Lakes and Watershed Commission

The Dane County Lakes and Watershed Commission is a coordinating and advisory agency within Dane County government, established by the County Board in 1988. The Commission is charged with protecting and improving water quality, as well as the scenic, economic, recreational, and environmental value of Dane County's water resources. The Commission works with many local, regional, and state partners to complete its objectives.

The Wisconsin State Legislature defined the Commission's special powers, composition, duties and organization in 1990. Wisconsin state statutes (sections 33.41 - 33.48) (PDF) describe the Commission's responsibilities, including conducting or coordinating studies of local surface waters and groundwater, maintaining liaisons with other public agencies involved in protecting or managing water resources, and developing public information programs. The Commission also conducts an annual review, invites public input, and makes recommendations regarding water-related portions of the Dane County budget.

Commission meetings are open to the public. Visit the Dane County Legislative Information Center website to view Commission schedules, agendas, and meeting minutes.

The Commission has 10 members, representing urban and rural areas, including:

  • county board supervisors (2 from Madison and 2 from areas outside Madison)
  • a representative of the Towns Association
  • a representative from cities and villages outside Madison
  • a member designated by the Dane County Executive
  • a member designated by the mayor of Madison
  • a citizen from Madison
  • a representative of the Yahara Lakes Association

Commission work and accomplishments:

This is just a small sample of the work that the Commission does. The public is invited to attend Commission meetings to learn more. These meetings are posted on the Dane County Legislative Information Center website.



  • Pam Porter (Chair) - County Executive’s designee since 2013
  • Lyle Updike (Vice Chair) - Citizen representing Towns since 2005 and Vice Chair since 2014
  • Rebecca Power - Madison Mayor's designee since 2010 and Chair since 2014
  • Chuck Erickson - County Board Supervisor representing Madison since 2007
  • Allan Levin - Yahara Lakes Association representative since 2017
  • Mary Kolar - County Board Supervisor Representing Downtown Madison since 2013
  • Maureen McCarville - County Board Supervisor outside of Madison since 2014
  • Maria del Carmen Moreno - Citizen from the City of Madison since 2015
  • Dave Ripp - County Board Supervisor outside of Madison since 2016
  • Susan West - Citizen representing Cities and Villages outside of Madison since 2011