The West Metro Water Alliance (WMWA) hosted a series of educational workshops in 2011 targeted to city elected officials, advisory commission members, and city staff. In partnership with Hennepin County Environmental Services, the Three Rivers Park District, and the Freshwater Society, this consortium of five watershed management organizations targeted three topics of particular interest: stormwater volume management to reduce runoff; nutrient management to improve water quality; and integrating TMDLs into city planning and management.
A telephone survey conducted for the Alliance found very strong support for protecting and improving Minnesota’s lakes and streams, with 75 percent of respondents believing that clean water is very important, even considering all the other issues and needs facing their communities. The goal of the workshops is to help key decision-makers and their advisors make informed decisions that will protect and improve water quality, sustain property values, and make the most effective use of tax dollars. These evening workshops are intended to provide information and management tools as well as an opportunity to share success stories and learn from peers in other cities and counties.
Recognizing that cities in the western Metro area run from highly developed to suburban to agricultural, the first two workshops were offered as two sessions: the first was tailored to issues facing developed and redeveloping cities, and the second to developing and predominantly agricultural communities. The final TMDL workshop was offered as one session, applicable to all. Each session started with networking and a keynote speaker, continued with a presentation covering the latest techniques and planning tools for stormwater management and concluded with a panel presentation and discussion of specific examples of successful projects, research, development, and regulation.
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Forum 1: Path to Clean Water – Understanding Volume Management