A series of public meetings on the water supply for the northeast Twin Cities area will begin on Thursday.
The issue has gained attention because government scientists say White Bear Lake is receding as growing cities are pumping more groundwater.
Residents who have watched in anguish as the water has receded are increasingly concerned, said White Bear Lake Mayor Jo Emerson.
"I think they feel helpless sometimes," Emerson said. "We stand here and watch it go down; what can we do? So if we can find a way for people to take part in the conversation and hopefully think about their use of water and what they're doing, it's a start."
The meeting, which includes an informational presentation and a question-and-answer session, will begin at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Century College. Officials from the Metropolitan Council, the U.S. Geological Survey and the DNR will take part.
Emerson said the one good thing about the problem is that she has been meeting with other local officials to try to come up with solutions.
"No one community can afford to do it by themselves," she said, "so for us I think it's been a plus."
Two more public meetings are planned.