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New Minnesota water plan to put climate change in focus

The effect that increased rainfall and drought will have on the state's water resources and water infrastructure, such as storm sewers, are among those factors that state environmental regulators will discuss as the plan is put together.

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ST. PAUL — Minnesota's next 10-year plan for water management is expected to look closely at the effect that climate change may have on the state.

The impact of increased rainfall and drought on the state's water resources and water infrastructure, such as storm sewers, is among the factors that state environmental regulators will discuss as the plan is put together. A final version of the plan is due to be released in the fall of 2020.

The state Environmental Quality Board, which oversees the drafting of the plan, has already begun to meet with the other state agencies that will look to it for guidance on water resource management. Other stakeholders include local and tribal governments.

New water plans are drawn up roughly every 10 years based on input from such agencies and commissions as the state Department of Natural Resources and the state Pollution Control Agency. On Wednesday, Oct. 23, state water planner Phil Belfiori told members of the Board of Water and Soil Resources that environmental nongovernment organizations will also be interviewed.

Specific details on the plan have not been finalized as it is still in the early stages of being drafted, Belfiori told the board on Wednesday. Initial research, interviews and drafting are expected to conclude by the winter of 2020, he said.

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A final revision and review of the plan is slated to take place that summer.

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