Water Quality

 The quality of water directly correlates with the quality of life. Water quality, including surface and groundwater, is impacted by point and non-point contaminants and best management practices on local, regional, and national levels.

 

Competencies for Water Quality:

·  Module 1: Why Do We Care About Water Quality?

·  Module 2: Understanding Surface and Groundwater Flow

·  Module 3: Water Contaminants

·  Module 4: Point and Non-Point Sources of Pollution

·  Module 5: Best Management Practices for Water Quality (Parts 1 and 2)

·  Module 6: Nutrient Reduction in Minnesota

·  Module 7: Understanding Water Quality and Climate Change

Water Quality Module 1: Why Do We Care About Water Quality?

 Course Description: This course will provide a broad overview of water quality and water resource concerns at a global, national and Minnesota scale and how it impacts communities.  Learners will be able to make the connection between water quality and facets of everyday life and topics that citizens can easily relate to (public drinking water supplies, and fishable/swimmable waters).

 Objectives:

1.  Summarize how water quality impacts people, the environment, and their livelihoods

2.  Cite three water quality concerns in Minnesota


Water Quality Module 2: Understanding Surface and Groundwater Flow

 Course Description: This course will provide a broad overview of surface water and groundwater hydrology in agricultural, forested and urban areas. You will gain a general understanding of the hydrologic cycle, where public drinking water comes from, the concept of recharge and discharge areas and the impacts of altering the hydrology of a system.

 Objectives:

1.  Explain how surface water and groundwater flow is impacted by land management choices

2.  Indicate key threats to ground water and surface water quality and quantity

 

Water Quality Module 3: Water Contaminants

 Course Descriptions: This course will provide an overview of water contaminants, contaminant sources, and impacts to water quality, habitat, and human health. This course will also include an introduction to how conservation practices and activities can prevent or minimize water contamination.

 Objectives:

1.  Identify the major sources of water contamination in Minnesota

2.  Explain how water quality contamination varies across the state

3.  Describe how conservation practices and land management activities can address water quality concerns


Water Quality Module 4: Point and Non-Point Sources of Pollution

 Course Description: This course will define the different between point and non-point sources of pollution and explain how each is regulated differently.  It will also include discussions of point and nonpoint contaminants in urban, agricultural and forested ecosystems as well as provide an overview of how point and nonpoint source pollution is controlled.

 Objectives:

1.  Distinguish between point and non-point sources of pollution

2.  Describe how point and nonpoint sources are controlled differently


Water Quality Module 5: Best Management Practices for Water Quality, Part 1

Course Description: This course will discuss best management practices (BMPs) that treat nonpoint source pollution in urban and developed shoreland settings. 

Objectives:

1.  Name three common best management practices (BMPs) for urban and developed shoreland settings

2.  Summarize how BMPs reduce nonpoint pollutant contamination to surface waters


Water Quality Module 5: Best Management Practices for Water Quality, Part 2

Course Description: This course will discuss best management practices (BMPs) that treat nonpoint source pollution in agricultural and forested settings. 

Objectives:

1.  Name three common best management practices (BMPs) for agricultural and forested settings

2.  Summarize how BMPs reduce nonpoint pollutant contamination to surface waters


Water Quality Module 6: Nutrient Reduction in Minnesota

Course Description: This course will provide an overview of nutrient reduction for water quality in Minnesota, including reduction goals and milestones for nitrogen and phosphorus, how nutrients will be reduced through land management and BMPs, keys to success and evaluating progress.

Objectives:

1.  Describe the general cropland strategies and wastewater strategies to reduce nutrients for water quality

2.  Explain how the movement of nitrogen and phosphorus through the landscape to water resources can be reduced or prevented

3.  Name three BMPs that are essential to reaching nutrient reduction goals


Water Quality Module 7: Understanding Water Quality and Climate Change

Course Description: This course will discuss how climate change may impact Minnesota’s water quality and quantity in lakes and streams and how land use choices and conservation practices can protect water quality impairments due to extreme weather events and increasingly intense precipitation.

Objectives:

1.  Discuss how land use choices and conservation are affected due to increased extreme weather events

2.  Define a resilient landscape

3.  Describe how conservation on private lands can create a resilient landscape