In response to last summer’s historic flooding, Dane County is acquiring land within the Yahara watershed to help contain floods.

County Executive Joe Parisi announced a plan Oct. 15 to purchase 82 acres north of Madison in the Town of Vienna. The land will be used as floodwater storage for the Yahara River during heavy rain or melting snow, and is estimated to be able to hold over 13 million gallons, according to a county news release.

The Yahara flows just east of the parcel and leads into a chain of lakes that ends with Lake Kegonsa. Since water enters the lakes much faster than it leaves, the floodwater storage will be important in helping mitigate future flood events, according to the news release.

The county will spend $779,000 from the Dane County Conservation Fund to purchase the land from the Koch Family Farm, which is adjacent to a U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Waterfowl Production Area along County Road V. The purchase will also protect the wetland and may become a public recreation area, according to the news release.

About 53 acres of the site has already become a water drainage area, while the rest is cultivated cropland.

Parisi’s 2020 county budget proposal includes $3 million to create a Flood Risk Reduction Fund, which could be used for similar purchases, according to the news release.