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Minnesota Water Science Center

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Hydrology Prior to Wetland and Prairie Restoration in and around the Glacial Ridge National Wildlife Refuge, Northwestern Minnesota, 2002-5:

Scientific Investigations Report 2007-5200 by Timothy K. Cowdery and David L. Lorenz, with Allan D. Arntson. This report, prepared in cooperation with The Nature Conservancy and the Red Lake Watershed District, describes how the ground and surface-water system functioned before wetlands and prairies were restored in the study area. It also describes the state of water quality before the restorations.

Meadow in Glacial Ridge National Wildlife Refuge.

Meadow in Glacial Ridge National Wildlife Refuge.

Major findings from this study include:
  • Surficial ground water and surface waters are very interconnected and function as a single system.
  • Two- to four-times as much water left the study area as evapotranspiration than as surface-water flow.
  • Most ground water left the study area as evapotranspiration after discharging to closed-basin wetlands.
  • Water quality in the study area was generally suitable for most uses but variable. One-quarter of ground-water sampled exceeded the USEPA nitrate drinking water standard.

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