Minnegram Winter 2019
Water Conference goes back to basics; Native American knowledge and soil health keys in water resource management
The 2018 Minnesota Water Resources conference opened with the presentation of the Dave Ford award to Suzanne Jiwani, a flood plain mapping engineer for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). In her work at the DNR, Jiwani brings technical expertise and sound science to complex projects. Dave Ford was a mentor to her in her early days at the DNR, who told her “Make your decisions based on facts, recognize your assumptions and always go back to get more data.”
Climate adaptation conference speaker stresses urgency
Eco-journalist Mark Hertsgaard didn’t mince words during his speech at the Minnesota Climate Adaptation Conference, held November 14, 2018 at the Continuing Education Building on the UMN St. Paul campus. Climate change threats are “an emergency,” and he urged his audience of 225 to maintain their courage as they tackle climate change and adapt to life in an already damaged environment. “Mitigation and adaptation are dual imperatives.”
Sediment is not the primary source of Phosphorus in one of Minnesota’s most heavily eroding watersheds
by Anna Baker and Jacques Finlay
For decades phosphorus (P) management in the United States has focused on upgrades to waste water treatment plants and erosion control as a primary means of reducing negative impacts of excess P loading to lakes and rivers. However, the role of non-point source dissolved-P and the impact of interactions between sediment and dissolved-P on whole-basin phosphorus budgets is much less well known. Because sediment has been viewed as a critical target for water quality improvement in the Minnesota River Basin (MRB), we sought to understand the extent to which sediment loading was responsible for P inputs to the Le Sueur River, one of the biggest sources of sediment and P to the watershed and the state.
Building partnerships to protect water
by Angie Hong
NEMO (Non-point Education for Municipal Officials) is a program with a funny name but an important purpose – to provide local leaders with research and support to help them make informed decisions about protecting their water resources. Hosted by the University of Minnesota and the National Sea Grant College Program, NEMO delivers educational programming for city councils, watershed boards, county commissioners, and advisory committees. This fall, NEMO coordinator John Bilotta helped staff from the city of Forest Lake and the Rice Creek and Comfort Lake – Forest Lake Watershed Districts to plan an educational tour and workshop in Forest Lake. During the September 11 NEMO workshop, 40 local leaders boarded a bus to visit project sites in the city and learn how they are helping to keep Forest Lake’s lakes and wetlands clean.
Moving the needle on urban stormwater - making improvements in efficiency and effectiveness with new information and research
by John Bilotta
2019 begins with an investment in new research to answer questions to improve the efficiency and effectiveness and alleviate challenges in urban stormwater management. The Water Resources Center (WRC) in collaboration with the Minnesota Stormwater Research Council has recently funded nine innovative research projects now underway. Combined with efforts funded in 2017, these projects will generate much needed information that will improve stormwater management practices, policies, and planning for Minnesota communities, policy leaders, and professionals across the state.