Water Quality basics is understanding the water quality issues from a broad overview nationally and locally, water contaminants, surface and groundwater flow, point and non-point, and the work being done in the state, including the Nutrient Reduction Strategy.
Competencies for Water Quality Basics
Course title, description and learning objectives - ***subject to change
Course Description: This course will provide a broad overview of water quality and water resource concerns at a global/national scale and then drill down into Minnesota-specific water quality concerns. 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).
Course 12 Title: Water contaminants
Course Descriptions: This course will provide an overview of water contaminants (sediment, nutrients, and bacteria), contaminant sources, and impacts to water quality, habitat, human health, etc. and include an introduction to practices and activities that prevent water contamination.
Course 13 Title: Understanding surface and groundwater flow
Course Description: This course will provide a primer on surface water and groundwater hydrology and the interaction of the two in agricultural and urban areas. Topics will include public drinking water sources, impacts of altering hydrology, groundwater pumping, sources of contamination, the concept of recharge and discharge areas and other principles of basic hydrology, and artificial drainage.
Course 14 Title: Point and Non-Point Sources of Pollution and Controlling Non-Point Sources
Course Description: This course will define the different between point and non-point sources of pollution and explain how each is regulated differently. This section includes discussion of point and non-point contaminants in developed, agricultural, and forested ecosystems as well as provide an overview on controlling non-point pollution in urban, agricultural and forested environments. Introduction of the drivers of BMPS and conservation: regulatory programs (National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System and MS4 General Permit) in urban areas, Conservation compliance in agricultural areas, a strong conservation ethic, and climate change adaptation. The most common BMPs in agricultural, urban and forested landscapes are defined and described.
Course 15 Title: Minnesota Nutrient Reduction Strategy: What you need to know
Course Description: This course will provide an overview of the Minnesota Nutrient Reduction Strategy, including reduction goals and milestones for nitrogen and phosphorus, how nutrients will be reduced through land management and BMPs, keys to success, evaluating progress.
Course 16 Title: Understanding water quality and climate change
Course Description: This course will discuss how climate change may impact Minnesota’s water quality and quantity by increasing precipitation, decreasing precipitation, and increasing water temperatures of 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.