The St. Paul Chamber of Area Chamber of Commerce wants the Metropolitan Council to do more to find ways to resolve White Bear Lake’s falling water level, following a Council draft report Wednesday that looked at shifting some communities from drawing water from the aquifer and to use, instead of water from the Mississippi River.
In a statement today, the chamber was critical of the Met Council draft report:
Despite the fact that the purpose of the study was to better understand the capital and operational costs of the various approaches, the Metropolitan Council went to great lengths to suggest a lack of certainty surrounding lake augmentation. The Metropolitan Council did not similarly offer an opinion as to the certainty of the other approaches, even though the other options are, at this point, speculative and rely on future projections.
The Metropolitan Council’s report indicates that transitioning neighboring communities from groundwater to surface water would contribute to the long-term reliability of water supplies in the region. We agree, but this conclusion conveniently leaves White Bear Lake where it has always has been–high and dry.
The Met Council report listed three possible ways to bring water from the Mississippi to the White Bear area, as a way to reduce use of the Prairie du Chien aquifer. The options, though, were said to cost from $50 million to more than $600 million, and the report said there’s no guarantee they’d work in the long run to maintain levels on White Bear.
The Chamber’s statement concludes:
The Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce calls upon the Metropolitan Council to an offer an objective, unbiased assessment of how to best restore White Bear Lake. Solving water reliability issues is important, but so is restoring an economic and environmental asset that benefits the region and the state.