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Straight River Groundwater Management Area project focus of DNR open house in Park Rapids Jan. 15

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     The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources invites the public to an open house at Park Rapids High School on Jan. 15, 6 - 9 p.m., to learn about a project to designate a groundwater management area for the Straight River watershed.

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     The Straight River Groundwater Management Area encompasses northeast Becker County and southwest Hubbard County and includes the city of Park Rapids. It is in one of three groundwater management areas the DNR is establishing around the state to help communities and individuals better understand groundwater resources and plan for their future development.

     A groundwater management area is an area with groundwater concerns. Within its boundary, the DNR develops an allocation plan for water appropriations to ensure sustainable water use.

     Minnesotans use groundwater to meet domestic, industrial, agricultural, private and public water supply needs yet its increasing use over the last two decades may not be sustainable for continued economic growth. Groundwater supply and demand are not the same across the state. In some areas, groundwater is at risk of overuse and contamination.

     At the open house, people will have an opportunity to listen to presentations by DNR regarding the statewide Groundwater Management Program Draft Strategic Plan and the Straight River Groundwater Management project. DNR staff, along with representatives from other state agencies involved in groundwater management, will provide resource information and maps and be available to answer questions.

     Those who want to review and comment on the DNR Groundwater Management Program Draft Strategic Plan can find it at http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/gwmp/planning.html.

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