Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2015

Daunting challenge

Michigan facing $13B tab to maintain water systems

TODD MCINTURF

Detroit News

Associated Press and The Detroit News

Michigan’s water systems face $13 billion in maintenance costs over the next 20 years, part of a looming $384 billion bill nationwide to continue the availability of clean drinking water. It’s an issue that’s particularly acute in Detroit, which last year agreed to transfer its water system to the newly created Great Lakes Water Authority in part to raise money for infrastructure. Michigan ranked seventh nationwide in the EPA’s projected costs to replace pipes and renovate plants.

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Online database tracks Great Lakes restoration

Great Lakes Echo

A new online widget shows with just a couple of clicks how $290 million in federal funds for improving the Great Lakes ecosystem has been spent. The Great Lakes Restoration Database let’s people know “what’s going on in their back yards” with land and water protection, said Heather Braun, a project manager with the Great Lakes Commission, which developed the site.

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One-third of Minn. wetlands in fair, poor health

MPR News

Wetlands in Minnesota's northeast and north-central regions are in mostly great shape, but it's a much different story in southern Minnesota, where farm runoff and invasive species post a significant risk. Those are the conclusions of two reports by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. Overall, researchers found 33 percent of the state's 10 million-plus acres of wetlands in fair or poor condition.

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