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Published September 02, 2013, 02:36 PM

Mississippi River could be used to fill Minn. lake

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota officials are considering a plan to divert water from the Mississippi River into White Bear Lake, which has lost about one-fourth of its water over the past decade.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota officials are considering a plan to divert water from the Mississippi River into White Bear Lake, which has lost about one-fourth of its water over the past decade.

At issue is how much such a plan would cost, and who would pay for it, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.

The state Legislature has provided $2 million in Clean Water Legacy funds to allow the Metropolitan Council to study whether the proposal is feasible. Lawmakers provide another $537,000 to cover the U.S. Geological Survey's continued study of the interaction of groundwater and surface water in the northeast metro.

"We don't want to have another White Bear Lake in the metropolitan area," said Ali Elhassan, the council's water-supply planning manager. He added that White Bear Lake isn't the only shrinking body of water, but it's the largest.

The initial study will focus on the option of piping water from the Mississippi into St. Paul's regional water system. St. Paul uses surface water for its supply, while White Bear Lake is fed by groundwater from a massive aquifer. Strains on the aquifer have been blamed for the receding lake levels.


Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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