Science, Policy & Water: A Waters of Wisconsin Summit


Tuesday, May 10 • 8am to 5pm
UW-Madison Union South

Summit Overview
Water defines life in Wisconsin, supporting our economy and enriching our quality of life. But how do we protect the health of Wisconsin’s waters and people? How are we crafting policy to address today’s water challenges? In particular, what roles do scientific research and knowledge play in informing these policies?

With its strong conservation heritage and Wisconsin Idea tradition, Wisconsin is in a unique position to address these questions. Today’s complex challenges to water quality, water supply, and sustaining healthy freshwater habitat include the influences of a changing climate, rapid expansion of large-scale agricultural operations and related impacts on local groundwater for irrigation, and local water quality from manure and other animal waste. We also face long-standing issues from nutrient pollution throughout the state, “legacy pollutants” at the bottoms of rivers and harbors, and ongoing pressures to develop wetlands and shorelines.

These diverse, and often overlapping threats make insights from science more important than ever. But in spite of these challenges, Wisconsin’s water management framework has changed dramatically in recent years—especially in regard to the role of science in informing policy. The Science, Policy & Water Summit aims to explore the unique relationship between science and policy in the context of safeguarding our waters in Wisconsin.

To this end, the goals of the summit are:

To be a “de-polarizing” conference that models civil discourse on the interconnections between water, science, economics, health, climate, agriculture, and, ultimately, how science can better inform policy.
To identify challenges and needs, especially as related to science and water-related concerns in Wisconsin.
To bring scientists and policymakers together to explore ways to work more effectively together, and to openly discuss trends and findings that require public response.
This event is open to the public, and we welcome a diverse audience to enrich the discussion. Please join us!

Parking & Accessibility
Parking on campus is limited. We recommend that attendees arrive before 8:30 to ensure a parking space in one of the lots near Union South; these include Lot 80 (in Union South itself), and Lots 16 and 17. Other parking is more readily available on the North side of campus. For information and maps please see below. Elevators are available throughout Union South, leading from the parking ramp up to the top floor. Varsity Hall, the location of the Summit, is on the 2nd floor.

Union South parking:
Union South accessibility:
UW-Madison parking map:

The event will take place in Varsity Hall, which is on the 2nd floor of UW-Madison Union South, located at 1308 W Dayton St. in Madison. For a map and directions, please visit:

Please direct all questions to Meredith Keller at, or at 608-263-1692 ext 20.


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