2016 Minnesota Water Conference highlights Flint, nonpoint source pollution and NOAA research

The Minnesota Water Resources Conference will convene again on the banks of the Mississippi in St. Paul, October 18-19, 2016. The Water Resources Center hosts the annual conference which presents innovative water resource engineering solutions, management techniques, and current research.This year’s conference plenary speakers will address nonpoint source water pollution, atmospheric and coastal research with NOAA, and policy lessons learned from the Flint water crisis. Concurrent sessions throughout the day will offer information on engineering projects, water research, best practices in design and application of water resource management methods, water policy and emerging issues. There will be a poster session on the first day of the conference and industry vendors will again staff exhibits throughout both days.

For the first time in Minnesota Water Conference history, a sitting Minnesota governor will speak at the conference. Governor Mark Dayton has called for a Year of Water Action in Minnesota, and will address conference attendees during Wednesday’s lunch.

Other plenary speakers include:

Chris Kolb, President of the Michigan Environmental Council and Co-Chair of the Flint Water Advisory Task Force. The Flint Water Crisis: Lessons for Improved Governance and Oversight. Kolb assumed the presidency of the Michigan Environmental Council on Jan. 1, 2009.


Chris Kolb

An environmental champion in the legislature and a veteran of the environmental management field, Kolb was one of the legislature’s most consistent and vigorous defenders of clean water, clean air and public health during his six years as State Representative from the 53rd District. He was instrumental in important environmental legislation, including joint planning commissions, land bank authorities, lead poisoning prevention for children, regulation of dangerous polybrominated biphenyl ethers (PBDEs), establishment of a fund to help clean up leaking underground storage tanks, and numerous land use initiatives


Craig McLean

Craig McLean, Assistant Administrator, Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, United States Department of Commerce. Federal/State Partnerships in Atmospheric and Coastal Research. 

McLean is the deputy for NOAA’s Oceanic and Atmospheric Research programs and administration. He is responsible for daily operations and administration of NOAA’s research enterprise, and the execution of NOAA programs including the Climate program, the National Sea Grant Program, Ocean Exploration and Research, and Weather and Air Quality research.

David Mulla, Professor and Larson Endowed Chair in Soil and Water Resources, University of Minnesota. Nonpoint Source Water Quality Issues and Solutions.

Mulla’s research emphasizes non-point source surface water pollution and TMDLs and watershed management, the transport and modeling of water, solutes, trace metals, and organic chemicals in


David Mulla

soil, surface and ground water, impacts of biofuel and alternative crop production systems, the measurement, modeling and management of soil erosion, phosphorus and nitrogen transport in soils, agricultural best management practices, soil, landscape and terrain modeling for precision conservation, and field-scale variability for precision farming.<>The Minnesota Water Conference is sponsored by the Water Resources Center and the College of Continuing Education, University of Minnesota, and co-sponsored by the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geo-Engineering, College of Science and Engineering, University of Minnesota, Minnesota Section, American Society of Civil Engineers Minnesota Sea Grant College Program, University of Minnesota and the Natural Resources Research Institute, University of Minnesota.

Conference website