Groundwater is the major source of drinking water in Minnesota and provides almost all water used for irrigation purposes, making it a key area of focus for natural resource, agriculture, and public health officials.
Groundwater contamination (due to agricultural nitrate leaching) and decreased water levels in lakes and streams (due to high groundwater withdrawals for irrigation) are two critical environmental problems in the central sands region of Minnesota.
In a new webinar hosted by the North Central Region Water Network, Assistant Extension Professor Vasudha Sharma talks about irrigation management’s relationship with groundwater quality and her on-going research projects aimed at addressing irrigation-induced groundwater quality issues in Minnesota. Her presentation includes some preliminary data from the 2019 growing season.
In addition to Sharma, the webinar features Troy Gilmore (University of Nebraska-Lincoln) on the use of groundwater age to understand water quality, and Kevin Masarik (University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point) on how groundwater data is being used in extension programming to reach out to communities about nitrate and groundwater.