The Relative Comment

soothing waves of relativity

Looming Storm and Lost Water

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Relative to: Today’s Star Tribune stories on a coming Winter Storm and Sustainable Water Use in the TCMA.

We’ve had a beautiful fall this year in Minnesota. In St. Paul over the past few weeks, we’ve had weather in the mid-60s occasionally, the 50s often, and very little precipitation. And we have yet to hit our first snow fall of the year. Yet. That looks to change soon, as a winter storm appears to be coming our way, ready to drop 5-8 inches of snow on the Twin Cities Metro Area. It’s bound to happen every year, and every year it seems like the beginning of the end.

Just a story or two below this winter weather blast on the Star Trib home page, however, brings an intriguing follow up. Minnesota has an awful lot of water (land of, you know, a LOT of lakes), plus major rain and snow events annually. And yet, like any population center that is large and growing, we must watch our water use so we don’t run out. Over-consumption of water: it’s not just for deserts and droughts anymore.

With that in mind, the Minnesota DNR will be using money from the Clean Water Legacy fund “to site about 40 monitoring wells around the 11-county metro area. The idea is to measure the quantity of groundwater and determine how fast it is being pumped out for homes, schools and businesses.”  According to the STrib article, despite the abundant water resources in the state, little research has been conducted regarding the status of groundwater throughout the 11-county metro area, especially regarding refresh rates for water tables.

It seems like the simplest of things to most people, especially in the Midwest, where lack of water issues only tend to exist in the Southwest, where people live in the desert, and the Southeast, who’s drought season continues to get worse. But it’s not true. The Twin Cities has grown,  and will continue to grow because people want to live here. We’d better be ready to address any looming water issues in the future, even as we prepare to get dumped on any day now.

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Written by Christopher ZF

November 12, 2010 at 10:00

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