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Governor Dayton to Convene Water Summit this Saturday

2/27/2016 1:21:46 PM

Governor's Water Summit: Our Water Our Challenge Our Future
ST. PAUL, MN – On Saturday, February 27, 2016, Governor Mark Dayton will host the first-ever Governor’s Water Summit at the InterContinental Saint Paul Riverfront, to focus public attention on the serious challenges facing Minnesota’s water supplies – in both rural and urban areas of the state – and continue statewide dialogue around steps that must be taken to address those challenges. The summit will bring together more than 800 individuals, including water quality experts, farmers, legislators, regulators, the business community, members of the public, local leaders, and a wide variety of other stakeholders. Registration for the summit is closed, but there are a number of ways to participate online. 
Ways to participate online
To ensure that all Minnesotans’ voices are able to engage with this important, statewide issue, the Governor’s Water Summit will make a number of resources available online to all interested stakeholders and other interested members of the public. 
Thanks to the generous support of the InterContinental Saint Paul Riverfront, the opening remarks from Governor Mark Dayton (9:00am – 9:30am) and the Water, Business and Stewardship Panel (1:00pm – 2:00pm) will be available via a web-based livestream
Public Forum
As part of the Governor’s Water Summit, interested individuals – those attending the summit as well as those who are not – are encouraged to participate in an online forum, where Minnesotans will be able to submit ideas and vote on proposed solutions regarding the state’s water quality challenges. 
Join the Conversation
Throughout the Governor’s Water Summit, all Minnesotans – those attending the summit as well as those who are not – are encouraged to post to social media with the hashtag #MNWaterSummit to share thoughts, ideas, and reflections. A stream of tweets using the hashtag will be visible on the livestream website.
Governor’s Water Survey
To ensure that all Minnesotans’ voices are heard on this important, statewide issue, stakeholders and other interested members of the public are also encouraged to take this online survey, launched in conjunction with the Governor’s Water Summit, regardless of whether or not they are attending the summit. The information and input gathered from this survey will help inform the Administration and Legislature on Minnesota’s water quality challenges and possible solutions.
Governor’s Water Summit Agenda
8:00am – 9:00am          Registration
9:00am – 9:30am          Welcome and Remarks from Governor Mark Dayton
9:45am – 10:55am         Breakout Session
11:10am – 12:20pm       Breakout Session
12:20pm – 1:00pm         Lunch
1:00pm – 2:00pm          Water, Business and Stewardship Panel
Lieutenant Governor Tina Smith will lead a discussion on the role of Minnesota’s business community in addressing the state’s water challenges. The panel features:
·        George Barclay - Dow Water and Process Solutions
·        Anita Foster - The Mosaic Company
·        Ryan P. Godfrey PhD - Tonka Water
·        Raj V. Rajan, PhD, PE - Ecolab
·        Philip M. Rolchigo, PhD - Pentair
2:00pm – 2:30pm          Wrap up and closing remarks
Breakout Session Topics and Rooms

• Aquatic Invasive Species
The spread of Aquatic Invasive Species through our lakes and rivers has a devastating impact on natural aquatic life. Stopping it will require behavioral changes and adequate penalties for offenders. Infested waters need ongoing research and the best available technology to clean them up.
• Challenges Facing Minnesota’s Iconic Waters 
Whether it’s Lake Superior, the Mississippi River, or the Boundary Waters, Minnesotans take pride in our iconic waters. How can we protect these special places for future generations?
• Ensure Minnesota is Resilient to Extreme Weather
Heavy rainfall and floods are increasing in Minnesota as our climate changes, threatening our water quality, health, infrastructure, agriculture and transportation. Our water and landscape must be able to withstand these mounting pressures.
• Sustaining Our Water Supplies
Minnesotans can no longer take the abundance of fresh water for granted. We must take action to protect our water quantity and availability though efficiency and conservation practices.
• Water in the Urban and Built Environment
When the rains come, it rinses our urban landscapes of contaminants, pollution, and sediment. How can we better manage stormwater runoff in our urban areas where rooftops and pavement speed polluted water to lakes and rivers?
• Water & Wastewater Infrastructure
Minnesota’s drinking water and wastewater infrastructure needs an estimated $11 billion in upgrades. How should the costs and responsibilities for current infrastructure needs and new regulations be balanced and affordable?
• Water in the Rural Environment
Water in Minnesota’s rural areas faces unique challenges as we balance economic development with the increased demand on our water, and as we manage potential pollutants. What strategies help us achieve these goals in a way that allows businesses to grow and thrive, while ensuring the protection of our water?
• Living Cover
Living cover is important to our landscape by holding water, filtering contaminants, protecting drinking water, and allowing water to recharge aquifers. We’ll explore ways to improve and expand living cover through the use of cover crops, perennial plant cover and other land practices.
• Investing in Clean Water
With the Legacy Amendment funds set to expire in 2034, it’s time for a close look at how to best maximize those funds to protect and restore Minnesota’s water. We also need a smart, balanced approach for utilizing public-private partnerships and other sources of funding to enhance the state’s investment.
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