PNS National Newscast

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the Public News Service (podcast)"
"Hey Google, play the Public News Service podcast"
"Alexa, play Public News Service podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

2020Talks

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Hey Google, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Alexa, play Two-Thousand-Twenty Talks podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - January 25, 2021 


Some Democrats push to start Trump's impeachment trial; President Joe Biden works to tackle hunger.


2020Talks - January 25, 2021 


The GOP debates the constitutionality of impeaching a former president; concerns emerge over a new domestic terrroism bill; and the White House looks to both sides of the aisle to pass new COVID relief.

Renewed Calls to Bolster Protections for MN's Water Supplies

Downloading Audio

Click to download

We love that you want to share our Audio! And it is helpful for us to know where it is going.
Media outlets that are interested in downloading content should go to www.newsservice.org
Click Here if you do not already have an account and need to sign up.
Please do it now, as the option to download our audio packages is ending soon

The Great Lakes region contains one-fifth of the world's freshwater supply. Environmental groups say that abundance will make states such as Minnesota a high priority for other regions wanting to bolster their dwindling supplies. (Adobe Stock)
The Great Lakes region contains one-fifth of the world's freshwater supply. Environmental groups say that abundance will make states such as Minnesota a high priority for other regions wanting to bolster their dwindling supplies. (Adobe Stock)
November 16, 2020

MINNEAPOLIS -- It's been more than a decade since accords were signed to protect the Great Lakes from being targeted by drier parts of the country in need of fresh water.

But concerns persist in states such as Minnesota about attempts to ship water elsewhere.

About a year ago, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) blocked a plan by a company to drill for 500 million gallons of water, and move it by rail to the Southwest.

Even though that plan was thwarted, environmental groups say the threat still exists.

Jeff Forester, executive director of Minnesota Lakes and Rivers Advocates, said the Gopher State is rich with water, making it even more attractive to areas in desperate need of it.

"There's a lot of focus on the Great Lakes, but in Minnesota, we're the headwaters of three continental-sized watersheds," Forester noted.

While a company wanting to siphon water would need a DNR permit, Forester emphasized he would like to see laws strengthened so developers and regional planners couldn't exploit exemptions.

State Sen. Ann Rest, DFL-New Hope, has championed efforts to protect regional water supplies. She said the current statute is very strong, but would welcome any changes if the need arises.

Rest added there's no doubt this region and its abundance of fresh water will continue to be a desired asset. She stressed while some might argue it's important for the region to share a precious resource, loosening restrictions would set a dangerous precedent.

"I think in the long run, we would think that it benefits general society not to allow those water appropriations to be made," Rest stated.

Out west, efforts have been building to process ocean water for residential and business use, but such efforts have run into obstacles.

Forester contended allowing those regions to tap into Minnesota's supply, when it's not clear whether they have appropriate management plans, would be irresponsible.

He added that's especially true since Minnesota's vast resources aren't as strong as they used to be.

"It would be bad, and our aquifers are already falling just from the water use we have," Forester observed. "We have a lot of water, but we don't have enough water for the country."

He concluded Minnesota's falling levels serve as a reminder for residents and businesses to conserve their water use as much as possible so future supplies aren't threatened, even if it doesn't move elsewhere.

Disclosure: Minnesota Lakes and Rivers Advocates contributes to our fund for reporting on Environment, Public Lands/Wilderness, and Water. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.
Mike Moen, Public News Service - MN