By Lee Bergquist
The Little Plover River in Portage County has once again fallen below minimally accepted levels set by state regulators to maintain the health of one of Wisconsin's most closely watched waterways.
Since late June, the river has dropped below minimum levels. A University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point researcher says the situation reflects the results of his own research showing chronically low flows as summer irrigation kicks into full swing.
"With a dry July we've had a lot of withdrawals — it's sparked a lot of pumping," said George Kraft, a professor of water resources at UW-Stevens Point, who believes the region's shallow aquifer can't afford the heavy water use.