2010 – The Year of Water


What is 2010 – The Year of Water?

Water is a key component to life is Minnesota, whether it is water recreation, fishing or spending weekends at the lake. But while we have an abundance of water resources, we cannot presume our access to unspoiled water is sustainable into the future. 2010 – The Year of Water is a year-long campaign to raise awareness of the growing water issues in Minnesota. The campaign provides a variety of educational and outreach activities to target the critical issues of groundwater sustainability, groundwater quality and surface water quality.

Goals of 2010 – The Year of Water:

Raise awareness about water resource issues in the state

Motivate and inspire people protect and sustain our water resources

Inspire life-long stewardship among young people and ignite passion in future leaders

Create lasting partnerships and collaboration among water resource organizations and communities

Celebrate water as a valuable natural resource that is essential to all life

Year of Water Partners:

Central Minnesota Water Education Alliance

Friends of the Minnesota Valley

Metro WaterShed Partners

Contact Cherie Wagner, Program Manager, at cwagner@freshwater.org if you would like to be part of our Partner Network.

2010 – The Year of Water Projects:

As part of the Year of Water, we will feature bi-monthly themes focused on water issues. The key features of the initiative are:

Speaker Series

We are sponsoring an engaging speaker series that will explore timely topics on water resource issues. Topics will include endocrine disrupting compounds and pharmaceuticals in water, climate change impacts on our water resources, nonpoint source pollution and water quality, and water resources in the next century. The series will raise awareness about our critical water issues and offer solutions through public policy and community engagement activities.

Critical Water Issues Documentary

We will be producing a documentary film that will focus on Minnesota’s critical water issues and explore responsible stewardship actions. We will host screening events with local partners to different regions of the state with a forum and discussion highlighting local resources for citizen involvement.

Poster Series on Water

We are creating a series of educational posters to raise awareness and foster knowledge about our water resources and to encourage good stewardship practices. The posters will help to draw attention to our critical water issues with a simple message about Minnesota’s lakes, rivers, groundwater and wetlands; stormwater runoff and water quality; drinking water; and wise-water use and stewardship. We will be distributing the free posters to interested schools, community and recreation centers, nature and environmental learning centers, and others.

Nonpoint Source Pollution Prevention

Did you know that phosphorus is the leading and most serious source of pollution for rivers and lakes causing excessive growth of aquatic plants and eutrophication. Because of this, the Freshwater Society will partner with the Friends of the Minnesota Valley and local organizations to initiate Community Clean-Ups for Water Quality to reduce the phosphorus levels in our lakes and rivers. We will launch this activity with a community toolkit that includes a DVD providing “how to” instructions for organizing and implementing a clean-up. For more information about the Community Clean-Ups for Water Quality Program, view our new brochure or visit the Friends of the Minnesota Valley’s website. If your civic group or organization is interested in holding a clean-up in your community, please contact us at freshwater@freshwater.org.

Water Conservation Project

Add up the gallons of water you use each day to do things such as take a shower, do the laundry and cook your food. How many gallons is that? Most people do not know the answer to this question, or understand how their water use affects their community or future generations. To get people thinking about their water use and learning about water conservation strategies, we are creating a Water Audit. The audit will have two applications: one for the general public to learn how to conserve water in their own homes, and one for engaging elementary school students and their families in tracking their home water use and learning about ways to reduce it. The audit will include questions about how the family uses water at home, provide results comparing their use to the average Minnesota household, provide tips to reduce use and have a pledge to sign with measureable action steps. Along with a Minnesota-specific curriculum, the activity will be a resource for teachers to use in the classroom.


The Year of Water E-newsletter will be a source for up-to-date information on water resources in Minnesota: events, workshops, water festivals, watershed cleanups, water organizations, success stories, what you can do to get involved, etc. It will also serve to link water organizations across the state.

Informative Website

The Year of Water website is growing! There will be information dedicated to our six water-based themes including educational posters, fact sheets, toolkit resources, and ways to take action. Check back for more information coming soon!

We are currently looking for organizations to partner with on The Year of Water projects. Please contact us at freshwater@freshwater.org for more information.

(This post was updated on Aug. 30, 2013)

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