Gene Merriam: Support water fee increase

Gene Merriam
Gene Merriam

Read Freshwater Society President Gene Merriam’s op-ed in the April 26 Pioneer Press. In it, he urges Minnesota state Senators to support House-passed legislation that would raise state water fees to generate about $6 million a year to enable the Department of Natural Resources to do a better job of monitoring and regulating groundwater pumping.

The op-ed follows the Freshwater report on groundwater sustainability.

In the Pioneer Press op-ed, Merriam writes:

“From our point of view, one of the best parts of the legislation is an increase in an existing summertime surcharge on state water fees that city water systems pay. It is intended to inspire water conservation and a reduction in the too-often wasteful sprinkling of grass.  But, even that fee increase is so modest as to be almost insignificant:  About $5 per year for people who water their lawns and gardens a lot, according to the DNR.

“The bottom line on this legislation, for the Freshwater Society, is this:

“Water is our most precious resource. We must achieve sustainability in our use of it. Brown lawns in August are a small price to pay, and an additional $1 per year is a small price to pay, to help assure our children and grandchildren have adequate water to drink and that our lakes and streams are not sacrificed.”