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

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

MDA awards $1 million for ‘Forever Green' research projects

——-   Minnesota River Weekly Update; November 17, 2015 —— The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) received $1 million of Clean Water Funds to support the Forever Green Agricultural Initiative at the University of Minnesota for fiscal year 2016. The program selected 11 projects which focus on incorporating perennial and winter annual crops into existing agricultural practices … Read more

Iowa city facing challenges downstream of agriculture

Iowa city facing challenges downstream of agriculture Posted November 23, 2015 You’ve probably seen it in the news: Des Moines Water Works is suing three upstream drainage districts over costs to remove nitrates from drinking water. At the root of the lawsuit is who should be responsible for the pollution – those who have to clean … Read more

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

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

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

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: 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

What you can do to save water and have a green lawn

If you are building a new home or laying new sod, be sure there is at least 6 inches of topsoil beneath the sod. Test your soil and consider adding compost as organic material. It will dramatically increase the absorption of water. Follow the Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense guidelines for landscaping: Limit the amount of … Read more