Field Guides to Food

Dominic Jones, Water Plant Manager, on his Work, July 2012

Dominic Jones, manager of Red Rock Rural Water System in Jeffers, Minnesota, talks about his career in water management, from the educational outreach programs he and his team promote to the importance of nutrient management in an area of intensive agriculture. He also goes into the history of the region pre-water system and the System’s relationship with the DNR.

1. (0:00) Introduction (0m 0s in the edited version)
Who the Red Rock System serves (0:20) (0m 20s)
Geographical range (1:31) (0m 29s)
Jones’ path to the water system (1:49) (1m 36s) 
About the Red Rock System (3:30) (3m 20s)

2. (4:19) Challenges (4m 8s)
Keeping everyone’s best interest in mind (4:30) (4m 19s)
Surrounding yourself with good people (4:38) (4m 27s)
Corn and soybean producers (5:08) (4m 57s)
Finding a water supply (5:27) (5m 25s)
On staff 24/7 (7:09)
Water in all weather (7:57)

3. (8:28) Training
Education (9:20)
Hands-on experience (9:49)
Political involvement (10:57)
Taking advantage of educational opportunities (11:17) 

4. (11:41) Protecting the water supply (6m 40s)
The number one priority (12:21) (6m 55s)
“Two good aquifers” (12:36) (7m 9s)
Promoting nutrient management (13:23) (8m 8s)
Working with the Department of Health (14:12) (8m 44s)
Using buffer strips and native prairies (14:39) (9m 27s)
Preserving the water for years to come (15:05) (9m 48s)

5. (15:23) How much land needs to be protected?
Five or six square miles (16:06)
Identifying potential contaminant sources (16:16)
Education and communication (17:00)

6. (17:39) Playing the diplomat (9m 55s)
Connecting to the public (18:22) (10m 39s)
Educational activities (8:45) (11m 6s)
“We wear a lot of different hats” (20:37) (12m 53s)
Expressing opinions (20:47) (13m 1s)
A multiplicity of roles (21:17) (13m 42s)

7. (22:27) Historical context
Forty to fifty years of history (22:50) 
Beginning in the 70s (23:12)
Based on need (23:44)

8. (25:16) The cost
“Very fortunate” (25:28)
Expenses and their management (26:06)

9. (28:02) Before the Water System
Old wells (28:43)
Differences in water (31:40)

10. (32:28) Industrial needs (14m 39s) 
Ethanol producer (32:51) (15m 6s)
Water consumption and conservation (34:19)  (16m 29s)
City-industry interaction (35:26) (17m 22s)
The problem (36:10) (18m 17s)
Finding an alternative water source (36:33) (18m 57s)

11. (38:40) How do you find the water? (20m 48s)
Some sources are already discovered (39:15) (21m 14s)
“It starts with the idea” (40:39) (22m 28s)
Drilling (40:41) (22m 39s)
Non-drilling methods (45:04) (27m 21s)
Many unknowns (46:45) (28m 43s)
Limited supply (47:09) (29m 9s)

12. (47:31) Keeping the water supply affordable
Staying fair to the individual households (47:45)
“Still a very cheap commodity” (48:39)

13. (49:20) Concerns
Dry weather (50:25)
The large producer (51:24)

14. (51:39) The role of the DNR 
“Nothing to hide” (54:55)
Always a learning experience (55:34)
Respect (55:45)
Question (56:01)

15. (56:24) A pretty healthy system
Always room for improvement (56:56)

16. (57:26) Predictions for the future (29m 27s)
Long-range planning (58:40) (30m 43s)

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