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The "Wisconsin Water Policies Inventory (WPPI)" debuts this Earth Day,
providing citizens with a new, web-based tool for navigating the state's
major policies on any aspect of water including use, protection, quality,
and management. It enables Wisconsinites to focus on State policies by
topic, using keywords and browser features. The URL is

The idea for the WPPI, whose search features will be familiar to Google
users, grew out of the statewide Waters of Wisconsin initiative spearheaded
by the Wisconsin Academy for Sciences, Arts and Letters from 2000 to 2003.
The website was developed during the Governor's declared Year of Water by a
University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate seminar, in partnership with the UW
Aquatic Sciences Center and assisted by a network of agency, university, and
nongovernmental advisors. The site includes links to the state electronic
legislative library maintained by the Legislature, without which the WPPI
would not have been possible.

Steve Born, UW-Madison Professor of Planning and Environmental Studies, who
co-directed the project along with Elisa Graffy, U.S. Geological Survey
policy specialist, notes that the Wisconsin Water Policies Inventory may be
the first of its kind in the U.S. He adds, "This is an effort to make the
state's current policies and policy goals more transparent. Citizens are
often surprised to discover what the many laws and rules do and don't say,
but the hardest part is finding them in the first place. The graduate
students who put this database together put in a lot of hours on behalf of
their fellow citizens."

"Water is literally the lifeblood of Wisconsin. This data base will be a
valuable source of information about how we are using our waters and what is
being done to protect and restore this precious resource for future
generations," stated Todd Ambs, Water Division Administrator for the
Wisconsin DNR and former member of the Waters of Wisconsin Advisory Group.

Contact for further information: Stephen M. Born (608-262-9985)

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