Land of 10,000 Lakes Sets 25% Water Improvement Goal by 2025
Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton has announced a new “25 by ‘25” Water Quality Goal, to improve Minnesota’s water quality by 25 percent by the year 2025. If approved by the State Legislature, Gov. Dayton’s proposed goal would engage local governments, farmers, scientists, environmental groups, and business leaders in a collaborative effort to address Minnesota’s water quality challenges.
“Without an ambitious, achievable goal, the quality of our water will continue to deteriorate,” said Gov. Dayton. “Minnesotans must set this goal now, and then work together to achieve it. I ask all Minnesotans to join me in finding solutions that will ensure our children and grandchildren inherit clean water to drink, swim, and fish in. This is everyone’s challenge, and everyone’s responsibility.”
Achieving a 25 percent improvement in water quality statewide would help Minnesota meet existing commitments to reduce phosphorus by 2025 and nitrogen by 2040 in the Mississippi River. The “25 by ‘25” Water Quality Goal would not add additional regulations. It is instead a call for action to drive public engagement and partnerships to address the State’s growing water quality issues. The goal would also be flexible, allowing each of Minnesota’s eight local watershed regions to decide which pollutants to address, and strategies to employ.
Despite the State’s abundance of lakes, rivers, groundwater, and streams, more than 40 percent of Minnesota’s waters are currently listed as impaired or polluted. Damaging aquatic invasive species have infested more than 550 lakes statewide. Experts estimate that Minnesota communities will need $11 billion in water infrastructure improvements over the next two decades.
In support of the “25 by ‘25” initiative, Governor Dayton has declared a “Year of Water Action” urging all Minnesotans to rethink water usage in daily life, make informed consumer choices, and talk to others about clean water protection and preservation. More information about Gov. Dayton’s proposed investments in clean, affordable water can be found here.