Thursday, July 25, 2019

Public interest science revival in Central Sands. 1 of 2 posts today.

There's more proof that science is back in Wisconsin public policy work after being shelved during Walker's eight-year reign on behalf of donors and polluters. (I posted another item earlier today again pointing out the Wisconsin science comeback.)

This story quotes the noted Wisconsin water expert George Kraft on the relationship better agricultural practices and clean drinking water. 

George Kraft, an emeritus professor of water resources with the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, said one problem is that the costs of pollution are externalized...And that’s disconnected from where the nitrate pollution is being applied," Kraft said.
In central Wisconsin...Potatoes require large amounts of water to grow. Kraft said the use of high-capacity wells had increased from 97 in the Central Sands region in 1960 to about 2,500 now. 
These issues and names rang this bell for me:
Walker replaces scientist on water council with industry donor
[Updated, Tuesday, 12:04 a.m., from 6:32 p.m. Monday] Wisconsin has a statutorily-created groundwater coordination council; Scott Walker has just replaced the council Governor's representative - - UW-Stevens Point professor and water expert George Kraft - - with Stephen Diercks, a potato grower, according to this industry report.

It's another example of Walker's antipathy towards science and anything remotely connected to the Jim Doyle administration (think opposition to voter ID or concealed carry, support for collective bargaining, expanded Amtrak, the Nelson-Knowles Stewardship Fund, state recycling aid, etc.), as Walker only represents and supports the 53% of the electorate which votes for him.

A frequent contributor principally to GOP candidates, Diercks has donated $4,450 to Walker's campaigns since 2009, including $1,500 on June 30, records show.

The same data base shows no contributions from Kraft to former Gov. Jim Doyle, who had appointed Kraft to the council.

Kraft has been a critic of large agriculture users' demands on Wisconsin groundwater, according to this news report.

The Governor's representative is a key position because, as this DNR web page points out, all the other members are state officials. The DNR web page had not been updated, so still lists Kraft as the representative, with this laudatory biographical note: 
Governor’s Representative [exit DNR] – George Kraft George Kraft is a professor of Water Resources and director of the Center for Watershed Science and Education, and director of the Central Wisconsin Groundwater Center. He holds appointments with both the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point College of Natural Resources and the University of Wisconsin – Extension. Dr. Kraft’s position is largely dedicated to serving the citizens, businesses and governments of Wisconsin. He is passionate about outreach in the Wisconsin Idea tradition: “The boundaries of the University are the boundaries of the state.” His outreach involvement includes working on groundwater resource sustainability, both for quality and quantity. [It has now been updated]
Separately, here is another report, with photos.
The River Alliance of Wisconsin cites the [Little Plover] River's situation as a warning about the consequences of state water misuse; I posted last year these River Alliance Little Plover photos, below, and mentioned the river's problems in a summary blog post from last May that included more than a dozen links cataloguing the many threats to public waters in Wisconsin
Scott Walker and his party's obeisance to businesses which think the state's groundwater and surface water are theirs to deplete, pollute and otherwise expropriate have only intensified the state's water crisis.
River Alliance of Wisconsin photos

Dead Brookie

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