Read the latest water-related news and events!
Read the latest water-related news and events!
A monthly e-newsletter from the North Central Region Water Network
July 2022 
Idaho skyline

Network News

It is hard to believe next week is August already - harvest will be here before we know it!
We had a great week earlier this month in Duluth for the Climate Intersections Conference. We heard inspiring and emotional presentations, learned about the latest climate-related research and programming, and connected with colleagues across the region. We would like to thank all of you who joined us and everyone with the Network who took a role in helping to make the event a success!
While the conference is behind us - field and event season is still in full swing! In two weeks we are headed to Waseca, Minnesota for a Regional Field School for Soil Health Educators with the Soil Health Nexus team to build our communication skills when discussing soil health,  evaluate soil changes after different tillage and cover crop planting equipment, and more. 
We are also working with the Agricultural Conservation Planning Framework team to host trainings on ACPF - an ArcGIS decision support tool that provides a menu of conservation options for conservation planners. 
We hope you can join us!

-Joe Bonnell and Anne Nardi, North Central Region Water Network
Drought stressed corn

The Current Webinar Series
Water Management During Drought

Drought is continuing to intensify across portions of the Midwest this year, and over the past several years severe drought has plagued much of the upper Midwest and northern Plains. This months edition of The Current Webinar Series will discuss water management during drought - from the latest irrigation technologies to livestock water management. Tune in to hear updates on the latest research and programs addressing drought. Register
People talking at the Dultuh Entertainment Convention Center

Network Spotlight
Trip to Duluth for the Climate Intersections Conference leaves attendees energized and inspired

In mid-July, the North Central Region Water Network headed to beautiful Duluth, Minnesota for the Climate Intersections Conference. As agriculture, natural resource, and water professionals, we know that climate change is threatening our agricultural systems, communities, watersheds, and way of life. The conference provided an opportunity to discuss climate solutions, hear new and different perspectives, and explore our role in fostering resilience and equity in our communities as the climate continues to change.

The conference kicked off with a walking tour of downtown Duluth to see how the city is putting their Climate Action Work Plan to work and a welcome reception on the shores of Lake Superior to reconnect with colleagues and develop new working relationships. Read on
Duane Friend teaching a Master Naturalist Class

Leadership Spotlight
University of Illinois leverages the power of weather-watching for the Master Naturalist Program

People have long had a fascination with the weather and storms. Storms can impact field crops, when you can get out into the field, and even your weekend plans. And there is something inherently compelling about watching a storm roll-in. With the University of Illinois Extension Master Naturalist Program, volunteer naturalists can put their weather-watching and monitoring skills to good use.

The mission of the University of Illinois Extension Master Naturalist Program is to provide science-based educational opportunities that connect people with nature and help them become engaged environmental stewards. The program educates and trains adult volunteers, so they are better equipped to share natural resource information with others in their communities and to assist with environmental conservation and restoration activities. Read on

In The News

Upcoming Events

Harmful Algal Blooms Webinar
Wednesday, August 3, 2022
Join the Algal Blooms Action Team for a discussion on the removal of cyanobacterial blooms. The webinar will feature Dr Halis Simsek and Dr. Pankaj Bhatt from Purdue University.
Learn more

Iowa Soil Health Workshop
Thursday, August 4, 2022 

This workshop will help attendees how to evaluate soil health and communicate about soil health related topics more effectively. The workshop will provide both classroom and in-field learning opportunities for participants. Staff from NRCS, Extension, Soil & Water Conservation Districts, watershed coordinators, agronomists, and other agricultural service providers are encouraged to attend. Learn more

Field School for Soil Health Educators
Tuesday and Wednesday, August 9-10, 2022

Join educators from across the Midwest to build skills for communicating soil health concepts. In the field, we’ll evaluate soil changes after using different tillage and cover crop planting equipment, and practice using a penetrometer under different field conditions. Presentations will cover manure management and cover crop nutrient uptake. Learn more

Underground Innovations 2022

Wednesday and Thursday, August 10-11, 2022 

This event is being held by the Michigan Agriculture Advancement and will be at the Bavarian Inn Lodge in Frankenmuth, MI. The event is for farmers and farm stakeholders to engage in conversations about soil health, regenerative agriculture, and innovations to improve farm systems. Learn more

Cultivating Resilience Farm Field Day
Thursday, August 18, 2022

This event is being held at Shady Side Farm in Holland, MI. The event is focused on groundwater issues in Ottawa and surrounding counties and will promote soil health, water conservation, and engage participants with the latest practical conservation knowledge so they can create more resilient farm operations. Registration deadline is August 15! Learn more

Understanding Algal Blooms: State of the Science Conference
Wednesday, September 7, 2022

This one-day conference is being hosted by the Ohio Sea Grant and will highlight the latest algal bloom research and technology. Registration deadline is September 1! Learn more

Great Lakes Coastal Symposium
Monday-Wednesday, September 19-21, 2022

The symposium will be hosted in Sault Ste. Marie, MI. Participants will explore Great Lakes coastal systems in light of a changing climate, and discuss management and conservation approaches for coastal waters, vegetation, and wildlife. Learn more

2022 Iowa Water Conference: Out Watershed Moment, Building Communities for Conservation
Wednesday-Thursday, September 28-29, 2022

The 16th annual Iowa Water Conference will be held in Dubuque, IA.  The conference will emphasize the influence the Mississippi River has on neighboring communities, agriculture, recreation, and ecology. The conference theme highlights the importance of watershed citizenship for improving soil health and water quality in the basin. Learn more

Funding and Opportunities

Farmer Network Specialist - Marbleseed 

Marbleseed (formerly Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service, MOSES) is seeking a Farmer Network Specialist to join their team! The incumbent will develop educational programs and engage farmers and others regarding organic, sustainable, and regenerative farming practices in the upper Midwest. This position is remote and open until filled.
Learn more

Next Gen Ag and Conservation Professionals 
Green Lands Blue Waters is equipping the next generation of agriculture leaders through a mentorship program for Next Gen Ag and Conservation Professionals. Applications are due by August 1st! Learn more

2022 Eastern South Dakota Water Conference Abstract Submission

South Dakota Water Resources Institute is hosting the years water conference "Phosphorus Loss: Local & Global Challenges" on Wednesday, October 12. Presentations are can encompass a variety of topics including but not limited to: watershed science and management, water quality monitoring, harmful algal blooms, groundwater science and management, climate, and more! Abstract deadline is August 15 by 5pm CT. Learn more

Phosphorus: Lessons Learned from 10+ years of Numeric Phosphorus Criteria for Wisconsin's Water Abstract Submission - UW-Milwauke Center for Water Policy
The UW-Milwauke Center Water Policy is co-hosting a Phosphorus conference in February 2023. Abstacts should be related to the following themes: status of phosphorus levels in Wisconsin's water, compliance options for phosphorus numeric criteria, NR 151 agricultural performance standards, management challenges and solutions for farmers/producers. Abstracts of 500 words or less should be sent to by the August 31, 2022 deadline.

Small Grains Cost-Share - Practical Farmers of Iowa

The PFI announced a cost-share for extended rotations in 2022 for farmers in Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, or Wisconsin. Learn more


NOAA forecasts summer 'dead zone' of nearly 5.4K square miles in Gulf of Mexico - NOAA
NOAA is forecasting a summer “dead zone” in the Gulf of Mexico that will be approximately 5,364 square miles, making it about average for the 35-year history of the summertime dead zone measurements in the region. The forecast is lower than last year’s measured size and slightly lower than the five-year average measured size of 5,380 square miles.
 Read on

New Documentary Film Spotlights Soil Health and Climate Change from Farmers' Perspective - USDA

Climate change is causing greater environmental and economic challenges for U.S. agriculture. But did you know that soil health practices can help working farmlands become more resilient to climate extremes? Read on

Two New Research Projects About Wisconsin's Groundwater Announced - WRI

It’s summer in Wisconsin and with boating, beach going and fishing a lot of attention is being given to surface water, which is a true treasure in this state. Another treasure isn’t visible but is just as valuable—groundwater. Wisconsin has an estimated 1.2 quadrillion gallons of groundwater, from which two-thirds of the state’s 5.6 million residents draw drinking water. The University of Wisconsin Water Resources Institute (WRI) is funding two new groundwater-focused projects. The two-year projects got underway July 1.
Read on

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