An article in today’s business section (, highlights Minnesota’s water management challenges, which will likely intensify in the face of federal inattention. The author argues Minnesota’s water management is overly bureaucratic, confused and entrenched. While offering no solutions, the author suggests that with crises comes opportunities.

Minnesota is not alone in the US. Our nation’s lakes face similar challenges and there is no overarching policy, system or leadership in place to address this.

In Minnesota and elsewhere, local leadership is the key. Large-scale programs focusing on vague watershed management solutions have not been effective. A recent EPA National Lakes Assessment found there has been no net change in lake quality in the nation’s lakes since the enactment of the Clean Water Act. As Einstein said, “You can’t solve a problem with the same mind that created it.”

There are other approaches that are effective.