BY KATHRYN KELLY
What do Powderhorn Lake and Hiawatha Golf Course have in common? Water!!
The plans proposed by the Minneapolis Parks & Recreation Board (MPRB) for reduced pumping at the Hiawatha Golf Course will increase water levels in the Minneapolis neighborhoods as far away as Powderhorn Lake.
The MPRB document, Water Management Alternatives (p. 15), states that “we anticipate a slight increase in the long-term water levels in Powderhorn Lake.” If “all groundwater pumping stopped at the golf course, the modeling estimated an increase in the Powderhorn Lake of 0.3-0.4 feet.” To offset these increased water levels, increased pumping would be required at Powderhorn Lake.
Does this mean that underground water levels will increase in all low-lying neighborhoods between Lake Hiawatha and Powderhorn Lake? It would seem to be so.
The Park Board’s solution is to install pumps in two neighborhoods near the golf course. These pumps would then try to return the water to the golf course through the city’s storm sewers. Just a side note: Scott Pearson, a DNR hydrologist, stated to me that, in his opinion, this plan would not work because it does not remove the water from the system. It just pumps it in a circle.
Which is the foolhardy plan? The current system of pumping, which keeps water levels down in the neighborhoods, OR a hypothetical reduced pumping scenario that would increase water levels in the neighborhoods between Lake Hiawatha and Powderhorn Park and then require pumps in the neighborhoods to move the water somewhere else?
As someone whose family has property in the affected area, I choose the current system!