Tracking Water Use and Withdrawal in Wisconsin

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) tracks and reports water use from around the state. The Water Use Program gathers data about how much water is being pulled from the ground and from surface sources such as wells, ponds, streams, rivers and lakes. All property owners in Wisconsin capable of withdrawing 100,000 gallons of water per day are required to register and report these withdrawals to the DNR.

The Wisconsin Digital Archives makes available the annual water use reports that the DNR publishes. The reports provide statistics about how much water is withdrawn by industry, maps of where the water is being pulled from and information about water being withdrawn from Lake Michigan.

The DNR also makes available a searchable database of people and companies that have registered with the DNR because they withdraw over 100,000 gallons of water per day. The information provided is much more granular and details water withdrawal and use specific to the person or company from 2010 to current.


Posted by: Abby Swanton, Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning

Resources to Help People with Dementia, Their Families, and Their Communities

According to the Wisconsin Dept. of Health Services (DHS), Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias are already straining Wisconsin’s long-term care system, and the number of people affected is expected to increase dramatically as the baby boom generation ages. DHS estimates that in 2015 there were 115,000 Wisconsin residents with dementia. By 2040, the percentage of individuals with dementia in Wisconsin is expected to increase to 242,000.

In 2014, DHS created the Wisconsin Dementia Care System Redesign Plan. The plan made improving care for people with dementia and their families one of DHS’ top priorities. The Wisconsin Digital Archives provides access to the redesign plan and other documents and resources to support the implementation of the plan.

In 2018, DHS and partner organizations will be working on a new state plan to help people with dementia, their families, and their communities. Stay on top of the development of the new plan by visiting the DHS website. As new documents are published they will also be made available through the Wisconsin Digital Archives.

Post written by: Abby Swanton, Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning

Reintroduction of elk to Wisconsin

In 1989, the Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources (DNR) was directed by the state legislature to explore the feasibility of successfully reintroducing elk, moose and caribou. It was determined that an elk reintroduction could succeed in Wisconsin, while reintroductions of moose or caribou likely would not. The reintroduction of elk began in 1995 with 25 elk from Michigan to the Clam Lake area of southern Ashland County. The herd has grown since 1995 to about 200 animals in 2018.  After extensive monitoring that helped guide elk herd management decisions, it was determined by the DNR that there could be a limited harvest. The first elk hunting season will be introduced fall 2018.

If you’re interest in learning more about the reintroduction of elk and elk management in Wisconsin, visit the Wisconsin Digital Archives. There you will find state documents specifically about the elk herds in Wisconsin and updates about the herds’ growth

For more information about the elk season dates, how to obtain a harvest tag and regulations about the elk hunting season can be found on the DNR website.

Post written by: Abby Swanton, Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning

Wisconsin Attorney General Opinions Now Online

Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel announced on Twitter today that every Wisconsin Attorney General opionion is now available on the DOJ website (

When you need to know more than the news tells you

News coverage of topics lawmakers in Wisconsin are debating and proposing in the current legislative session only provides basic information.  If you’re like me, the news often leaves me wanting to know more background information about topics of proposed legislation. Where can you turn to get that information? The Wisconsin Digital Archives is your source for background information about legislative topics!

For instance, lawmakers in Wisconsin are considering an open-road tollway as a way to possibly fix the funding issue for the state’s roads. A quick search of the Wisconsin Digital Archives using the term ‘tolling’ returns 6 results for state documents about the policy and legal framework for tolling in Wisconsin. These state documents provide in depth information to better understand the feasibility of implementing open-road tollways in Wisconsin.

The Wisconsin Digital Archives provides in depth background information in the form of reports, studies, statistics, and economic, policy and legal analysis published by state agencies. These publications provide important background information about topics reported by news outlets so that you can be an informed resident of Wisconsin and can understand how legislation will impact your life.

When you need to know more than the news tells you, search the Wisconsin Digital Archives!

Post written by: Abby Swanton, Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning

Researching Taxation in Wisconsin

It’s tax season and Wisconsin residents can stay informed and do research about taxation in Wisconsin by searching the Wisconsin Digital Archives.  As tax laws continue to change, access to information about how taxation impacts Wisconsin residents is important. The Wisconsin Dept. of Revenue does extensive reporting about how taxes in Wisconsin impact the economy. There are reports and statistics about topics such as sales tax, property tax, tax assessment, income tax, and the taxation of goods such as alcohol and beer, automobiles, and fuel just to name a few.

Click on this quick search link to access all publications in the Wisconsin Digital Archives published by the Wisconsin Dept. of Revenue. To learn more about searching by publisher and format, access the Search Tips guides online.

Post written by: Abby Swanton, Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning

Accessing Agricultural Impact Statements

As our state continues to grow and change, it’s important to have access to information that allows us to be informed residents of Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Digital Archives provides access to agricultural impact statements from 2012 to current that provide information about how development projects around the state impact farmland.

According to the Wisconsin Dept. of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection(DATCP), agricultural impact statements (AIS) are prepared for public projects that involve acquiring farmland through outright purchase or easements. AIS analyze the economic impact on individual farms, identify the acreage potentially lost or affected, and convey land owner concerns.

Project initiators include local governments, state agencies, and private companies building utilities. Public projects include roads, airports, electric transmission lines, pipelines, parks and wastewater treatment plants.

AIS are required when the project initiators have condemnation authority and the project will take more than 5 acres from any one farm, regardless of land ownership. An AIS may be prepared when a project would significantly affect a farm, even if it take five acres or less from any one farm, or the project is located within the boundaries of a city of village, but would still significantly affect a farm.

As AIS become available, they will be added to the Wisconsin Digital Archives. Search by format using the term ‘Agricultural Impact Statements’ to see all AIS available in the collection. For more information on searching the Wisconsin Digital Archives use the Search Tips Guides online.

Post written by: Abby Swanton, Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning

Finding Wisconsin Health Statistics

Are you doing research on health related topics and looking for authoritative statistics about Wisconsin? The Wisconsin Digital Archives is your source for statistics related to the health of Wisconsin residents! State agencies collect data and produce reports on a wide variety of health related topics including child and elder abuse, alcoholism and drug use, death and infant mortality, oral health, lead poisoning, Lyme disease, cancer, HIV/AIDS, population growth and life expectancy, mental health, environmental health, asthma, arthritis, diabetes, breastfeeding, obesity, chronic disease, cardiovascular disease, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

The Wisconsin Digital Archives provides convenient access to health statistics with a quick link on the homepage. If you want to do a more advanced search in the Wisconsin Digital Archives, there is a guide available to help users search for ‘Statistics’ as a format and then narrow the results down by state agency, topic and date.

If you cannot find the statistics you’re looking for, feel free to email for assistance.

Post written by: Abby  Swanton, Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning

Searching for Biennial Reports in the Wisconsin Digital Archives

2015-17 biennial reports are due in October 2017, and as they become available, these reports will be added for long-term access through the Wisconsin Digital Archives. State agencies are required under s. 15.04(1)(d) to submit to the governor and the chief clerk of each house of the legislature a biennial report on or before October 15 of each odd-numbered year. Biennial reports provide information on the performance and operations of the department or independent agency for the preceding biennium and projects goals and objectives for the upcoming biennium.

Easy access to biennial reports is available through the Wisconsin Digital Archives going back to 2001/2003 biennium. Biennial reports can be used as a way to narrow results by format. Use this Searching by Format training guide to search for ‘biennial reports’ and other format types. A complete list of format types is included in the training guide.

Post written by: Abby Swanton, Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning

Direct Link to the Wisconsin Digital Archives


Make it easier for your users to get to the Wisconsin Digital Archives by placing a direct link to the collection on your library’s webpage. If you already have a link to the Wisconsin Digital Archives from your webpage, please update the link to . The old URL will automatically redirect to the new site, however the site was recently redesigned to a responsive site that is more accessible and allows for better functionality on mobile devices and tablets.

If you would like to hyperlink to the Wisconsin Digital Archives using a logo, both small and large logos are available online. The code allows libraries to embed the logo into their websites.

Looking for bookmarks or promotional materials to highlight the Wisconsin Digital Archives? Outreach materials are available for libraries to download online.

Contact if you have any questions.

Written by: Abby Swanton, Resources for Libraries & Lifelong Learning