Michigan's new Water Withdrawal Assessment Tool (WWAT) is now online, and individuals proposing a large quantity water withdrawal of greater than 100,000 gallons per day from waters of the state are required to utilize the tool.

The WWAT is an outcome of water-use legislation passed last year. It's designed to assess the likelihood of an impact to the state's water resources by a specific large quantity water withdrawal. The WWAT initially went online in beta form in October 2008 as part of a public testing and comment period and became fully implemented and effective on July 9. Click on it here.  

A potential water withdrawal applicant will access the WWAT online and input site-specific parameters, such as location, pumping rate, depth of water and other pertinent information. The WWAT will provide a prompt answer to the query, and instruct the applicant on the next steps to be taken before beginning a large quantity water withdrawal.

“Michigan's agriculture industry depends on access to water and a steady supply of water for the more than 200 agricultural commodities produced in our state, so it's beneficial to have a tool which takes a scientific approach to evaluating the potential impacts of new and expanded water uses,” says Matt Smego, Michigan Farm Bureau legislative counsel.

Development of the WWAT resulted from a collaborative effort between the U.S. Geological Survey, Michigan State University, and the Michigan Departments of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and Natural Resources.

Questions regarding large quantity withdrawals or water use requirements can be directed to Joe Lovato, chief of the DEQ's Water Withdrawal and Contamination Investigation Unit, at (517) 241-1383 or email: LovatoJ@michigan.gov

Click here for more information about this tool from Michigan Farm Bureau. Look under the “Additional Resources” column on the right side of the page.

Source: Michigan Farm Bureau