problem. But climate change, a growing global population and economic growth are putting the natural resource under even more stress. Full article, here
Deutsche Welle (DW) is Germany’s international broadcaster.

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The WGWA Newsletter is written and produced by:
Lee Trotta, Kara Henderlight and Aaron Schneider
Copyright © 2016 Wisconsin Groundwater Assoc., All rights reserved.

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