We could be more strategic about protecting the recharge areas that are the ultimate source of water for over half the region's population.
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Pumping groundwater can cause lakes to shrink. Check out this article from White Bear Lake:
'Water supply work: Critical', September 20, 2012, White Bear Press
portland has them all over the place. really adds a sense of 'you'll never be thirtsy'
Plan for land use and promote best management practices that prevent hazardous waste leaks in areas that are the source for public water supplies. Also, encourage land use and best management practices that prevent aquifer recharge areas from being paved over.
Improved recycling of our water (from rain and sewage) would lighten the load on sewer systems, preserve precious potable water for all, and allow our aquifers and natural environments to continue functioning properly. Using reclaimed water for irrigation, flushing toilets, and other uses would have great environmental and social impacts.
Several other large metropolitan areas have successfully implemented water reclamation programs, including San Diego, CA, San Antonio, TX, and St. Petersburg, FL, so it is a legitimate policy course to consider for MSP.
This issue is especially critical as climate change will continue to throw unpredictable weather patterns (such as the recent drought) at us. World potable water resources are dwindling - it's time we do our part and stop wasting ours.
Public health, business development, recreational values, and property values all benefit from clean water in our lakes, rivers, and aquifers. Community land use choices can directly impact waters - in a positive or negative way. Let's use the regional planning framework to help make a positive difference.