Minnesota Alumni Magazine: Water, water, everywhere...?

January 3, 2023

Even as drought grips the state, climatologists say that Minnesota will soon be warmer and wetter. U of M experts are working on the dire problems that will bring. 

Minnesota Alumni Winter 2023 issue, now online graphic.

The latest issue of the Minnesota Alumni Magazine features several CFANS contributions to this body of work at the University, including:

Discoveries - Ordering In

Marc Bellemare, PhD, a professor in the Department of Applied Economics, discusses how food delivery services such as DoorDash, Uber Eats, and Grubhub have grown into a global business sector with annual revenues that are expected to surge to over $466 billion by 2026. 

The Problem With Water

John Bilotta (BS ’93 natural resources/environmental sciences; MS ’02 soil science), a research project specialist with the Water Resources Center (WRC), leads the Minnesota Stormwater Research and Technology Transfer Program and shares his insights on water pollutants. The WRC is a center for environmental research that promotes freshwater management across Minnesota. 

That Water Has to Go Somewhere

There are no simple solutions to Lake Nokomis problems. Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering Professor John Nieber, PhD, researches hydrologic processes and modeling and the impact of land use activities on water quality. Nieber says if excess water is not shed off the surface into storm sewers and eventually into waterways like rivers, the overflow precipitation can end up going into the upper levels of the ground. When that upper level gets saturated, the local water table rises.

A Different Kind of Trek

Nichole Angell, MS ’23 water resources science, writes about her master’s project that looks at aquatic invasive species prevention practices completed by boaters and trained watercraft inspectors.

Too Much or Too Little

Minnesota farmers will face erratic precipitation in coming years that forces them to grow crops differently. U of M research is helping them plan for an unpredictable future. The following CFANS faculty and staff weigh in on this issue.

  • Jeff Strock, PhD, a researcher at the Southwest Research and Outreach Center 
  • Kenneth Blumenfeld, senior climatologist in the Minnesota State Climate Office and an adjunct professor in the Department of Soil, Water and Climate (SWAC)
  • John Baker, PhD, adjunct professor in SWAC
  • Heidi Roop, PhD, director of the University’s Minnesota Climate Adaptation Partnership, assistant professor and Extension specialist in SWAC

On Tap

Water remains abundant in Minnesota, but concerns are growing about access to safe drinking water in all parts of the state. A team led by the Water Resources Center (WRC) has brought together experts across science, engineering, economics, and policy disciplines to evaluate the need for managed aquifer recharge. Jeffrey Peterson, PhD, WRC director and Department of Applied Economics professor, and Lucia Levers, PhD, a WRC research associate, share more about this work.

Clean Water With Kernza

Research from the Forever Green Initiative contributed to the city of Edgerton’s test planting this perennial grain to reduce nitrates in its well. As a research platform, the Forever Green Initiative is developing and improving annual and perennial crops and systems that protect soil and water and drive opportunities for growers, industry, and Minnesota communities.