Central Wisconsin Groundwater Center

Helping citizens and governments manage the groundwater in Wisconsin wisely, through education, public information, applied research, and technical assistance.

Groundwater is an essential resource in Wisconsin. It provides drinking water for 70% of Wisconsin residents and 95% of Wisconsin communities. Groundwater also feeds our lakes, streams and wetlands and helps sustain the many creatures who live there.

Throughout history, groundwater has been a hidden and often misunderstood resource - "out of sight and out of mind." However, as population grows and land uses intensify, threats to groundwater quality and quantity are increasing. Individuals and communities need help in using information and developing skills to decide the future of their drinking water and groundwater resources. That is the reason the Central Wisconsin Groundwater Center was established in 1985.

The Center is an affiliate of the Center for Watershed Science and Education.  It is part of the University of Wisconsin - Extension Cooperative Extension Service and housed in the College of Natural Resources at UW-Stevens Point. (See a map). The Center works with citizens and local governments throughout Wisconsin, particularly those in the central part of the state.


Groundwater is the water underneath the earth's surface that flows freely and can be pumped with wells. Groundwater is part of the earth's water cycle, originating from rainfall percolating through soil. Groundwater discharges to lakes and streams, and eventually evaporates to begin the water cycle once again.