Time for Action

K. William Easter, Jim Perry

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


A third issue involves the direct effects that land use changes have on the quality of water resources. These impacts include those from agricultural drainage as well as the placement of houses, shopping centers, and towns along almost all major rivers and lakes, such as the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul on the Mississippi, Duluth on Lake Superior, Mankato on the Minnesota River, and houses along the bluffs of the St. Croix River. The state has managed to drain more than 50% of its original wetlands, and this loss exceeds 90% in the southern and western regions (Gernes and Norris 2006). Because of such losses, the speed at which water and associated contaminants leave farmland and reach the rivers has increased. All of these changes have helped lower water quality throughout the state. These changes also affect the routes and speed of water leaving the land surface. Minnesota has floods more often than was historically the case, due in part to landscape changes such as drainage, wetland loss, and urbanization. Flooding as a water resource issue in the R e d River Valley is more complex because the river flows north; the headwaters melt before the downstream reaches, leading to ice jams and floods. This problem will become exacerbated as climate change warms the headwaters of the Red more quickly than it affects downstream reaches in the north.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationWater Policy in Minnesota
Subtitle of host publicationIssues, Incentives, and Action
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781134004508
ISBN (Print)9781617260865
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2011 Earthscan.


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