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Dayton hopes to raise awareness during Water Action Week

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Governor Mark Dayton has officially proclaimed the week of April 17-23 as "Water Action Week".

It's an effort to raise awareness of the challenges facing Minnesota's fresh water systems, according to the announcement from Dayton's office. It is in conjunction with Earth Day, which is nationally recognized on April 22.

“It is time now to take action, as individuals and as a state, to leave a legacy of clean, safe, affordable water for ourselves, and for future generations of Minnesotans," Dayton said.

Throughout the week, the governor and members of his cabinet will be visiting classrooms, treatment facilities, research institutions, and farms to get Minnesotans engaged on water issues.

Gov. Dayton and Lt. Gov. Tina Smith want Minnesotans to take four individual actions to improve water quality:

Learn about your water quality – According to their statement, more than 40 percent of Minnesota’s waters are “impaired,” or polluted. Our aging water treatment plants and drinking water systems are in disrepair, with some communities still relying on 100-year-old wooden pipes. Initial testing indicates that 60 percent of the wells in central Minnesota may not be safe to drink from, they say.

Teach your children about clean water, and let them teach you – Talk to kids about the importance of clean water, and set good examples so that our natural resources are available for future generations.

Set a water conservation goal – Minnesotans can make a positive impact on our waters by fixing leaky pipes, taking shorter showers, or using less fertilizer on their lawns.

Contact your legislators – Review the governor's proposed plan to modernize Minnesota’s water infrastructure, and contact your legislator if you want them to support the investments.

Governor's Water Summit

Dayton has made improving Minnesota’s water quality a priority issue of his term.

He held the first-ever Governor's Water Summit back in February, and has compiled a 200-page summary of the input and ideas gathered at the summit.

The governor's summary is available here.

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