The Minnesota DNR has observed a decline in one of the aquifers beneath the Benson area. To help spread information about the decline, the DNR has selected Benson as one of 12 communities to participate in the new Community Aquifer Management Partnership (CAMP) initiative.

DNR Groundwater Planner Tim Gieseke: “The geology of the Benson area is that they have four aquifers stacked on top of each other. Some of the observation wells in the area do show a decline in mainly the third aquifer down – declines since the 1980s to various degrees.”

Groundwater supplies 75 percent of Minnesota’s drinking water and 90 percent of agricultural irrigation.

Gieseke encourages residents to think about aquifers as “joint groundwater checking accounts.” “There are many people that have ‘checkbooks’ for writing groundwater checks,” said Gieseke. “How much is deposited? Will there be overdrafts over time? The first step to managing shared resources is to make sure everyone knows that they’re part of it.”

The DNR will host an informational open house on Tuesday, March 12 at Mckinney’s in Benson, starting at 5pm. Gieseke hopes that spreading information about local aquifers will help citizens and communities align future goals to reduce use, risks and costs associated with the water system.