UW-Madison Libraries Wisconsin's Water Library
Welcome Wisconsin Residents
Welcome to Wisconsin's Water Library, a collection of almost 30,000 volumes of water-related information about the Great Lakes and the waters of Wisconsin. Wisconsin's Water Library is an academic library at UW Madison that is open to the public. Any adult resident in Wisconsin can check out books from Wisconsin's Water Library for free. To find out how, visit our How to Borrow Materials page.

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Bordered by two of the Great Lakes—the largest system of freshwater on the planet—Wisconsin has an abundant supply of high-quality water. Early French explorers called this area “Ouisconsin,” derived from a Native American word meaning “gathering of the waters.” The state’s liquid assets include more than 32,000 miles of perennial rivers and streams, more than 15,000 lakes, and more than 5 million acres of wetlands.

And the state is framed by water: there are more than 800 miles of Great Lakes shoreline on the north and east, and more than 190 miles of Mississippi River shoreline on the west.  It also has an enormous supply of groundwater—an estimated two quadrillion gallons flows in its subterranean depths.

UW-Madison Libraries Wisconsin's Water Library University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute University of Wisconsin Water Resources Institute