Indiana's reputation doesn't hinge on pristine lakes like Minnesota's, but the stakes are still high. The agriculture, electric power and pharmaceutical industries all are dependent on water.
"This is our advantage," Wittman said of Indiana's water supplies. "Let's pay attention to it."
Shawn Naylor, a hydrogeologist with the Indiana Geological Survey who is president of the Indiana Water Monitoring Council, said he hopes to see legislative interest that extends beyond a drought year.
"We tend to be very reactionary," Naylor said. "There tends not to be that long-term vision in the state."
He suggested the state could start by installing 200 to 500 strategic monitoring wells. The Indiana Geological Survey, a research institute of Indiana University, currently maintains 11 monitoring wells.
Wittman said the state needs to assess how long its groundwater supplies will support agricultural growth and how to address supply areas in places like central and southern Indiana.
He would like to see Indiana create a non-regulatory state water survey office that could help utilities work together and prevent misunderstanding in the general public about where water supplies stand.