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*Lake effect (lecture)

November 14, 2017 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

The Lake Effect: Protecting water through innovative collaboration

5:30 pm public reception
7:00 pm lecture

She’s got the name and the impressive track record! Hear Kathy Lake of the Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District discuss her innovative approach to address seemingly intractable, watershed-wide pollution issues. Ms. Lake is president of the Yahara Watershed Improvement Network (Yahara WINS), which has cities, villages, towns, agricultural producers, and environmental groups all pulling together to reduce phosphorus and chloride to the iconic lakes Monona and Mendota.

“The biggest accomplishment of this project is seeing how many people are coming around to the idea that we can each do something to improve our water,” said Lake. “We all can do just a little bit more, and every collective piece is helping to improve our water.”

The Yahara watershed, like many others, is threatened by excessive phosphorus from sources as such as agricultural runoff, urban stormwater, and wastewater treatment plant discharges. The elevated phosphorus levels are a threat to water quality and aquatic life throughout the area. Yahara WINS began in 2012 as a four-year pilot project to reduce phosphorus loads and meet more stringent water quality standards established by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. This groundbreaking program employs watershed adaptive management, a strategy in which all sources of phosphorus pollution in an area work together to meet water quality goals. This strategy is more effective and less expensive than the sources working separately on individual solutions. Due to the project’s promising early success, this year kicks off a 20-year effort to expand the program throughout all 536 square miles of the Yahara Watershed.

About Kathy Lake  For more than 20 years, Kathy Lake has pursued solutions to water challenges as both a consultant and municipal employee. She is a professional engineer, holding a bachelor of civil engineering degree from the University of Minnesota and a MBA from University of Wisconsin-Madison. In 2016, she was honored with a 2016 “Women of Industry” award for her environmental influence in Madison and beyond.



November 14, 2017
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Event Category:


College of Biological Sciences & Freshwater Foundation


U of M St. Paul Student Center
2017 Buford Ave
St. Paul, MN 55108 United States
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