Charles 4 Parks District 5

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Addressing Water Issues
in South Minneapolis

South Minneapolis sits at the bottom of the Minnehaha Creek Watershed, and Lake Hiawatha is the recipient of water from 176 square miles of land. The past few years of heavy rainfall have given the South Minneapolis community a taste of what is to come if appropriate water mitigation solutions are not implemented, that is, neighborhoods will be inundated with more water resulting in more broken infrastructure and flooded homes.
Minnehaha Creek Watershed District
Diagram: From Minnehaha Creek Watershed District.
Charles has led an inquiry into the current plans for water management in South Minneapolis, and has uncovered a lack of equity in water management in the watershed. The lower watershed, in particular the neighborhoods along Minnehaha Creek in South Minneapolis, bear the brunt of the water management by being the recipient of all water to the west and south of Minneapolis. Also uncovered, is a lack of scientific data on which to base the planning.
This brings us to one of the principles of the Minnesota Climate Action Plan from the Minnesota Legislature which is:
"Address social inequities. Without targeted action, climate change will make existing inequalities worse. Actions must focus on mitigating the increased vulnerability disadvantaged communities face from changing climate, and ensure all communities benefit equitably in the transition to a clean economy."
Proposed strategies in the Minnesota Climate Action Plan that could directly aid the South Minneapolis community are:
"Adaptation and Resilience. Create state and local climate adaptation plans that support tribal, county and municipal governments while prioritizing the needs of the communities burdened by pollution and cumulative climate impacts. Invest in climate resilient infrastructure statewide to withstand extreme weather events, targeting under-resourced communities."
Charles wants to work with all communities in the watershed to create plans that will equitably distribute the responsibilities of water management among all communities in the Minnehaha Creek Watershed. This would alleviate the burden on South Minneapolis from being the sole mitigator of increased water levels due to the predicted increase in precipitation from climate change.