Working together to ensure water quality
We only have to look at the headlines coming out of Flint, Michigan, to see what happens when we stop paying attention to water quality. Highly acidic water in the city’s water system has caused toxic levels of lead and iron to contaminate the drinking water of over 100,000 people.
It’s not a matter of supply. Michigan, like Minnesota, is blessed with abundant water resources. The tragedy in Flint is due to a lack of long-term planning and investment in the city’s water supply system. It will be years before the full extent of the health problems caused by this contamination is known.
This crisis highlights the importance of the work the Metropolitan Council does with water quality and water supply:
We operate a regional wastewater collection and treatment system that is second to none in terms of protecting the public health and the environment at very competitive rates.
We partner with many communities and agencies to monitor the quality of the region’s lakes, streams and rivers to ensure protection of our water resources for their ecological value, for drinking water, and for recreation.
We work with many partners on water supply planning and provide technical assistance to communities to support sound local water supply decisions.
Governor Dayton also understands that ensuring citizens have access to safe, clean drinking water is one of the most fundamental functions of government. Water quality is an issues he’s been focused on throughout his administration, and on Feb. 27, he will hold a statewide Water Summit.
Water isn’t just a local or regional issue. It flows across city and county lines, it fills huge aquifers beneath entire regions, and it flows in rivers and streams across the continent. Water is a big-picture issue. We will participate with Governor Dayton when he brings together water experts, farmers, legislators, business leaders and other stakeholders. I’m proud to be part of that big-picture dialogue that will help ensure that our children and grandchildren have access to the same clean water that we have today.
by Adam Duininck
More about the Governor’s Water Summit.