Lakeland Currents: Water Conservation in the Mississippi Headwaters
Lakeland Currents host Ray Gildow welcomes Todd Holman from the Mississippi Headwaters division of the Nature Conservancy, and Dan Steward from the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources. Our water resources in the central and northern lakes area of MN appear abundant and of excellent quality. Unfortunately all is not what it may seem. Significant land conversion is taking place that likely will and in some cases has affected both our ground and surface water. In the last five years Minnesota has been ranked second highest in forest and perennial cover conversion to agriculture. Model data suggests significant changes to phosphorus and nitrogen loading as a result of drastic land use changes. The Mississippi Headwaters region represents not only the economic engine fueled by tourism, technology and timber, but also supplies the source water to water dependent communities locally and in the greater metropolitan area. So what do we do with that awareness? What do we protect? How much do we need to protect in order to achieve river, lake and stream resilience? How do we implement measured protection and who might the stakeholders be? These are all great questions that we will explore and offer suggestions from a private conservation non-profit perspective and a state board/agency practitioner perspective.