Time to deal with water resources

To the editor:

Check out www.mprnews.org/story/2014/04/29/ground-level-beneath-the-surface-southwest-minnesota

It is an interesting article about water supplies. Groundwater aquifers have been losing water faster than they are recharged, and its effects are being noticed throughout SW Minnesota. Cities of Marshall, Mountain Lake, Luverne, Worthington, etc. are building or planning on building water pipelines from as far as the Missouri River in South Dakota in order to supply water to their towns. On a larger scale, there have even been legislative bills attempted and declined to fund water tranmission pipes from the Great Lakes to Arizona.

Plain and simple, water is no longer a sustainable resource used at our current rates. This includes large ethanol plants, factories with high water consumption rates, large farm irrigation systems, and most importantly, larger cities in rural MN who draw water from a few congregated wells. Water shortages are first noticed when a large water-using corporation, company, or farm constucts a new well that pumps at high rates, which then draws down water levels in aquifers to a depth that nearby wells cannot draw water from. When water usage continues at higher rates than the aquifer can recharge, they eventually dry to a point where water can no longer be economically pumped from that aquifer.

We may not be impacted from this problem right now, however we are directly affected by it through higher water utility rates in town and the need to drill new wells on farmsites. Water shortages will worsen with time, and although we are protected in the United States by certain large resources such as the Great Lakes if needed, we should each do our part to conserve water now before it does become a local problem for us, no matter which state we live in and which level we operate on, from individual household to large corporate factory.

Please consider doing your part by fixing leaking pipes, using high efficiency toilets, taking shorter showers, shutting the water off while brushing your teeth or shaving, and using your wash machine more efficiently by filling loads appropriately. We all need to do our part and cannot place blame on any company, factory, or individual.

Anthony Sellner

Civil Engineer In Training (EIT)

Sleepy Eye

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