Dayton highlights importance of clean water

In his State of the State Address, Gov. Mark Dayton brought up many things, but one issue stands alone as being more important than any other: the necessity of clean water for our state.
He gives several examples of instances where citizens have been told again and again to “just wait another year” for a reliable supply of safe drinking water. Yes, it takes money to provide clean water for the people of our state. Dayton said there are some counties in Minnesota where it is not uncommon to receive free bottled
water from the towns after their water treatment plants malfunction.
In their recent Shelter from the Storm report, Environment Minnesota really drives home the invaluable nature of clean water with an explanation of how loopholes in
the Clean Water Act are contributing to the degradation of wetlands — nature’s primary buffer against flooding.
Flooding has cost our nation an average of $8.2 billion per year for the past 30 years. Imagine how poorly this compares to any kind of expense that a company may face when they are not allowed to dump industrial waste into one of our many streams. I want to see my tax dollars being used for more appropriate things, and I’m sure many other Minnesotans do, too. On a different note, why aren’t we having a conversation on it if clean water is important?
With the ability of Minnesota’s unprotected streams to provide clean drinking water to many Minnesotans, why are we placing savings on waste management for big industries ahead of our state’s health? We could have all the money in the world, but if we run out of clean water, it’s not going to mean very much. We should support the EPA’s proposal to protect our wetlands and streams.