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Keep up on water

Our State of the River Report showed that the metro area still sends too much phosphorus down stream to Lake Pepin and beyond. The U.

Rivers and Streams Data for Minnesota

EPA has called on states to develop such nutrient criteria for years, and in set a goal that all states adopt numeric standards by While Minnesota failed to meet the deadline, we have had eutrophication standards for lakes in place since In developing the newly adopted river eutrophication standards, the MPCA followed a reasonable and well-established scientific approach. The new standards include:. Clear standards are needed to better manage water resources and meet water quality goals.

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Water quality standards establish pollution limits that protect our water resources for benefits like water recreation, fish consumption and healthy plant communities. If a water body fails to meet the standards, the state can require pollution reduction from those contributing to the problem and help restore our waters to health. Such standards are essential in evaluating water-monitoring data to determine if waters meet state standards.

Rivers, Lakes, & Streams

In addition, the U. EPA has long recognized that the adoption of numeric nutrient water quality criteria would allow for:.

Counting all those ditches multiplies the length up to , miles. The combined perimeter of all that lake shoreline is a whopping 55, miles. Only the southern border is entirely an artificial line on the map. Excluding the artificial and intermittent streams made the biggest difference in the agricultural south and west of the state, which are criss-crossed with a dense network of drainage ditches.

Minnesota DNR releases updated map of state's rivers, lakes and streams

For each, I looked at the prevalence of lakes and rivers in each county. Adjusting by area makes a difference. For example, Beltrami County has the eighth-most river miles in the state with As you can see, the Arrowhead region of the state has lots of lakes, but the most water is found following a rough line from Mille Lacs up to the Lake of the Woods, as well as an arc running from Hennepin County up to Becker County.

The Red River Valley and the southern portion of the state have very few lakes. Though northeast Minnesota is also dense here, the rest of the state follows different density patterns:. The most striking facet to me is the difference between the south and north banks of the Minnesota River.

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The southeastern corner of the state is also a lush riparian region. Can you follow the Laurentian continental divide as it winds through northern Minnesota?


Rivers north of that line flow north to Hudson Bay; rivers south of it flow either south to the Gulf of Mexico through the Mississippi-Missouri system, or east to the Atlantic Ocean through the Great Lakes. Probably not. Part of it seems apparent — the mountains of the Iron Range, where river on one side flows toward Lake Superior and on the other side does not.

After the jump, I discuss a little bit about the mistake I made when I first published this post last week. A quip on Twitter about whether there were 10, lakes on the map led me to check — and to my horror there were only about 4,

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