When explaining the danger to Coldwater Springs it is often confused as a complex and highly technical issue. That's only true if you want to calculate what the diminishment of the Spring would be if you removed X amount of water from the recharge area. On the other hand, if your interested in knowing how not to harm the spring, the issue is exceedingly simple. Just take a look at this MnDOT map below.

The blue dotted line is the water table that feeds the Spring. The Spring is gravity feed, and therefore it is necessary for the Spring to be downhill from the recharge area. (Click here to see a more detailed explanation of the recharge area)
What MnDOT wants to do is build a road below the water table and permanently lower that water table so the road wont flood. Unfortunately it will destroy as much as 1/3 of the downward water flows to the Coldwater Spring in the process. It is true that MnDOT has agreed to raise the drain below the road above the bedrock but they have not yet agreed to raise it out of the water table. The alternative to simply raising the road is to isolate it from the water table with a liner so dewatering would not be needed. This essentially would be a dam around the road so the water could not seep in. The issue is as simple as that!
Further, MnDOT is actually at the State Capitol trying to loosen the law that protects the spring. MnDOT's position is that the law creates an impossible standard, because they may not diminish the flow to the spring. (As if they can't simply raise the road) "There are plenty of environmental laws that protect the Spring" According to the division engineer and MnDOT spokesman, Richard Stehr. He further states that "The department is committed to that. The Federal Agencies that are participating in funding are all committed to the protection of the Spring". This was claimed in an September 21, 2001 PBS Almanac TV show.
Now the hard part. The legislators need to be aware that the MnDOT construction so far has reduced the Spring flow rate from an average of 90 to 64 gallons per minute by MNDOT'S OWN NUMBERS! This so far has been temporary dewatering, but if the road design remains unchanged and below the water table, some of that dewatering will become permanent.
All we want is for MnDOT to live up to it's word and protect the Spring. Apparently they are "Committed to it" but somehow a law forcing that commitment is a problem. You can plainly see the absurdity of the situation.

For a more detailed look at MnDOT's past behavior on this project, please see http://www.minnehahacreek.org/f-temp_coldwatertimeline.htm

SENATE CONTACT INFO - http://www.senate.leg.state.mn.us/members/directory2001.htm