Minnegram Spring 2020
The University of Minnesota’s Water Resources Center (WRC) was recognized by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) as operating at an outstanding level. Specifically, the WRC was lauded for its diversity of chosen water projects, collaborations with other institutions and agencies, student support through grants, real-world impact on local water management. The WRC is one of just 12 out of 54 national water centers to be given this recognition as part of a five year review by the USGS.
The 2020 Climate Adaptation Conference, Crossing Boundaries – Sparking Collaboration highlighted accomplishments and challenges for communities that are adapting to a changing climate. The conference keynote speaker Elizabeth Gibbons echoed Deanna Standingcloud’s opening exhortation to “go gently, go together.”
Water Resources Center Director Jeff Peterson welcomed the Research symposium attendees and introduced CFANS Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Programs Greg Cuomo. Cuomo spoke of water being a large part of the CFANS academic portfolio, benefiting Minnesota, the US and the world. Events like the symposium assist in taking research to the next level, collaborating across disciplines, colleges and professions, and leaving the gathering at the end of the day with new working relationships.
It’s springtime; birds are on the move and it is the time of year when lake ice-outs spread northward in Minnesota. Local and worldwide ice records were collected before we had weather stations and they provide an independent set of human observations. These records help us to see that over the past century, lakes around the Northern Hemisphere have earlier ice break-up, later ice formation, and shorter seasons of ice cover. Some areas also experience increased frequency in freeze-thaw events.
Based on responses from an online survey, and in consultation with campus web experts, the UMN Extension water team created and organized their extensive set of tools, materials and information to help Minnesotans manage our valuable water resources.
The Future of Minnesota Drinking Water
By Ann Lewandowski
In Minnesota, we have a remarkably effective and efficient system providing safe drinking water. But these systems face significant challenges, including an increasing array of potential contaminants from agricultural, industrial, and personal use; complex and aging infrastructure; extreme weather events; and declining populations in some communities.
To help prepare for these challenges, the Minnesota Department of Health approached the Water Resources Center and the Humphrey School of Public Affairs to identify opportunities for MDH to better manage risks to drinking water. The University of Minnesota team recently completed a final project report summarizing 18 months of searching literature, examining work in other jurisdictions, and meeting with advisory panels of drinking water stakeholders and technical experts.
ACPF workshops offer conservation practices tailored to watershed landscapes
Contributed by Adam Wilke
Agricultural Conservation Planning Framework (ACPF) is a planning tool which identifies specific locations and opportunities on agricultural landscapes to implement conservation practices. Watershed coordinators use detailed ACPF maps to focus fieldwork and to help explain local issues and opportunities to farmers and landowners and engage them in designing solutions.