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DNR to hold groundwater meeting in PR Thursday

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The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will hold its first Straight River Groundwater Management Area project advisory team meeting on Feb. 21, 9 a.m. to noon, at the Northwoods Bank community room, 1200 First Street East in Park Rapids.

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The DNR is establishing the Straight River Groundwater Management Area to help improve groundwater appropriation decisions and help groundwater users better understand and plan for future development.

The area encompasses northeast Becker County and southwest Hubbard County and includes the city of Park Rapids.

Individuals do not need to be on the project advisory team to attend the meeting. The meetings are open for other stakeholders to observe, and time is available at the end of the formal meeting for comments and ideas.

Groundwater is vital to Minnesota’s economy and future prosperity. Minnesotans use groundwater to meet domestic, industrial, agricultural, private and public water supply needs. Groundwater resources and use are not uniformly distributed across the state, and in some areas, groundwater is at risk of overuse and contamination.

Minnesota’s groundwater use has increased over the last two decades. These increases may not be a sustainable way to continue economic growth. The DNR is establishing three groundwater management areas around the state to help communities and individuals in these areas better understand groundwater resources and plan for their future development.

For review and comment, the statewide DNR Groundwater Management Program Draft Strategic Plan is at www.dnr.state.mn.us/gwmp/planning.html.

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