The news of a water bar opening in Northeast Minneapolis is great news for the community, especially as issues of water quality are increasingly relevant. While some people may be confused or amused by the thought of a bar whose specialty is tap water, the bar also seeks to provide customers with an informative experience about one of our most vital resources. Water pollution is a growing threat and despite what some may think, one that Minnesotans are not immune to.
Even in Minnesota, where we are known for our flowing rivers and glistening lakes, our water is not safe from contamination as polluters are not held accountable for their actions. Pollution from corporate agribusinesses, for example, poses the greatest threat to our waterways. In areas like Dodge County, waste and chemicals from giant factory farms are finding their way into nearby rivers and streams due to improper management of manure. Feedlots on these farms cram too many animals into too little space with no possible way to deal with all of the excess waste being produced.
The toll that these corporate agribusinesses are imposing on our water is heavy and we must work together to mold a solution to this growing problem. Changes to farming practices, such as the use of buffer strips and the proper fertilization of cropland, can greatly reduce the pollution that factory farms output. As more Minnesotans become informed about the problem, it will be easier to solve it before things get out of hand.