The natural resources department is taking a new approach to dealing with water problems in Missouri.     

DNR director Sara Parker Pauley says her department has dealt with water on a compartmentalized basis, with separate divisions for water quality, water quantity or water planning, and soil and water issues.  The department also deals with water issues through artificial boundaries–counties and water districts for example.

The department is starting a holistic approach by working across divisions within the agency and working with entire watersheds, not the counties and districts that split them up. She thinks the plan should bring stakeholders and state agencies closer together on supply and quality issues. DNR has broken the state into 66 watersheds.

Parker-Pauley says the concept is not new—that it was discussed federally 120 years ago.  She says it’s been talked about here for years but the stars had not aligned until now.

 Hear Sara Parker P:auley explain new effort 10:14 mp3