Sustainable Groundwater Management in the Village of Richfield, Southeastern Wisconsin

Village of Richfield Groundwater

The Village of Richfield is singular in its proactive approach to sustainable groundwater management. Starting 16 years ago with their 2004 Groundwater Protection Ordinance and the development of their groundwater monitoring program, Richfield has been leading the state of Wisconsin with a data-informed understanding of community hydrogeology and data-driven development decisions.

At the beginning, and for many years, Dr. Douglas Cherkauer, hydrogeologist and Professor Emeritus of University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, designed and operated Richfield’s monitoring network. Working with undergraduate and graduate students, the 40 wells in the monitoring network were each visited 6 times a year to measure groundwater levels with the resulting data summarized into an annual report providing groundwater supply insight and understanding that proved critical to defining Richfield’s groundwater and development-related rules.

In 2016, with Dr. Cherkauer’s guidance (and technical validation), Richfield and Wellntel began working together to transition the bi-monthly manual measurements to continuous remote monitoring with Wellntel sensors and cloud platform and Wellntel has begun to deliver regular reports to Village leaders. The remote network has expanded each year since, but with the onset of COVID and a desire to minimize in-field work, the transition to a fully remote monitoring network has been fast-tracked and will be complete by the end of 2021.

Wellntel is honored to work with an innovative, proactive partner like the Village of Richfield and we look forward to ensuring they can get the insight they need to manage their groundwater resource for the long term.

The following article about the program was published in the West Bend Daily News.