DNR sets March 12 meeting for area aquifer discussion

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In September 2017, Department of Natural Resources Region 4 Groundwater Planner Tim Gieseke and Area DNR Hydrologist Ethan Jenzen outlined a Community-based Aquifer Management Partnership (CAMP) initiative the agency was implementing in select regions of rural Minnesota.

It told the Swift County Board of Commissioners the Benson area was on its agenda for a future plan that would help identify aquifer uses, assets, limitations and potential threats.

“Once you have abundance in your head you kind of feel that you can consume it endlessly,” Gieseke told commissioners at their Sept. 18, 2017, meeting. However, the reality is that even in Minnesota water resources have a limit.

Already, the aquifers beneath Benson and much of central Swift County are seeing a draw down without a recharge to make up for what is being lost. The DNR is looking at developing plans for sustainable use of water resources with the Benson area one of the first communities receiving the agency’s attention.

While it has been preoccupied with development of CAMP plans in other areas of the state, it is now ready to return its attention to the Benson area.

An open house and public meeting have been set for March 12 in Benson to discuss water resources and their use. The tentative agenda is below:

March 12, Tuesday, Open House 5 p.m. to  6:30 p.m.

People can visit tables and inquire about topics at their own pace.

The purpose is for people to understand:
- What an aquifer is.
- Which aquifer they use and who they might share it with.
- How much water different land uses require.
- Why we call it a “Groundwater Joint Checking Account.”
- Why we need to manage Gray, Blue, and Green Infrastructure.
- How they and others fit into the use and management of the aquifer.
- Drinking Water?
- Recharge Areas?

Public Presentation 6:30 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. with questions, discussion and next steps

There will be a short presentations by representatives of the county, Soil and Water Conservation District, the DNR, Minnesota Department of Health, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency staff followed by a time for questions....


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