It’s complicated

A friend and I took a long walk through Nerstrand Big Woods State Park on the last balmy weekend in December. The 2,884-acre forest straddles Prairie Creek, which is set deeply into farm fields in southeast Minnesota. The oasis of sugar maple, basswood, oak, hickory, aspen, elm, ash, and ironwood trees are a happy accident, … Read more It’s complicated

The Flint story continues

“Six current or former state employees were charged on July 29 with misconduct and other crimes in the Flint, Mich., water crisis, bringing to nine the number of public officials facing prosecution over the lead contamination that alarmed parents across the country.” So starts a recent article about the Michigan water debacle  in the Insurance … Read more The Flint story continues

How did Minnesota melt 12,000 years ago?

The link at the bottom of this post will take you to a phenomenal article from the NY Times on researchers observing the melting of Greenland’s ice cap. You owe it to yourself to view it on a full-size monitor instead of squinting at your phone. Scrolling down and back up the article is worth … Read more How did Minnesota melt 12,000 years ago?

Governor's Water Summit

Mid-January, Governor Dayton announced that his administration will host the Governor’s Water Summit in St. Paul on Saturday, Feb. 27th. Summit registration has closed, but you can still help set the agenda by taking the Governor’s Clean Water Summit Survey . We’re interested in seeing how the governor’s team structures the day and the topics … Read more Governor's Water Summit

Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, and the inevitability of future events arriving

We all were warned by the demographers 20 years back that the boomers would stress the social security, pension, housing, and medical systems. Now it’s here. Similarly, rising atmospheric CO2 levels were the subject of a report I did back in the mid-1980s at the Institute of Technology. And here we are. In the water … Read more Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, and the inevitability of future events arriving

California: laboratory of desperate water policy

“Let’s manage water like California.”  Can you imagine any Minnesotan saying that? Nope.  But there are things we will be watching and learning as California’s wretched water situation forces overdue political decisions. Their “someday” problem has arrived  and there is no more room for policy makers and agencies to kick the can down the road … Read more California: laboratory of desperate water policy

San Diego water:  Somewhere between “unlimited” and “zero”

Regional water conservation is being applied in San Diego because they must–but is it enough? Minnesota is looking at regional water conservation because it’s smart for our long-term economic vitality and quality of life. Many Minnesota communities already have in place watering restrictions similar to what San Diego is instituting. Thankfully we don’t have to read … Read more San Diego water:  Somewhere between “unlimited” and “zero”

Buffers are de rigueur!

Governor Dayton made a splash on January 16th with his surprise call for vegetated buffers along Minnesota’s waters. Far less surprising was the news out of Iowa that the Des Moines Water Works decided on January 8 to file a notice of their intent to sue upstream area contributing excess nitrogen to intakes of their … Read more Buffers are de rigueur!

Freshwater Blog: Clean water funding 2016

Minnesota’s Clean Water Council recently announced their recommendations for how sales tax money dedicated to cleaning up and protecting water should be spent. The recommendations for 2016/2017 show a priority for on-the-ground  programs that will directly impact water quality. The Freshwater Society finds a lot to like in the Clean Water Council’s recommendations. Many of … Read more Freshwater Blog: Clean water funding 2016

Freshwater Blog: MN Board of Water and Soil Resources vacancies

The MN Board of Water and Soil Resources has multiple vacancies coming up. They are looking for people from the following backgrounds with an interest in soil and water issues: One Watershed District Representative, one Non‐Metro Elected City Official Representative, one County Commissioner Representative, and one Citizen Member. Appointments are made by the Governor’s office. … Read more Freshwater Blog: MN Board of Water and Soil Resources vacancies