When viewing the Minneapolis skyline, one generally doesn’t think of hydraulic research laboratories. Indeed, from the Stone Arch Bridge… the St. Anthony Falls Laboratory building looks rather nondescript. Yet, this facility, associated with the College of Science and Engineering at the University of Minnesota, is an interdisciplinary research facility whose work is focused at the intersection of fluid dynamics and major societal challenges in energy, environment, and health…
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I love water. Always have, always will. I delight in skimming across it in my kayak and dropping down into it with mask, fins, and snorkel. I was born in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, and credit my early years amidst the lakes and streams of west-central Minnesota with imbuing me with a fascination of water that has endured my whole life.
Open Rivers contacted Paul Huttner, Chief Meteorologist for Minnesota Public Radio. Huttner writes the Updraft blog and hosts MPR’s weekly Climate Cast. We wanted to learn more about the impact climate change is having on rivers and communities and how discussions about environmental issues and water are changing.
Most people know how to find their way around their cities and neighborhoods, even if they rely largely on the computerized map on their phone. Likewise, indicators of a city’s health are often readily apparent through cues such as unkempt public spaces, roads in need of repair, and the like. How would we find our way around our watershed, though, and how would we determine or recognize if our watershed is healthy? As more and more people understand the importance, and fragility, of clean and abundant supplies of water, questions about our watersheds increasingly come to the fore. The Minnesota DNR has combined a series of ecological and physical measures into a series of “watershed report cards” that cover the state.
Where in your watershed do you live? How healthy is your “water place”?