What is your community’s most significant water problem?

Docks extend into White Bear Lake, where water levels have steadily decreased over the last decade, in White Bear Lake, Minn. September, 2011. Jeffrey Thompson / MPR News

“Even in the land of 10,000 lakes, water is no longer unlimited. Lakes shrink, groundwater drops, wells go dry or get contaminated. Some cities have to look harder for good municipal water or pay more to treat it. Twenty years ago these were isolated problems. But three-quarters of Minnesota’s residents get their water from aquifer-tapping wells, and today parts of the state seem to be on a path that is not sustainable,” writes MPR News editor Dave Peters.

Peters directs the Ground Level project and is seeking the insights of Minnesota residents as a way to inform a series of reports on groundwater. Weigh in here.

“Unprecedented water use conflicts are arising between businesses, towns, and residents,” the Department of Natural Resources said in October in a draft plan for dealing with groundwater. Business operations are at risk; recreation is being affected, it said.

“Aquifers are being depleted; lakes, streams and wetlands are being damaged and in some areas, groundwater levels have declined by as much as 40 feet, roughly one foot each year, since the 1970s,” a Metropolitan Council official said recently.

Today’s Question: What is your community’s most significant water problem?

  • PaulJ

    It freezes to the roads.

  • Scott44

    When it floods up here on the north shore the grade change of the land is so great that the water picks up a lot of speed. This drastic change in elevations can cause major problems from just a 1″ rain fall, but then again thanks to the big elevation change floods do not last a long time and we have the worlds biggest lake at the bottom of the hill to catch all the run off.

  • Jim G

    We have a couple of problems in the western suburb where I live. Water tables are dropping very quickly. Wetlands in our area are drying up. A marsh across the street, which in the 1990’s held 3 to 4 feet of water, is now a grassy pasture used to graze horses. Another problem is fertilizer runoff from our suburban streets has turned a local pan fish lake into a gloppy, algae choked, stinky, motor fouling, cesspool.

  • George

    Waste.

    We are in an eastern ‘burb, where any home built within the last 20 years has an in-ground irrigation system. The practice among many here (including businesses, city properties and homeowner associations) is to set the scheduler to water every other day and leave it alone until fall despite weather through the seasons. As a result, I routinely see irrigation systems going right after rains, during rains and onto already well-saturated lawns.

    Simply changing lawn watering practices would save a lot of water and money with the same result.

    Going a step further and changing lawn care practices would further help reduce watering needs and result in much healthier, resilient and aesthetically pleasing lawns (healthier lawns and healthier for us and our pets).