Seven Mile Creek Watershed Community Assesment
Life depends on clean water, but exactly who is responsible for keeping water clean is often a sensitive if not contentious issue. Such is the case in the Seven Mile Creek Watershed, located in southwestern Minnesota where many lakes and streams are not swimmable or fishable because of water pollution. This watershed, which empties into the Minnesota River, is primarily in row crop agriculture but also contains a popular 628-regional park. State and county officials are encouraging farmers in the watershed to voluntarily adopt water conservation practices in the interest of cleaning up southern Minnesota waters and protecting park’s primary asset: Seven Mile Creek. A local watershed organization seeks to develop a community centered approach to achieve water quality goals, based on shared values and common interests for clean water. In this study, we ask, do shared values and common interests for clean water exist? We also seek to better understand the constraints and decision drivers to implementing conservation practices.
Joseph Nowak and Mae Davenport