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Who is leading the Clean Water Now effort?

Community members are on the front lines of their water challenges. They understand both the urgent need for change, and the real-time harm to public health and a clean water economy.

Local voters are working for clean water protection by asking county and municipal leaders to approve resolutions in support of Clean Water Now. In 2021 and 2022, they asked their county boards to add Clean Water Now advisory referendums to local ballots. Adams, Bayfield, Eau Claire, Green, Juneau, La Crosse, Marquette, Outagamie, Portage and Wood Counties approved the referendums with strong, bipartisan support.

These local efforts are supported by River Alliance of Wisconsin, a statewide nonprofit that empowers people to protect and restore water.

How will the Clean Water Now movement create change?

We know that clean water is a basic human right. County by county, Wisconsinites will demand more clean water protections from their state leaders.

We started with advisory, or nonbinding, referendums. State legislators took that right away from us in 2023.

Now we will work with our county and municipal governments to approve Clean Water Now resolutions. Local elected officials know their community challenges and voters’ needs best. Resolutions will show unity around the pressing need to find statewide solutions to the critical water issues that impact all of us.

Many Wisconsinites have asked elected leaders to take action to clean up and protect our waters for years. Our Governor and legislature spent 2019 focusing on water. It was both the Year of Clean Drinking Water and the Speaker’s Water Quality Task Force. The increased attention on water was due to the years of grassroots attention and demands to clean up our waters. However, the proposals from the Task Force fell short and the Senate took little action on the 13 bills that were proposed.

Our state can do better. 

Wisconsin’s policy leaders need to see that having clean water is a bipartisan issue that voters across the state want them to address.

I want my county to take part in the Clean Water Now effort. What’s the next step?

Success depends on local leaders like you! Please contact us to discuss the water issues in your community and how the campaign can fit your goals. Download the toolkit to learn how to ask your local government to pass a resolution.

How can I learn more about River Alliance of Wisconsin?

Clean Water Now is an effort of River Alliance of Wisconsin. Our mission is to empower people to protect and restore water. Our members have been protecting the waters of Wisconsin since 1993. 

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