A settlement was reached in the legal battle between two White Bear Lake groups and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) over plummeting lake water levels. The settlement centers on a plan to pump water from the Mississippi River to 13 Northern Twin Cities suburbs in order to alleviate groundwater stress and hopefully replenish the shrinking White Bear Lake.
The United States Geological Survey (USGS) recently released a data visualization tool that provides a new and frightening look at California’s current drought. This tool, using open source data and software, graphically displays the effect of drought on rivers, streams, lakes, and reservoirs in California.
According to a recent study published by the American Geophysical Union, California is currently experiencing the worst drought in the past 1,200 years.
We now head into the Challenge Week of the Sustainable Water Use Challenge. This week, choose one day and try to limit your water use. In what areas can you cut back? Is it difficult to reduce your water use?
While installing low-flow or efficient fixtures are tremendous ways to reduce your water use, there are some simple steps you can take first.
So what is the answer to last week’s question, “What uses the most water in Minnesota?”
Power generation actually uses the most water in Minnesota and by a large margin.
As Minnesotans, we take pride in our abundance of natural resources, particularly our water resources. We live in the beautiful Land of 10,000 Lakes. While 10,000 sounds like quite a few lakes, we’re actually selling ourselves short. In actuality, Minnesota has 11,842 lakes that have a surface area larger than 10 acres. In fact, the largest lake that is completely contained within Minnesota is Red Lake measuring in at an astounding 288,800 acres!
A recent article in the New York Times illustrated the alarming and expanding drought conditions across the United States. Utilizing maps and charts from the United States Drought Monitor and the Palmer Drought Index, this article asserts that the United States is in "the midst of one of its most sustained periods of increasing drought on record."[i]
We have all heard the expression, “Go Green,” encouraging us to use more efficient windows, lighting, or insulation. We are even encouraged to “Go Green” in our commute and take the bus or carpool. These efforts to “Go Green” are focused on natural resources, preserving environmental integrity, and ultimately, saving our planet. The phrase “Go Green” is synonymous with sustainability and has been leading environmental campaigns for the past decade.
For those who were unable to attend the Lunch and Learn event with the Minnesota Center for Energy and Environment (CEE), here is a YouTube link to the full presentation and slide deck.
Thank you again to all who were able to attend!
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its most recent report on climate change and the news is not good. Having tracked climate change since 1988, the IPCC calls this report a "wake-up call" and declares that the opportunity to fend off drastic climate change is limited. This is not a problem of the future either; the effects of climate change are already being experienced.