Monday, July 12, 2010

Great Lakes Compact - Proposed WDNR Water Use Rules

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) has proposed rules regarding Water Use Fees, Water Use Registration and Reporting, and Water Use Conservation and Efficiency. These rules are proposed as part of the State’s response to the Great Lakes Compact.

The first rule proposes water fees in a new chapter NR 850, and could affect surface water supply systems with the capacity to withdraw 100,000 gallons per day (“GPD”) or more.

The second rule contains new registration and reporting requirements. Proposed chapter NR 856 would require any system with the capacity to withdraw more than 100,000 GPD to register the withdrawal within six months of the rules effective date. If registration is required, then the facility would also be required to determine the monthly volume of water withdrawn, and will be required to file annual reports with DNR.

The third proposed rule addresses water conservation and use efficiency measures. Draft chapter NR 852 includes different conservation requirements applicable to three tiers of new or increased withdrawals. Tiers 1 and 2 apply to new and increased withdrawals from the Great Lakes Basin. Tier 3 includes new or increased diversions to a straddling community or county, new and increased intrabasin transfers, or new and increased withdrawals averaging more than 2,000,000 GPD.

The draft rules will be available for public comment until July 7, 2010. WDNR also expects to have additional related rules available for public comment in Fall 2010.

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