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A map of the state of Minnesota divided into its different watershed basins.

March 22 is designated by the United Nations as World Water Day. With this announcement, the hope is to bring awareness to how integrated water is in our lives. As Minnesotan's we are surrounded by water. Water is integral to our economy, our lifestyles, and it's even in our motto (We're not known as the "Land of 10'000 Lakes" for nothing). So, as Minnesotan's, we may take for granted our reliance on water. But, how much do we really know about the water that runs through our borders?  


To start, let's look at the water that runs all around us. Minnesota is split up into 8 different watershed regions. (With Pine River part of the "Upper Mississippi River Basin". This large area is one way to show where our water comes from. If you look at the map, you can see that everywhere that water is in the brown region (via rain, lakes, groundwater, etc.) Every channel of a given stream network drains an area of land around it known as a watershed. Like a stream network is made up of component channels, a given watershed is also comprised component watershed. These, in turn, are made up of still smaller component watersheds, and so on. Watersheds can range in size from tiny to many thousands of square miles. The Minnesota DNR is a great resource to find out which watershed your house is located in. 


Blog Articles on World Water Month

Territorial Tunes - Nora's Nature Blog

Cool Water Charities

Birds, Bugs, Water, & Agriculture

Water Awakening - Nora's Nature Blog

Working Together Can Improve Water Quality

Water Water Everywhere, Why Bother Conserving?


How to Conserve Water

The average family in America uses over 100,000 gallons of water each year. That's a lot of water! Individually, we can make a difference. Here's a few ideas:

1) Use a low-flush toilet. An average flush uses 3-5 gallons and new toilets use only 1-2 gallons per flush. If you're not looking at a new installation, you can simply add a few bricks to the back of your current toilet. This will trick the toilet to fill up with less water. Make sure you've got at least 2 gallons to get the job done.

2) Take shorter shower. One 15 minute shower can use between 20-40 gallons of water. One way to keep water from being overused during showers is to add a low-flow shower-head. These little doo-dads can restrict water use to only 2.5 gallons a minute, which can add up to a big loss.

3) Don't water your lawn. Let your grass grown taller (around 3 inches). This will help the rainwater that falls on your yard stay in your yard. You will need to water less simply because your lawn will retain the water more effectively. 

There are literally hundreds of ways to reduce your water use. Here's a list that will get you started. 




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