You are on page 1of 83


a l L E d
fin MP st e
i n s C O p o
t a T b e
o n NO ill
t c is w
e n ng ion 10
u m t t i r s 2 0
o c a v e 1 ,
d rm e d Y 1
h i s r fo t t R
T ve rm a U A
w e fo A N
H fina l J

. 21

The Need for a Sustainable Clean Water Supply

Part 1 | EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 1 Issue B 31
Summary of issues, strategies, recommendations 1 Excess Nutrients and Other Conventional Impairments
10-year action plan 2

. .
25-year action plan 3

x t E. Issue C

t LET d
Chemicals and Microbes of Emerging Concern

n a P te Sharing a vision 7

s fi OM os Minnesota’s sustainable water policy 8

Issue D

n C ep
Imagine a Minnesota… 9 53

a i
t OT ll b
The current state of water in Minnesota 10
Land, Air, Water Connection

n .
t co is N wi Part 3 | WATER ISSUES 17

Issue E

n ng ion 10
Ecological and Hydrological Integrity
Problem statement A Specific concerns A Drivers of stress A What is known and not

u m tti ers , 20 known A Objective A Strategy A Outcomes, Measures of Success, and Benchmarks

o c ma v 11 A Recommendations: action plan, research plan A Notes A Figures: Time Frame for

Issue F

d or ted Y
Completion of Recommendations and Impact Matrix 71
Water Energy Nexus

i s f R
Th ver rmat UA Part 4 | BEST PRACTICES
e fo AN
Wastewater Treatment 110 Economic Issue G

w J Drinking Water Source Protection 111 Water Pricing

Ho final

Pollution Prevention 112
Conservation 113

Issue H
A Water Valuation 114
Public Water Infrastructure Needs

Acronyms and Abbreviation 115 Social

Issue I 89
Core Objectives Related to Recommendations 116 Citizen Engagement and Education
Project Organization 117
Team Members and Other Contributors 118
Background White Papers 118

Issue J
Institutions and Governance
Printed on recycled paper with a minimum of 10% post-consumer waste and soy-based ink.
Part 1 Executive Summary The MINNESOTA WATER
x t. E.
te LET d
a P te
fi OM os
n C ep
miles of rivers and streams, has more freshwater than any of the
country’s other contiguous 48 states. Water is part of Minnesota’s

identity and a defining force in our state’s history, heritage, environment, and

n a
t OT ll b
quality of life. At the headwaters of three of the largest river basins in North

co is N wi
America, Minnesota receives 99% of its water from rain and snow – conse-

quently, most of our water quality problems originate right here in our own

e n ng ion 10 state. While this means we are not forced to clean up water problems originat-

m tti ers , 20
ing elsewhere, it also means we have a responsibility to take care of our waters

c ma v 11
for our sake and for all those downstream.

d or ted Y
We have had a tendency to take this abundance and cleanliness for granted.

h i r f at AR But this complacency could lead to our undoing. Over time, as Minnesota was

T ve rm U settled, cleared, developed, and farmed, and our population grew, our lakes,
Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework

Executive Summary
w l fo JA N rivers, groundwater and their related ecosystems have taken an unintended

toll from the cumulative impacts of human-induced changes on the land. Min-

H fina nesota’s population will grow—an estimated 22 percent larger by 2035— and that
increased population will result in ever greater demands on our finite water sup-

A ply and its quality unless we make intentional and strategic changes now


It was in part due to Minnesota’s love of water and concern for the environ-
ment that in 2008, its citizens passed the historic Clean Water, Land and
Legacy Amendment to the state constitution, dedicating a portion of a small
increase in the state’s sales tax for the next 25 years to create the Clean Water
4 5
A.1: Determine the state’s water balance and improve water appropriations
A water supply that is protected for all future generations, that is of A. The Need for a Sustainable permitting
high quality, and that is sustainable for all uses of water. and Clean Water Supply A.2: Improve privately supplied drinking water quality
A.3: Plan for water re-use
Fund to protect and enhance our water resources. This rare and unique op- B.1: Reduce excess nutrient and conventional pollutant loads by strengthening
portunity allows Minnesota to do what no other state has done – to truly take policies to meet clean water standards and require implementation of pollutant
The “Land of Unimpaired Waters,” where we have met all our water B. Excess Nutrients and Other load reductions by all sources
action now for a sustainable water future. standards for nutrients and solids, we are not contributing to eutro- Conventional Pollutants B.2: Establish a farmer-led, performance-based approach to meeting clean water
phication problems beyond our borders, we can safely eat local fish. standards
B.3: Address “legacy” contaminants
The Legislature directed the University of Minnesota Water Resources Center
to construct a framework describing what needs to be accomplished and how A society that has embraced green manufacturing and chemistry so C.1: Enact Green Chemistry Act
as to eliminate new toxic contaminants, and where drinking water, C. Contaminants of Emerging
to get it done. The Legislature defined sustainable water use as that which C.2: Develop a framework for managing contaminants of emerging concern
recreation water, and food are free from harm from microbial contami- Concern C.3: Address beach pathogens to improve recreation
“does not harm ecosystems, degrade water quality, or compromise the nants.
ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. Aspects of water A society where all of our land use decisions and plans are D. Land, Air, and Water D.1: Require integrated land and water planning; integrate water sustainability
sustainability to be addressed included drinking water, stormwater, agricultur- Figure 2-1: Water Sustainability Triad inextricably linked with sustainable water use and planning. Connection in permitting
al and industrial use, surface and groundwater interactions, and infrastructure with Framework Issues A–J
A society where healthy ecosystems are considered the founda-
needs, and within the context of predicted changes in climate, demographics tion on which human well-being is based, and that all damaged E.1: Enact Ecosystems Services Act
ecosystems have been remedied and all ecosystems are protected E. Ecological and Hydrological E.2: Prevent and control aquatic invasive species
and land use. The result is the Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework. will assure the people of the state that our precious water resources will be while maintaining a healthy economy. Changes to the hydrological Integrity E.3: Improve management of hydrologic systems
The following 150-page report presents the 10 most pressing issues of the day here for generations to come. system are minimized and historic changes have been addressed to E.4: Preserve and encourage land set-aside programs
achieve water quality and aquifer recharge needs.
that must be addressed to achieve sustainable water use, presents strategies
for what should be done, and provides recommendations for how to meet WHAT THE FRAMEWORK IS NOT… A society in which energy policy and water policy are aligned F. Water Energy Nexus F.1: Understand and manage water and energy relationships
these challenges. The Framework provides a long-range plan that frames major water sustain- A society in which water is a considered a public service and is G.1: Include the value of ecological benefits in the pending water pricing
ability issues and provides strategies and recommendations for addressing priced appropriately to cover the costs of its production, protection, G. Water Pricing schemes
Over the last 18 months, a core team led by University of Minnesota Water those issues. It is not a specific spending plan for the Clean Water Fund, nor improvement, and treatment, and the economic value of its G.2: Provide for shared resources between large and small community water
ecological benefits. supplies
Resources Center professor and co-director Deborah Swackhamer collected, should it be limited by the availability of Clean Water Funds; rather, it includes
compiled, considered, and synthesized the knowledge, insights, and perspec- recommendations for investments that may come from sources beyond the A society that maintains and protects its infrastructure for H.1: Determine a long-term strategy for funding new, expanded, and updated
Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework

Executive Summary
drinking water, wastewater, stormwater, and flood protection in a
tives of hundreds of the best scientists and water management professionals Clean Water Fund (other state funds, private funds, etc), as well as recommen- manner that sustains our communities and our water resources H. Infrastructure Needs infrastructure and its maintenance
H.2: Incorporate new technologies and adaptive management into public water
in the state and region, as well as the input of a wide range of citizens and in- dations that require little or no investment by the state. and maintains and enhances ecosystems; and reuses water where infrastructure decisions
appropriate to conserve our sustainable supply.
terest groups. The resulting Framework offers a step-by-step roadmap toward
water sustainability, identifying problems in a holistic way and offering con- THE MOST PRESSING ISSUES A resilient society that values, understands, and treasures our water I. Citizen Engagement and I.1: Ensure long-term citizen engagement
crete solutions and action steps based on current science and best practices. The Framework identifies ten major issues that present the challenges, and resources, and acts in ways to achieve and maintain sustainable Education I.2: Ensure youth and adult water literacy and education
and healthy water resources.
solutions to those challenges that must be addressed, if water sustainability is
Minnesota is at a crossroads. To do nothing about our current water manage- to be achieved in Minnesota. These issues (labeled A – J) fall within the three Governments, institutions, and communities working together in
ment would put our health, quality of life, and environmental and economic areas that define sustainability: environmental, economic, and social. implementing an overarching water sustainability policy that is J.1: Provide a governance structure to ensure water sustainability
aligned with all other systems policies (land use, energy, economic J. Governance and Institutions J.2: Ensure that the Water Sustainability Framework is reviewed and updated
future at stake. We have a rare moment in history to make the changes needed development, transportation, food and fiber production) through laws, regularly and informed by current, accessible data and information
to put Minnesota on the path to water sustainability through the Water Sus- The Strategies that address the Issues are in the following table, along with the ordinances, and actions that promote resilience and sustainability.
tainability Framework. Moving forward on the Framework recommendations corresponding Desired Minnesota Future:
6 7

A1b iv: develop eco-based thresholds for minimum flows Executive R Phase 1
A TEN- AND TWENTY FIVE-YEAR PLAN A2a: improve quality of private drinking water Other Phase 2
The following “dashboard” presents the complete list of Recommendations
in the Framework that are needed to implement the Strategies listed above A3a: plan for water reuse Executive Phase 4
for addressing the ten important Issues. This summary table provides the
following information: A3b: develop reuse standards Executive Phase 4

A Individual Recommendations—recommendations recommendation’s implementation. Phase 1 from the action will take significant time (decade
B1a: require compliance of pollutant load reductions by all sectors Legislative Phase 1
are grouped by the issue they address (identified corresponds to the first two years (2011–2012) and or more).
by A–J), and in relationship to a specific strategy are shown in bright blue, Phase 2 corresponds A Level of Benefit to Water Resources—this gives
B1b: strengthen approaches to stormwater pollution Executive Phase 3
(identified by number). For example, A1a indicates to the next three years (2013–2015), Phase 3 an indication of each recommendation’s potential
Recommendation “a” for Strategy 1 under Issue A. corresponds to years 6–10 (2016-2020), and Phase impact on improving or protecting water quality
B1c: strengthen shoreland rules Executive Phase 3
A Who Should Implement—if funding is appropri- 4 corresponds to years 11–15 (2021–2025). The Ten- and quantity for future generations. The scale
ated by the Legislature, this indicates whether a Year Plan contains recommendations in Phases is given as 1 to 3 drops, with 3 drops indicating
B1d: increase capacity for local land use compliance Legislative Phase 2
given recommendations would be implemented 1–3, while the Twenty Five-Year Plan contains all maximal benefit and 1 drop indicating modest
by the Legislature, the executive branch, or others recommendations from all Phases. The timeline benefit.
B1e: strengthen rules managing septic treatment systems Executive Phase 3
A Research Task—this column contains an R if the for implementation does not always correspond to A Multiple Benefits—this indicates whether the
recommendation is a research task rather than an how critical the action is relative to others, rather, recommendation as implemented would benefit
B1f: research cyanotoxin sources Other R Phase 2
implementation or management task. it reflects Minnesota’s readiness to implement the other state-defined natural and human resources, B2a: establish farmer-led performance based approach to meeting Legislative Phase 1
A Implementation Phase—the phases refer to action (i.e., “low hanging fruit”), the urgency of including wildlife, fisheries, forest resources, air, standards
the general timeline for initiation of a given starting the action, and/or the fact that outcomes recreational resources, or human health.
B2b: establish agricultural sustainable water certification Executive Phase 3
Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework

Executive Summary
IF FUNDED, B3a: address contaminated sediments Executive Phase 2
B3b: evaluate coal-tar sealant alternatives Executive Phase 1
A1a i, ii, iii: accelerate water balance mapping needs and implement
Executive Phase 1
hydrologic monitoring network
B3c: further eliminate mercury sources Executive Phase 1
A1a iv: design and complete the water balance hydrologic models Executive R Phase 1
C1a: enact Green Chemistry Act Legislative Phase 1
A1b i, ii: develop a web-based screening permit system Executive Phase 1
C2a: develop framework for managing contaminants of emerging con-
A1b iii: restrict water exports from state Legislative Phase 3 Executive Phase 1

8 9

C2b: expand MDH Contaminants of Emerging Concern program Executive Phase 3 E4b: work to ensure next Farm Bill has strong conservation elements Executive Phase 1

C2c: prioritize facilities’ need for advanced treatment technologies Executive Phase 3 F1a: understand and quantify the water energy nexus Other R Phase 3

C2d: develop comprehensive policy for pharmaceutical disposal Legislative Phase 2 F1b: review energy policy for water sustainability Legislative Phase 3

C3a: establish state policy for pathogens and beaches Legislative Phase 3 F1c: encourage renewable energy that minimizes water impacts Executive Phase 3

C3b, c: research pathogen indicators and sources Other R Phase 2 G1a: include ecological benefits in water pricing Legislative Phase 2
D1a: require comprehensive land and water planning Legislative Phase 1
G1b: include other economic incentives in water pricing Legislative Phase 2
D1b: integrate sustainability in land use permitting Legislative Phase 1
G1c: transition business to more equitable pricing Executive Phase 2
D1c: increase local enforcement and compliance capacity Legislative Phase 2
G1d: research and model value of water ecological benefits Other R Phase 1
D1d: monitor effectiveness Executive R Phase 1
G2a: provide for shared resources between small and large community
Executive Phase 3
E1a i: enact Ecosystems Services Act Legislative Phase 3 water supplies

E1a ii: determine ecosystem services & their economic value Other R Phase 1 H1a: create standing advisory committee on new technologies Executive Phase 2

E2a: develop statewide policy for aquatic invasive species Legislative Phase 1 H1b: address water reuse Legislative Phase 4

E2b: research control measures for aquatic invasive species Other R Phase 1 H1c: adopt Effective Utility Management program Other Phase 1
Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework

Executive Summary
E3a: accelerate watershed hydrological characteristics and response H2a i: determine long term funding strategy for public water infra-
Executive Phase 1 Executive R Phase 1
landscape model application structure
E3b: model drainage from field scale to watershed scale Other R Phase 3 H2a ii: implement long term funding strategy for public water infra-
Executive Phase 3
E3c: require multi-benefit drainage management practices with new or Legislative Phase 1
replaced tile drainage I1a: ensure long term public engagement support Executive Phase 2
E3d: expand cost-share program for retrofitting existing tile drainage Executive Phase 1
I2a: ensure child water literacy Other Phase 2
E4a: preserve and encourage conservation land set-asides Executive Phase 1
I2b: ensure adult water literacy Other Phase 2

10 11
IF FUNDED, sustainability – implementing these five actions will take us closer to water
sustainability than any other limited combination of actions. These five
actions can be grouped into two parts: (i) Protect and restore water quantity
J1a: review statutes and laws for water sustainability Legislative Phase 1 and quality and (ii) Address the interconnected nature of water. They are all
Phase 1 actions, of high impact to water quality and have multiple benefits.
J1b: enact Water Sustainability Act Legislative Phase 1 They are shown in the “dashboard” above in bolded italics.

J1c: re-establish the Legislative Water Commission Legislative Phase 1 Protect and restore water quantity and quality through comprehensive,
integrated, and informed management and policy
J1d: create Water Sustainability Board Legislative Phase 2
Revise water appropriations permitting (Recommendation A1b), and model
the state’s water balance (A1a)
J1e: form Watershed and Soil Conservation Authorities Legislative Phase 3
Comply with water quality standards through implementation plans for
reducing pollutants (B1a) and bring farmers to the table to be part of this
J2a: create interagency data and information portal Executive Phase 1 solution (B2a)
Address future contaminants (C1a, C2a)
J2b: maintain Framework as “living” document Legislative Phase 3
Address the interconnected nature of water by integrating and aligning
planning and policies
Integrate water and land use planning (D1a)
Align water, energy, land, transportation policies for sustainability (J1a)
earlier phases have been instituted, yet are highly essential to sustainable
As shown in the dashboard, it is evident that most (about two-thirds) of the water resources in Minnesota. The most essential actions are shown in
Framework recommendations should begin in the first five years (Phases 1 bolded italics (see below for explanation).
or 2). Phase 1 recommendations, shown in red, relate to issues A, B, D, and
J (Need for a Sustainable and Clean Water Supply; Excess Nutrients and The dashboard also demonstrates that three-fourths of the recommendations
Conventional Pollutants; Land, Air, and Water Connection; and Governance have multiple benefits to other natural resources and public health. Many of
and Institutions). With few exceptions, these will provide a high level of the remaining one-quarter are positively linked to economic benefits.
Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework

Executive Summary
benefit to water resources, and most provide multiple benefits to natural and
human resources. Phase 2 recommendations relate to strategies within all The Essential Top Five Actions
the issues except Issue F (Water Energy Nexus). These recommendations The Framework is comprehensive in its recommendations and at first glance
will provide good to excellent benefits to water resources, and again, most may seem like a daunting challenge on many levels, including financial.
would provide multiple benefits to natural and human resources. Phase 3 The quality and diversity of knowledge and perspectives that contributed
recommendations are less urgent and, though important, do not need to to the final form of these recommendations cannot be overemphasized,
be initiated in the first five years. Phase 4 recommendations, most related and implementation of them in their entirety provides the best assurance
to water re-use, are not urgent. Non-urgency should not be interpreted to of water sustainability. However, in the expert view of the Framework’s
mean a recommendation is non-essential. In some cases, the Phase 3 or 4 authors, there are 5 overall actions (encompassing eight recommendations)
recommendations cannot be initiated until the recommendations in the that are most critical, in fact are considered essential, to achieving water

12 13
Part 2 Introduction SHARING a VISION
our precious water resources only if we collectively can agree to a
shared vision of what this means. A shared vision is not a single
common vision, but is one that we all can embrace, even if we have diverse
perspectives and differing uses for water. The Minnesota Water Sustain-
ability Framework project’s public engagement efforts indicate that citizens
embrace the legislative definition of sustainability. Minnesotans can attain
a shared vision through strong leadership, robust engagement of citizens,
informed decision-making, and management strategies that use evaluation
and learning to continually adapt and evolve. The shared vision arising from
the framework is that in the future, Minnesota’s lakes, rivers, streams, wet-
lands, and aquifers are healthy and resilient, and that they are understood
and treasured to promote well-being and prosperity of present and future
generations. The adoption and implementation of this framework will move
us to this vision.

Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework


—Minnesota Laws 2009, Chapter 172 ”
14 15
MINNESOTA: Preamble to Framework
Water Policy should be to:
A protect, maintain, and restore the biological,
AND THIS WILL REQUIRE A ROBUST, chemical, and physical health of the state’s GROUNDWATER ARE CLEAN,
water resources
COMPREHENSIVE AND INTEGRATED A provide resiliency to our ecosystems, our WHERE WATER IS
communities, and our economies
STATEWIDE POLICY. A increase our understanding of our state water ABUNDANT AND AVAILABLE
balance and the processes and stressors
This POLICY must ensure that water demand is forever balanced by clean affecting it to provide for improved decision TO ALL, TO MEET ALL NEEDS.
renewable water, and that our water resources are protected, maintained, and making
restored. This policy must recognize that water resources are intrinsically A improve our capacity for water management Or IMAGINE a Minnesota in which the ecological we’ve seen before. The differences of opinion we team led by University of Minnesota Water Re-
linked to human health and well-being, a sustainable environment, and that can adapt to new knowledge, changing integrity of our lakes and rivers has been destroyed encounter today around water access, allocation, sources Center professor and co-director Deborah
economic prosperity. It should recognize the interconnectedness of water: biogeochemical systems, and long-term by competing, unbridled demands that far exceed and protection pale in comparison to those that Swackhamer collected, compiled, sorted through,
the connection between surface and groundwater, the connection between challenges their capacity to meet them; where the health will emerge in the face of a bigger, more demand- and thoughtfully considered the knowledge, in-
water and human activity on the land. This policy must embrace the core A encourage sustainable, conservation-minded of children is threatened by an uncertain water ing populace—unless we commit ourselves now sights, and perspectives of hundreds of experts and
values of transparency, accountability, and equity, and must use the best land use practices supply; where access to clean water is controlled to a new and sustainable way of thinking, acting, thousands of citizens representing a spectrum of
science to guide decisions. A recognize and honor our many uses of water, by a powerful few; where competition for a scarce apportioning, and governing that will ensure our water-related professions and points of view.
including recreational, cultural, and spiritual resource generates crime and graft and separates water resources maintain ecological integrity while
Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework

values people and enterprises into haves and have-nots. meeting human physical, social, economic, and The Framework presented here is the result of
A preserve our water-rich heritage and ensure spiritual needs in a just and sustainable way. that massive effort. It is the nation’s first state-level
our future legacy as national and international Or imagine any scenario in between. Your choice. plan for ensuring that waters will be preserved,
water stewards That’s what this Framework is all about. In 2009, protected, and available for use by all citizens
A provide for a lasting foundation to achieve and Our choice. recognizing that under the new Clean Water, Land for generations to come. It gives Minnesotans a
maintain sustainable water management. and Legacy Constitutional Amendment, Minneso- solid plan for shaping the strong leaders, engaged
We don’t know what Minnesota will be like tomor- tans would be investing billions of dollars in water citizens, and resilient policies needed to not only
The following Framework will provide the row. But we do know it will be different than today. management over the next quarter century, the imagine, but create and pass on to our children, a
guidance needed to develop these principles into Population growth, climate change, and shifts in state Legislature called for creation of a compre- future in which lakes, streams, and groundwater
long-term action to achieve sustainable water use governance, technology, lifestyle, and land use hensive and independent framework to guide and are clean and water is abundant and available to all,
and management. are moving us toward a future unlike anything inform the process. Over the next 18 months, a core to balance all needs, for all time.
16 17
work is to provide a long-range plan that frames
the major water sustainability issues and provides
strategies and recommendations for addressing MINNESOTA HOLDS the HEADWATERS of almost all drawn from surface water sources, used and aquaculture, each use a few percent. When one
those issues. It is not a specific spending plan three major continental river basins, including the for once-through cooling, and returned to the removes the non-consumptive use, it gives a better
for the Clean Water Fund or limited by it; rather Red River of the North flowing to Hudson Bay, the stream or river where it was withdrawn from. It picture of water use in Minnesota: domestic use
it includes recommendations for investments Mississippi River flowing to the Gulf of Mexico, primarily affects a small area of rivers. When water is 22%, mining is 26%, agriculture is 19%, and other
that may come from sources beyond the Clean and Lake Superior flowing out to the St. Lawrence is returned from where it was taken, it is termed uses are each less than 10% of the consumptive
Water Fund (other state funds, private funds, etc), River and the Atlantic Ocean. Thus approximately consumptive use. Other uses of water in the state water supply. In 2005 the per capita use of water in
and recommendations that require little or no 99% of the inflow of water to the state is from include domestic use (public and private water Minnesota was 788 gal/day, and domestic use was
investment by the state. The Clean Water Fund precipitation. In total, Minnesota is touched by 8 supplies), which use 15%, of which about 90% is 68 gal/day per person. The per capita use has been
can help support the goal of sustainable water major river basins, and has 6 major groundwater from groundwater. Mining uses 10%, and mostly rising in Minnesota since the mid 1980s, and is
use and management, but is not the only vehicle. provinces defined by geological characteristics and surface water; agricultural irrigation and livestock driven by an increasing use for once-through cool-
This Framework addresses long term needs, so by availability of water. Based on research done by production uses about 7.5% of which nearly all is ing of thermoelectric plants. However, other use
the reader won’t see recommendations related to the USGS in the mid-1980s, the major loss of water groundwater. Other uses, such as industrial use categories have also seen increased demand over
things that Minnesota already does well, or that (about 80 %) is evapotransporation, or loss back
are currently regulated or managed sufficiently to the atmosphere from plants, soil, and surfaces.
using good science and good process. For in- Much of the remainder flows out of the state in
stance, the Framework does not address forest major rivers. The state currently has 13.1 million MINNESOTA WATER USE BY MAJOR CATEGORY: 1825–2005
management and water, because Voluntary Site- acres of wetlands and lakes, 63,000 miles of rivers
level Forest Management Guidelines are effective. and streams, 11,842 lakes over 10 acres in size, and 1600 AQUACULTURE (2005 only)
The Framework does not address mining and 23,000 miles of drainage ditches and channels that 1400 LIVESTOCK
water, as that is a site-by-site issue handled ad- Rivers form 81 major watersheds. However, the current


Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework

equately by permitting; and the politics of siting Perennial Streams balance of where water is and how it moves and
decisions were not within the scope of the Frame- flows in Minnesota is not very well known, and rep- 1000
work. The Framework does not focus on wetland resents one of the biggest challenges to managing
restoration per se, as the Wetlands Conservation water sustainably. PUBLIC WATER SUPPLY NON-DOMESTIC
Act is considered successful for the most part. 600
The Framework does not address aspects of the In spite of not knowing the quantity of water in the 400
federal Clean Water Act that are considered to be state with any certainty, the use of water in Min- MINING
successfully implemented, or comment on what nesota is well characterized from data collected by 200
is working well in the state it focuses on where Figure 2-2: Lakes and Streams Map both the DNR and the USGS. The largest use of 0
actions can be taken now and into the future to water in the state is for cooling of thermoelectric 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005
move us even farther forward. plants, which uses 60 % of total water use. It is YEAR Figure 2-3: Graph of Water Use
18 19
time (see Figure XX). About 78% of Minnesotans largely due to strong regulation of industrial point have not been subject to direct regulation of
get their drinking water from public supplies, and sources through the National Pollution Discharge discharges, including agricultural runoff and drain- ROOM for IMPROVEMENT
22% have private water supplies. The public drink- Elimination System (NPDES). In spite of this, ap- age. Regulations for urban non-point stormwater
ing water is largely from groundwater (~70%) with proximately 40% of the nation’s waters do not meet are now being phased in, and as a result, pollution Despite these successes, Minnesota waters still face many threats. For example:
some surface water sources (30%); private supplies water quality standards, and the same percentage from urban non-point sources should be reduced.
all use groundwater. is estimated for Minnesota. Recent studies suggest In Minnesota, the agricultural community has Groundwater pumping has lowered ground- ous chemical input to receiving waters. than decreasing in some parts ofthe state,
The quality of Minnesota’s water (and the nation’s) that the lack of improvement in the last decade been a national leader in working to implement water at least 40 feet in some parts of Min- Removal of species, overfishing, and putting infants at risk from drinking water.
has improved significantly since the passage of or so is that earlier reductions in pollutants were voluntary best practices, but the state is still out of nesota. introduction of nonnative aquatic invasive Hundreds of previously undetected, un-
the Clean Water Act in 1972. Most conventional a clear outcome of controlling point sources, and compliance with the federal Clean Water Act. species has changed and will continue to regulated chemicals have been found in
Runoff of oxygen-depleting pollutants from
parameters, such as phosphorus, oxygen, and now pollutant loads are coming mostly from non- change aquatic ecosystems. water, and there is evidence that some of
farms and cities decreases oxygen in lakes
bacteria, have shown some improvements, point sources. However, most non-point sources The biggest threats to water quality in the state are Lakeshores are increasingly being developed them may cause reproductive effects in fish.
and rivers, altering their ability to support life.
in ways that decrease lakes’ ability to func- Impacts on humans are not known.
Extensive drain tile continues to be installed
tion as healthy, sustainable ecosystems.
POINTS of PRIDE each year, which may redirect water flow
and increase nutrients, bacteria, and vari- Nitrate concentrations are increasing rather

Federal and state laws limit how much people may alter water and waterways. In Minnesota, all
groundwater and some surface water must be kept suitable for drinking. In addition, water bodies the continuing (and increasing) concentrations of much more challenging. Water is indispensible to Port of Duluth Superior, supporting more than
may not be degraded without compelling need. These limits and the spirit of stewardship behind nitrates from agriculture and other unregulated agriculture, which provides $9.3 billion in farm in- 2,000 jobs and generating a $210 million impact.
them have resulted in many positive trends for Minnesota’s waters: non-point sources, the presence of mercury which come each year and generates $55 billion in eco- An additional 8.4 million tons of goods were
starts as an air pollutant and accumulates in fish, nomic activity in the state. Electrical power plants shipped through the Twin Cities in 2009. The use
Control of point-source pollution over the Citizens are involved in monitoring and For the most part, lakes and rivers are and the potentially hundreds of non-regulated use close to 900 billion gallons of water each year of water for waste disposal, manufacturing, and
past 20 years has led to improvements in protecting waters around the state. home to thriving ecosystems. chemicals from household product and pharma- in the process of generating $5.3 billion worth of other industrial processes is also valuable but ex-
Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework

many aspects of water quality. ceutical disposal that are found in surface and electricity. Fishing contributes some $4.7 billion in tremely difficult to quantify. Water also provides
Diverse interests work together to assess For the most part, Minnesota’s groundwa-
drinking water (Contaminants of Emerging Con- economic activity to the state each year and sup- huge, perhaps immeasurable, aesthetic value to
Minnesota has buy-in at many levels of and protect water quality. ter is uncontaminated and undepleted.
cern, or CECs). ports more than 43,000 jobs. The epic 1997 floods the people of Minnesota. Perhaps most personally
government as well as funding to protect
Minnesota has a good system for recover- Strong laws and policies recognize and along the upper Minnesota River and the Red coveted is water’s value for drinking. Minnesotans
water resources.
ing from floods, settling well conflicts, and work to protect the value of wetlands. Economists have tried to place a dollar value River of the North were estimated to have a had a use 128 billion gallons of drinking-quality water
State law has allowed us to leverage state cleaning up chemical spills. on the goods and services water provides so we total economic impact of as much as $1.5 billion; each year. At the going rate for water in St. Paul,the
dollars for water protection into many more Minnesota has been active in establish- can factor them appropriately into policy deci- we don’t know how many such floods have been equivalent value is about $376 million. Using the
local and federal dollars. Communities are welcomed to actively ing boards and councils to help set policy sions. For some, this process is fairly simple: for prevented thanks to efforts to protect wetlands price of bottled water brings the the value to $164
manage their water resources. for managing interstate and international example the value of wild rice harvested in the that slow water’s movement. Water’s transporta- billion. But given that access to clean drinking wa-
Minnesota has made some progress in waters. state, for example, exceeds $5 million per year. tion value in Minnesota includes shipping more ter is literally a life-or-death matter, its value could
defining groundwater resources. For other goods and services, the calculations are than $2 billion worth of cargo each year from the as easily be set as priceless.
20 21

framework for sustaining Minnesota’s water quality and quantity into the future cannot is also projected to grow more than 35 percent over Not only is the age and placement of the population reduction); a decline of 0.1 and 0.6 million acres on crops, pasture, and non-row annual crops has been
succeed if it doesn’t recognize and accommodate external forces, or external drivers the next 25 years, thus putting increased pressure projected to change, the diversity of the population private industrial and private non-industrial lands, decreasing. The lack of early-season ground cover
of change. In developing Minnesota’s Water Sustainability Framework, team members on fragile lake environments. Slow growth or decline will also increase. It is expected that minority popula- respectively, and an increase of 0.2 million acres in annual row crops decreases protection from soil
took into consideration three of these major drivers and their trends that are expected to strongly is projected in much of western Minnesota and in the tions will grow from 16% today to 25% by 2035. The on public lands. Land used for crops and pastures erosion and nutrient loss and increases the volume of
influence supply, demand, and quality of Minnesota’s water resources in the future: core counties of the Twin Cities. diversity of Minnesota’s citizens will affect values are projected to decline, 3.2 and 0.3 million acres, runoff. Agricultural drainage systems often associ-
around water use and management. respectively, and urban land is projected to increase ated with annual row-crop production alter hydrology
The continued aging of the baby boom will result in
CLIMATE CHANGE. Trends in Minnesota climate Climate change projections from a number of models by 1.8 million acres by 2050. by affecting peak stream flows and total volumes,
a large increase in the number of people ages 55 Intentional planning will be critical to balancing water
today are toward warmer temperatures (especially in recently analyzed and summarized for the upper and increasing the potential for streambank erosion.
to 69 during the coming decade. Between now and sustainability with competing societal demands as The forests that cover nearly a third of Minnesota’s
winter and at night), more heat advisories, and great- Midwest estimate that average annual temperature 2035, the population over age 65 will more than demographics change. Minnesota has been able to land area play an important role in the ecological, One of the greatest threats to Minnesota’s natural
er variation in precipitation (recall that precipitation will be 5.8oF warmer by 2069. An increased frequency double, from 623,200 in 2005 to 1,400,000 in 2035. do this in the past. Our current success (e.g., eco- economic, and social fabric of the state. They support resources is the expansion of urban and developed
is 99% of the water that comes into Minnesota). of high dew points (increased water vapor in the air) By contrast, the population under age 65 will grow nomic growth higher than the national average, higher a healthy aquatic environment by providing wildlife areas, including more urbanized development along
Observations of data over the last 150 years provide in summer months will result in more heat advisories. only 10 percent. Implications of these demographic population growth than the rest of the “frost belt”, high habitat, intercepting precipitation, cooling natural lakes and streams. Development results in many of
abundant evidence of climate warming in Minnesota, Climate change projections indicate that precipita- changes on water sustainability for the state as a scores on social and economic indicators, good edu- waters, filtering out water pollution, and sequestering the most significant causes of loss and degradation
with readily observable impacts on water resources. tion will be 6-8% higher by 2069, but the precipita- whole relate most directly to changes in tax revenues cational system) is related to planning decisions made carbon. These also support a large forest-products of Minnesota’s resources, including the loss of prime
Signs of climate warming are difficult to ignore, tion is anticipated to exhibit higher variability and and expenditures, not just immediate impacts on wa- more than 50 years ago. The choices we make now will industry and provide opportunities for outdoor recre- agricultural land, high-quality forests and prairies,
whether because the solid ice cover prized for winter greater extremes. This could mean too much water in ter resources. As our state’s population ages, more of shape our future for the next several decades. ation. Minnesota’s forests systems are vulnerable to pristine shorelines, and open space, depletion of
recreational fishing lasts a shorter time each winter too short of a period at some times and not enough the state’s spending will be directed toward services fragmentation, invasive species, climate change, and wildlife and aquatic habitat, increased susceptibility
or because an increasing frequency of high intensity water when and where it’s most needed at other LAND USE. Deforestation, agriculture, urbanization,
for the oldest demographic group, while revenues increased atmospheric carbon and nitrogen. Conver- to aquatic invasive species, and habitat fragmenta-
rainfall events overwhelms city stormwater manage- times. Implications for every aspect of water supply, mining, recreation, wetland drainage and altera-
from the working population will decrease in propor- sion of forestlands causes hydrologic modification tion. Hydrologic modification and loading of solids,
ment infrastructure. Timing, intensity, and duration of demand, and quality, as well as ecosystem health, are tion, damming and channelization of streams, and
tion. Nevertheless, movement of people to lake-rich that can negatively affect water quality. A forested nutrients, pathogens, and contaminants such as road
precipitation events are changing, with high intensity considerable and need to be factored into planning other land use changes will continue to affect water
areas could lead to declines in water quality and cor- landscape allows at least 90% of the volume of salt from land conversion interrupt natural watershed
thunderstorms contributing a greater share of mean for sustainability. location, movement, and quality. Between 1950 and
responding declines in property values without care- water from rain events to be taken up by plants and drainage and reduce water quality. Removal of land
annual precipitation, leading to greater overland flow 1999, the region including Minnesota, Wisconsin, and
DEMOGRAPHICS. Aging, combined with growth ful planning. Researchers at Bemidji State University
Michigan experienced a decline of forest, crop, and
returned to the atmosphere or filtered through the cover and increased impervious surfaces (hard-sur-
and less infiltration. Analyses of precipitation records
Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework

and increased diversity will lead to challenges and demonstrated that decreased water clarity results in soil and re-introduced to the groundwater, improving faced areas that prevent water from soaking into the
for Minnesota over the last 100 years reveal that pasture land of 3.2, 5.4, and 4.0 million acres, respec-
opportunities for Minnesota. Minnesota’s popula- decreased property values in Minnesota lakes. water quality, providing needed groundwater resourc- ground) change the volume, rate, timing, and duration
fall and spring are notably wetter. With more of the tively, whereas urban and other land uses increased
tion is projected to grow to 5.7 million by 2015 and es, and preventing excess runoff. After conversion of stormwater runoff, increasing the total runoff of
summer precipitation happening in intense, localized As the ratio of workers to residents declines, produc- by 2.1 and 10.3 million acres, respectively. These
6.4 million by 2035. These population gains will be to an urban setting, only 10% of the volume may be sediment, phosphorus, and contaminants to surface
rainfall events, precipitation received in one particu- tivity and efficiency of services will need to increase changes were most pronounced in the 1950s and
driven by both natural increase  more births than infiltrated, resulting in significant high volume, rapid waters as well as the erosive power of the stormwater.
lar area is more variable. This increased variability if we are to maintain our current standard of living 1980s. Projections of land uses through 2050 are
deaths  and by net in-migration  more people runoff and subsequent unnaturally-low water levels,
results in periodic intense flooding events and ampli- while sustaining water resources. For example, many consistent with historic trends—forest and agricul- The ability for Minnesota to craft a sustainable water
moving in than moving out. The Twin Cities suburbs potentially harmful to aquatic species.
fied dryness at other times. There is some indication communities are responding to population-based tural lands will decline, and urban and other land uses future is closely tied to the ability to maintain the
and the Rochester and St. Cloud regions are all challenges to their fiscal health by joining together will increase. In Minnesota, forest land is projected Agricultural land use though declining overall has quality and integrity of less-developed lands while
that we are seeing a seasonal shift in the heaviest expected to see substantial growth over the next 30
rainfalls to August, September, and October. to buy equipment, provide services, and manage to decline by 1.0 million acres, with a decrease of been intensifying, with annual row crops steadily planning and managing across land uses intention-
years. The “lakes” area of north central Minnesota environmental resources. 0.5 million acres in timberland (representing a 10% increasing while land in less-intensive perennial ally and comprehensively.

22 23
The University used a highly collaborative citizens, and to serve as a conduit for getting CONSIDERED throughout FRAMEWORK
approach to ensure that the diverse topics progress on the project out to stakeholders and The Framework addresses ten major issues that
included in the request from the Legislature citizens. need action to reach sustainable water use and
were appropriately addressed (see Appendix management. These issues are not independent,
XX for a list of all participants and contributors). Background papers, or “white papers”, were but are highly interrelated (see Part III). There
Participants and contributors included state developed by the WRC on the current knowledge were several overarching themes that emerged in
agency staff from Minnesota Pollution Control of water use, water supply, and the quality of the development of the Framework that appear
Agency (MPCA), Department of Natural water in Minnesota. Technical Work Teams were throughout the recommendations, but deserve
Resources (DNR), Minnesota Department formed of discipline-based experts on specific special mention here. These themes include: water vapor condenses,
of Health (MDH), Minnesota Department categories of water use, and each of these teams A Systems thinking: groundwater and rain falls
of Agriculture (MDA), Board of Water and addressed what we know, what we don’t know, surface water are one “water system” and
Soil Resources (BWSR), Public Facilities and what issues needed to be addressed by the contain and support ecosystems and human
Authority (PFA), Metropolitan Council, and the Framework. These teams addressed domestic systems water should be managed as a
Environmental Quality Board (EQB); federal water use, agricultural use, industrial and energy system, and not managed as individual parts
agency staff from the US Environmental use, recreational, cultural, and spiritual use, and A Science based decisions: knowledge of the
Protection Agency (EPA), the US Geological ecological benefits provided by water. The WRC system should provide the underpinning of surface water
Survey (USGS), University of Minnesota faculty formed additional teams to summarize water decisions evaporates
and staff; private sector professionals; city and policy, water education, and water valuation. A Decision-making in the face of uncertainty:
county representatives; Watershed District Other contributors were called on for discipline- it is not possible to have all knowledge about
(WD), Watershed Management Organization specific advice or expert consultation. an issue; one must make decisions based
(WMO), and Soil and Water Conservation District on weight of evidence and allow for new
some water runs off
Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework

(SWCD) representatives; non-government These white papers, and information from a knowledge to continue to inform decisions into lakes, reservoirs, and rivers
organizations (NGOs); and citizens. The Water variety of other sources, was integrated by the A Adaptive management: build flexibility into
Resources Center formed an external advisory Synthesis Team and considered in the design of policy and decision-making to allow for new plants take up water and
committee, the Headwaters Council, made up of Framework. The Synthesis Team was a highly knowledge and on-the-ground learning to release water vapor
30 “thought leaders” on water from the state and diverse group of water professionals known improve policy over time
region. These water experts brought a variety of for their broad thinking and ability to integrate A Watershed based approach: water does
perspectives and a wealth of knowledge to the complex information. They met intensively not follow political boundaries, so should be
process, and reviewed the project from start to over five months, and were charged with managed based on its boundaries and not some goes into the
finish. The WRC formed a separate committee, advising the WRC on the issues, strategies, and counties or other artificial lines. It should be ground and charges aquifers
the Stakeholder and Citizen Advisory Group, to recommendations that make up the Framework. recognized that groundwater also needs to be
provide information from the many water-related managed by its boundaries and not political Figure 2-4: Water Cycle
24 25
ones. Many policies require a statewide state and national neighbors and share balances recommendations for action by the Although many measures of water quality have improved over the last 25 Minnesota has seen declines in recent years in
perspective, but implementation is generally responsibility to affect change examples Legislature, the Executive Branch, and others. The years, nitrate has shown an increase in concentration over time in much land set-asides that can protect water quality and
best at the major watershed scale. include invasive aquatic species, mercury Framework recommendations also incorporate a of the state. This poses a health hazard to infants that drink that water, flow. The desired trajectory is to see an increase,
A Outcome-based recommendations: pollution, and federal farm policy. Minnesota suite of policy tools, recognizing that regulation and contributes to the Hypoxia Zone in the Gulf of Mexico. The desired to protect as much marginal land as possible.
consistent with the Clean Water Land and also has a special stewardship role as is not always the answer and that it provides the trajectory is to see a decrease in nitrate over time, and reverse the increase.
Legacy Act, it is essential that actions have home to the headwaters of three of North least flexibility. These tools include education, {insert figure of infrastructure need gaps over
clear outcomes for water sustainability and America’s largest river systems what is sent voluntary measures, incentives (cost-share, {insert figure of CRP acres} time}
for protecting and restoring water quality and downstream matters. subsidies, tax breaks or credits, market forces)
quantity and regulation. They each play a role in achieving CROPLANDCropland
ENROLLEDEnrolled in Conservation
PROGRAMS There is a clear need to expand drinking
A Accountability: there is need for The Framework balances long-term goals for a desired policy outcome. water and wastewater treatment facilities as
government, business, local units of sustainability with actions that can be taken 12.0% the population grows, to replace them as they

Percentage Cropland Enrolled

government, and citizens to be responsible in the short term, but need to be sustained age, and to upgrade them in response to new

in Conservation Programs
and accountable for their actions into the long term to realize the outcomes. It Figure 2-5: Policy Tools contaminant challenges or changes in standards.
A Support for compliance with existing recognizes that a biennial viewpoint must be The federal Revolving Funds program for states
policy: while many of Minnesota’s policies, balanced with a decadal viewpoint. It balances Current Trend has diminished in recent years, and the gap


laws, and rules are strong, it is important the need for public and private investment and 8.0% Percent between available funds and what is needed
incentives Enrolled
that local capacity be bolstered to ensure involvement in sustainability, recognizing that has grown and will likely keep growing. The
compliance some investments in the private sector from voluntary measures difference will need to be met by a combination
A Transboundary stewardship: Minnesota the public sector are sometimes needed if the 6.0% of approaches, and the desired trajectory is to
education Acceleratd
is not an island, but must work with its benefits accrued affect everyone. The Framework Trend Percent
reduce that gap with long term solutions.
4.0% Enrolled
The goal of the Framework is to operationalize
Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework

water sustainability. If the strategies and
CHANGING MINNESOTA’S FUTURE 2.0% recommendations are implemented, it will put
We have a rare moment in history to make the changes needed to put Minnesota on the right trajectory for the future,





Minnesota on the path to water sustainability. The goal of this Framework on the path to water sustainability.







is to put us on this path, either by changing the trajectory of measures
that are declining, or by accelerating the trajectory of measures that are Years Figure 2-7: CRP Enrollment
working. Consider the following examples:

{insert figure of NO3 trends}

Figure 2-6: Nitrate Trends

26 27

Issue A

Issues, Strategies,
The Need for a Sustainable Clean Water Supply

and Recommendations .

Issue B 27

Excess Nutrients and Conventional Pollutants

viron ental


fied 10 overarching “big issues” related to water quantity and quality Contaminants of Emerging Concern

of significance to Minnesota. In addition, these issues have been

• CLIMATE • Eco identified by several national studies (National Research Council reports, In-

ternational Joint Commission studies, Water Resources Research Institutes Issue D 49
DRIVERS Land, Air, and Water Connection
survey), and verified as relevant to Minnesota through an expert consulta-
• DEMOGRAPHICS • tion held by the Water Resources Center in July 2009. The technical work
teams identified nearly 100 specific problems that need attention to reach

Issue E
• LAND USE • sustainability (see Appendix F for a list of the specific problems). The issues 49
Ecological and Hydrological Integrity
form a logical framework for identifying and organizing recommended ac-
tions to resolve them. The Water Resources Center believes that by imple-
• ENERGY • menting these recommendations, a future in which water use in Minnesota .

Issue F
Issues is sustainable can be created—meeting current needs without harming Water Energy Nexus
• Water Use and Supply • ecosystems, degrading water quality, or compromising the ability of future

generations to meet their own needs.
• Ecological Integrity •

Issue G
These ten issues are not independent, but are highly interrelated. They Water Pricing and Valuation

• Nutrients and Impairments • are also greatly influenced by the drivers of change described in Part II,
Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework

including climate change, demographics, and land use. An additional driver

of change includes energy use as described below, energy and water are Issue H
• Water Quality • intricately linked, and energy production and use are affected by the other Public Water Infrastructure Needs

Contaminants of • major drivers, and in turn are linked to many of the water issues. The water
• Emerging Concern issues are affected by all the drivers, but are also affected by each other. Social

Issue I
For example, an increase in population means more water demand, which 83
Citizen Engagement and Education
• Infrastructure • means more infrastructure is needed, and this will result in more water
quality problems, including nutrient impairments from urban runoff, more
loss of ecosystem integrity due to development, and more contaminants of

Issue J
emerging concern as they mostly come from consumer product waste. The 89
Governance and Institutions
Figure 3-1: Drivers of Change relationships are shown in Figure3-1.
28 29


The Need for a SUstainable Water Supply

The issues are grouped into the three central

themes of sustainability–environmental concerns
(water quality and quantity, and land/water DEQUATE AMOUNTS OF WATER IN THE country, per capita water use has leveled off since
connection), economic concerns, and social right places, and of sufficient quality, are the mid-1980’s, but in Minnesota per capita use has


concerns. Strategies for what can be done to required to balance drinking water, do- continued to grow. In fact, water use is growing at a


address these issues are provided for each of the mestic, manufacturing, agricultural, recreational, faster rate than the growth of population (about 1.6


issues, and a desired Minnesota future condition natural resource extraction, and ecosystem needs times faster). Given that population in the state is


is described. Under each of these strategies, now and for all time. projected to grow by about 22 percent to 6,446,300


ru off
specific recommendations for action (or for n people by 2035 (Minnesota State Demographer of-

run o
ff n ru
off infiltration
Desired Minnesota Future

research) for how to implement the strategy are infiltration fice), it is projected that water demand would grow
given. The core objectives ( Appendix XX), issues, WATER TABLE by an even greater amount. So the state would
A water supply that is protected for all future generations, that is
and strategies share broad agreement from the days need to reduce its water consumption by about 35
Recharge Area of high quality, and that is sustainable for all uses of water.
Synthesis Team. The final recommendations are percent over the next 25 years just to stay at today’s
offered by the University of Minnesota Water AQUIFER Discharge Area PROBLEM STATEMENT water consumption. However, there is evidence
Resources Center, based on advice, discussion, (unconfined saturated zone) Trend data on the use of water and population that today’s water consumption levels are not
and consultation with the Synthesis Team, the growth indicate they are strongly correlated in sustainable, particularly in the Twin Cities metro
Headwaters Council, the 8 technical work teams, Minnesota (see Figure 3-3). In the rest of the area. The Environmental Quality Board (EQB) has
and many other professionals around the state. years projected that by 2030, 22 counties may be using
Figure 3-3: Trends in Water Appropriation more than 10 percent beyond what is considered a
AQUITARD renewable water supply, and 18 counties may be us-
(confining rock unit) TRENDS in MINNESOTA WATER USE and POPULATION ing more than 20 percent above what is considered
sustainable (EQB 2007). Our biggest challenge
Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework

1985–2007 TOTAL APPROPRIATIONS (billion gallons / year) POPULATION (millions)

is determining how much water constitutes a
centuries 3000 6 sustainable supply—i.e., how much can be with-
2500 5 drawn without depleting supply beyond a certain
AQUIFER threshold. Growing population, climate change,
2000 4
(confined saturated zone) groundwater pollution, fragmented permitting
1500 3
1000 2 systems, and competing uses of surface water
and groundwater mean that the gap between
millennia 500 1
abundant supply and growing demand is quickly
0 0
closing. As demand increases, a sustainable water




supply will require consideration of better conser-





Figure 3-2: Aquifer Flow Year vation practices and reuse of wastewater.
30 31

The Need for a SUstainable Water Supply

and this results in reduced oxygen transport in THIS ISSUE: Water sustainability requires know-
the bloodstream, causing severe oxygen depletion ing the physical water balance of the state. The Water level before Wetland
or even death. Excess nitrates in water are also water budget of the state is just like a bank account. high volume pumping
associated with some forms of cancer, and nitrates Good fiscal management would require knowing
in water can disrupt endocrine and other nerve what is in your bank statement - how much was
signaling pathways. Specific objectives, strategies, deposited, how much was spent, and how much
and recommendations related to issues of water is currently in the account. Your balance is what
quality are addressed here and in subsequent results from depositing and withdrawing over time.
Water level after Water level after
chapters, but the point that quality and quantity Thus the water balance for the state is the amount
high volume pumping high volume pumping
cannot be divorced is underscored here. of water in the state “water account”—the difference
between withdrawals and deposits, and as a func-
SPECIFIC CONCERNS related to this issue that tion of time.
have been identified:
Groundwater drawdown is not a good measure of
• surface-groundwater interactions  pumping water availability because it ignores the connec-
groundwater can reduce flows to surface waters; tion between groundwater and surface water , and age as reflected in lake levels. When a change for Minnesota in general. The use of water for all
contaminated surface water can contaminate it ignores the time lags involved in moving water occurs in one component of the water budget, the major categories (domestic, industrial, recreational,
groundwater and vice versa from shallow aquifers to deep aquifers. Water change is offset by a change in another compo- agricultural, etc.) is well characterized by the Minne-
• groundwater over-withdrawals –it is not known sustainability requires knowing the physical water nent or components. sota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and
MAP SOURCE: MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES if groundwater withdrawals are greater than the balance of the state, which is the quantity of water the United States Geological Survey (USGS.) This
amount being recharged available over time or what is stored over time Change in water storage over time information is detailed in the project white paper
Figure 3-4: Minnesota Aquifers
• need for conservation  Minnesota’s seemingly in surface water, groundwater, and soil moisture. = (all inputs over time) (all outputs over entitled “Water Use in Minnesota.” Assumptions
Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework

abundant water supply has not encouraged Consider the hydrologic cycle, as shown in the time) of future demands for water can be made based on
source—another water supply is required until the aggressive conservation practices (see Section V, Introduction. This depends on the inputs of water = (precipitation, surface flows) (surface projections of population growth. Evapotranspora-
A sustainable water supply also depends on perfluorochemicals are removed. One of the more Best Practices) from precipitation, overland flows, base flows to outflows, infiltration, withdrawals, tion is a significant term in this equation, and yet it
having water of sufficient quality. There are many pressing concerns is the occurrence of nitrates in • water reuse  may be necessary to consider as streams, infiltration rates to groundwater, outputs evapotranspiration) is the least well-characterized term.
sources of pollutants to surface and groundwater, groundwater and surface water at concentrations water demand grows of water from evapotransporation (loss of water
and when the presence of pollutants exceeds that exceed the maximum contaminant limit • cumulative impacts of multiple water to atmosphere from all surface water, soils, and Lake level and surface storage are well character- Minnesota’s water appropriation permitting
water quality of health-based thresholds, it limits (MCL) of 10µg/mL. This limit is to protect infants appropriators  permit requirements do not plants), movement of water from shallow aquifers ized, but groundwater storage is not. Past and cur- rules do not regulate withdrawals based on the
the use of water even if there is sufficient quantity. from developing methemeglobinemia, or “blue address cumulative impacts until there is a to deep aquifers, and withdrawals or use of water rent precipitation is very well known; the ability to impact on water balance (since it is not known),
For example, aquifers in the East Metro suburbs baby syndrome.” Children under approximately conflict by humans. Changes in storage can include project future precipitation on a regional basis has but regulate appropriations through a system
that are contaminated with perfluorinated 6 months of age do not make the enzyme needed • nitrates, arsenic, bacteria in drinking water  can changes in aquifer storage as reflected in water a great deal of uncertainty. Infiltration rates are very that requires a permit for withdrawals of 10,000
chemicals cannot be used as a drinking water to protect their hemoglobin from excess nitrates, pose health risks to private well owners table elevations, or changes in surface water stor- difficult to measure, and they are not well known gallons per day or greater. Permits are generally
32 33
A A.1 OBJECTIVE: To know the water balance of A.1 OUTCOMES, MEASURES OF SUCCESS, A
the state so that it can be managed sustainably AND BENCHMARKS: Outcomes refers to
and responsibly. improvements in water quality and movement

The Need for a SUstainable Water Supply

granted, and then revoked or suspended if there portunities they support such as fishing, hunting, Drinking water from Minnesota’s 7,200 source of the system’s drinking water as well as towards water sustainability; measures refer to the
are conflicts among users, such as if groundwa- and boating.he DNR commissioner currently has community water supply systems is regulated a list of all regulated contaminants that were A.1 STRATEGY: Institute a system for permitting indicators that are used to assess progress, and
ter pumping impacts surface flows nearby. While statutory authority to “… develop and manage by the federal Safe Drinking Water Act under detected, even in trace amounts well below the in the short term that is based on flow regimes benchmarks refer to the time frame over which
this is a reasonably strong permitting system, water resources to assure an adequate supply the jurisdiction of the MDH. Approximately legal standard, during the previous calendar that protect ecosystem services, and develop a progress is achieved. Generally, progress requires
it has two main weaknesses. One is that an “im- to meet long-range seasonal requirements for … 80% of the state’s population is served by these year. As a result of the Safe Drinking Water Act, long-term strategy for understanding Minnesota’s considerable time and data and thus achieving
pact” is defined as dropping below a physically fish and wildlife…” in state waters (Minnesota community systems. The Safe Drinking Water the U.S. is considered to have the safest drinking water balance. Design a water use system that or measuring progress has a longer time frame
defined flow of surface water, known as the Q90 Statutes, section 103G.265). While it can be Act requires the regular testing of approximately water in the world. Minnesota has had relatively recognizes Minnesota’s water balance and than the time frame for implementing the related
flow threshold. This is relatively arbitrary and construed that this includes ecosystem services, 100 contaminants, and requires notifying few violations over time. In 2009, there were no ecosystem needs. Protect drinking water. recommendation.
does not protect ecological functions in other there are no quantitative thresholds that have the public when violations of the standards violations for pesticides, industrial chemicals, or
words, it does not protect against biological been defined or implemented to protect against occur and advising them of immediate action nitrates; 13 violations for bacteria; 40 violations
impacts. These are also known as ecosystem ecosystem impacts. A second weakness of the regarding their water. In addition, an alternate for arsenic (reduced to 10 by the end of the year); If the recommendations are implemented, the following outcomes should result:
services this is a term that refers to the collec- permitting system is that impacts of cumulative supply of drinking water is provided until the 10 violations for radium; 2 exceedances of the lead
tive benefits to humans that natural ecosystems extractions are considered in the current statu- violations are addressed. All community water and copper advisory. MDH annual reports, and  Protection of ecosystem functions, as measured by monitoring of ecosystem
provide, such as flood regulation and filtering of tory language, but there are no science-based systems issue an annual Water Quality Report a summary of the state’s drinking water quality indicators (in development by the MPCA) in various flow regimes included in permitting
contaminants by wetlands or the recreational op- indicators defined and implemented. (or Consumer Confidence Report) that lists the from 1999-2007 can be found at  BENCHMARK: 90 percent of ecosystem indicators meet state biological standards in 10 years
Water is reused in Minnesota, but the cost of the
 Fewer cumulative impacts from multiple withdrawals, as measured by declining reports
infrastructure is not balanced by demand. Cur-
of water use conflicts between permittees  BENCHMARK: No reports of conflicts
The following gaps in knowledge and policy have been identified: rently, the MPCA has permitted over 214 municipal
among users in 10 years
wastewater facilities for reuse. Stormwater reuse
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY GAPS POLICY GAPS is being practiced on golf courses, city parks, ball  Complete picture of groundwater resources in Minnesota, as indicated by rate of
1. The state’s water balance is poorly known. An understanding of the water 1. Resolution of water withdrawal permit conflicts is based on a hierarchy of fields, etc., and can be an effective tool to bring completion of county geologic atlases and aquifer characterization and streamshed
Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework

balance, uses/withdrawals, recharge rates, and amounts of stored water water uses rather than on a sustainability objective. post-development runoff volumes down to pre- mapping
in layered aquifers is needed, all as a function of time. Recharge rates and 2. Cumulative impacts of multiple water extractions are not sufficiently development levels. Water reuse technologies have  Benchmark: Atlases and aquifer mapping completed for 80% of state (including all
flows between aquifer systems are particularly unknown. considered in issuing permits. been effectively employed in Singapore, Arizona, priority areas) within 12 years Complete understanding of Minnesota’s water balance—
2. The minimum base flows in surface water that are needed to protect and, to a lesser extent, California. Cities like Las Ve- full inventory and all major flows and exchanges—as indicated by completed water
3. Only water quantity, and not water quality, is considered in permitting.
ecosystems and sustain other uses are not known. gas and small cities in Colorado have included water balance planning modeling tool and necessary data  BENCHMARK: Hydrologic
4. Water sustainability principles are not adequately included in water policies, reuse in water management. While there is modest
3. The impacts of climate change on future base flows are not known (and energy policies, agricultural policies, or land development policies. monitoring network in place by 2012, and data collection fo modeling available
demand for water reuse in Minnesota at present, it beginning 2017  BENCHMARK: Calibrated and validated planning tool to plan for
likely will never be known with certainty).
5. Water reuse policies are needed for Minnesota in anticipation of the time will be an important strategy for the future and the
4. The cumulative impacts of multiple extractions from groundwater, major aquifer effects from a variety of scenarios including population, demographics,
when there will be sufficient demand for reused water. state should position itself to be able to respond
especially the impacts on base flow over time, are not known. climate, land use change, and water use change by 2030
6. Policies to protect public health from nitrate, pesticides, and other when demand grows.
contamination of private drinking water wells are insufficient.
34 35
management, we need to know our entire water balance,
The following actions are recommended to implement this strategy: permits in assessing effects of cumulative Research Plan
A withdrawals for a given permit (i.e. consider iv. The DNR should determine ecological
including deep aquifers, and design a planning model
that will allow for predicting impacts of surface water and A
RECOMMENDATION A.1.A: Determine the DNR should be accelerated at the same the necessary data defined in Groundwater new withdrawals in the context of existing thresholds as a definition of sustainable shallow and deep aquifer extractions, as well as the predicted
state’s water balance. Develop a long-term robust rate as the Geologic Atlases. The aquifer Sustainability: Towards a Common withdrawals). Special hydrologic regimes water supply in regards to allowable water impacts due to development, climate, etc. While the DNR

The Need for a SUstainable Water Supply

is committed to moving toward groundwater management
program that includes the necessary mapping characterization studies and springshed Understanding and the extensive and detailed such as fens and wild rice paddies would need extractions. The DNR should consult with units, it cannot do adequate planning withoutthese
and monitoring to manage water sustainably mapping are essential for understanding how “Guidance for Developing a Groundwater special attention. Such an approach has been additional experts, including ecologists and investments in mapping, monitoring, and research.
and proactively. This should be implemented by water moves through the state’s aquifers (flow Management Plan (Water Resources Center developed by Michigan, and it could be readily hydrologists. The different types of flow Minnesota Geological Survey (MGS) has completed or is
state agencies and informed through cooperation paths), and determining aquifer properties and the Freshwater Society, 2009; full adapted for use by Minnesota. The permitting regimes in Minnesota (the pattern of flow in process of completing 25 of the 87 atlases. At the current
rate of investment, they will not be completed for another 24
with other experts. The Framework endorses and interactions between groundwater and reference in Appendix) and in Evaluation of scheme could use existing stream statistics in a river or stream that can be described years. These atlases are a critical component for long-term
the detailed plan and recommendations found surface water. Models and Tools for Assessing Groundwater for surface water, and a simple model could be in terms of quantity and variability of water planning. In addition, the current monitoring efforts need to
in Evaluation of Models and Tools for Assessing Availability and Sustainability (DNR, 2010) ; developed and added for groundwater. Such a flows) need to be described and ecological be expanded to a finer spatial scale and to collect more data
more frequently, within the context of a coherent hydrologic
Groundwater Availability and Sustainability Action Plan: Monitoring and (4) apply the models to those groundwater system will streamline the permitting process thresholds established for each (how
monitoring program .
(DNR, 2010). iii. Support the necessary expansion of data management areas using the Guidance. The and has the added benefit of getting permits ecological components and key species
collection needed to model the state’s water model must have the capacity to include and data into an electronic system, streamlin- respond to variable flows). Several indicators A.1.b.i: This recommendation borrows from a successful
Action Plan: Mapping balance. These data describe the system’s modeling predictions for future conditions ing data reporting. The state agencies should should be considered to define thresholds approach developed and implemented by the state of
Michigan. Potential permittees provide initial data online
i. The completion of the county geological behavior, and include all aspects of the of precipitation, temperature, other changing develop and include indicators of cumulative (even several per regime) until the best
to determine if their permit request can be granted or if
atlases by the Minnesota Geological Survey hydrologic cycle. In many cases these data climate variables, population increases, impacts from multiple extractions, and eventu- combination is established. The description it will need additional consideration. Minnesota has the
and DNR should be accelerated. At a are being collected, but not at the frequency development patterns, etc., and be constructed ally link permits and allowable withdrawals to a should eventually include water quality necessary data to develop this approach. Improvements
minimum, the current investment should needed or spatial resolution needed to be to adapt to new and changing information long-term planning model (see Recommenda- parameters and conditions as well as flow. to the Michigan approach are included, such as adding
cumulative withdrawals as part of the screening process.
be doubled to allow completion in about useful (see Evaluation of Models and Tools and knowledge. The state should begin this tion A.1.a). The Nature Conservancy has begun such Impacts of cumulative extractions are considered in the
10–12 years. These atlases provide maps of for Assessing Groundwater Availability and process immediately but incrementally, a project in the upper Great Lakes region, current statutory language, but again there are no science-
geology, hydrology, and pollution sensitivity Sustainability (DNR, 2010). A state-of-the-art starting in areas where water conflicts are ii. The permit screening tool should incorporate including Minnesota, and Minnesota’s efforts based indicators defined and implemented. Eventually the
of groundwater, and are one of the essential hydrologic monitoring network is needed already apparent (Bonanza Valley, Moorhead, ecological thresholds (see iv. below) rather could build on this ongoing work. Also, the ecological thresholds developed from recommendation C.1.a
should be included in the screening tool.
elements for implementation of this strategy. that includes geochemical, biological, others). than the current “Q90” flow as the threshold for biological condition gradient approach to
The atlases should be completed in priority groundwater level, streamflow, and climate TIME FRAME: 1–12 YRS COST*: H when a permit should be suspended or granted ecological standards being developed by the A.1.b.ii: This recommendation recognizes and builds on
order, focusing on the most sensitive and data at appropriate time and space scales. in the first place. The rules governing permits MPCA could be adapted to this purpose. . the strengths of the current permitting system. A weakness
Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework

important aquifers first (such a priority RECOMMENDATION A.1.B: Improve the water should be strengthened to explicitly include TIME FRAME: 1–5 YRS COST*: M of the current system is that the Q90 threshold is relatively
arbitrary and does not protect ecosystem functions or
list is currently in development by the Research Plan withdrawal permitting system in the short term protection of ecosystem services under DNR *Cost: L is estimated to be $1 million or less; M is estimated benefits. These two changes to the statute (addressing
Interagency Groundwater/Drinking Water iv. Develop the tools needed to define and by incorporating a screening system for permit authority. The DNR capacity to determine to be greater than $1million and less than $10 million; H is cumulative impacts, and using ecological thresholds
Team). Eventually, these atlases should be manage the water balance for water managers, applications and including a sustainability ecological thresholds should be expanded. estimated to be greater than $10 million. rather than a flow threshold) and to DNR authority would
supplemented with additional information land use planners, and developers, and for threshold for extractions based on flow regimes The permitting system should also include significantly move Minnesota toward sustainable water
management. Groundwater withdrawals can have impacts
such as water quality information. The atlases permitting. This is a long-term goal, and will that protect ecological functions. provisions to prohibit waste and encourage NOTES on surface water. Declining surface flows from water
should be reviewed and updated as needed require the investments described above. This water conservation and wise water use. A.1.a.i-iv: Due to the complex layers of shallow aquifers extractions can have impacts on ecological function, and
connecting to deep aquifers, effects of shallow-water
on a regular schedule. will require the following specific actions: (1) Action Plan extractions on the water storage of deep aquifers are poorly
there are numerous DNR examples of this happening. Thus,
develop complex hydrodynamic models, for i. The DNR should develop a Web-based, iii. The state should restrict bottling and export this recommendation addresses the protection of ecological
understood. In addition, there are long time lags between needs of water and surface water–ground water interactions
different scales; (2) define and implement water extraction permit screening system. of Minnesota water for commercial out-of- deep aquifer withdrawals and the subsequent effects on by defining ecological-based thresholds of surface flow.
ii. Aquifer characterization mapping by the groundwater management areas; (4) gather The screening tool should consider existing state sale, as have Wisconsin and Michigan surface water streamflows. Thus, for true sustainable water Ecosystem needs vary by the type of water regime, be it a
36 37
cold-water stream or a shallow lake or a wetland, and by flow

A quantity and rate.

A.2 OBJECTIVE: To ensure adequate and safe A.2 OUTCOMES, MEASURES OF SUCCESS, iii. Require counties to offer annual private A.3 OBJECTIVE: To be prepared as a state with A.3 OUTCOMES, MEASURES OF SUCCESS, AND A
A.1.b.iii: This situation has already arisen in Wisconsin, drinking water is available to all Minnesotans AND BENCHMARKS: Outcomes refers to improve- well testing clinics, through University of a strategy and framework to implement water re- BENCHMARKS: Outcomes refers to improvements
when Perrier attempted to obtain permits for groundwater
withdrawal and bottling in Waushara and Adams County. from private as well as public supplies. ments in water quality and movement towards water Minnesota Extension, county departments, or use when the increased demand for water makes in water quality and movement towards water

The Need for a SUstainable Water Supply

This contributed to the passage of the Wisconsin Ground sustainability; measures refer to the indicators that the private sector. These clinics should offer water reuse a more cost-effective supply option. sustainability; measures refer to the indicators that
Water Quantity Management Law (2003 Act 310). Most of are used to assess progress, and benchmarks refer low-cost or cost-share analysis for coliform are used to assess progress, and benchmarks refer
our watersheds and groundwater resources are not protected
by the Great Lakes Compact, which only applies to exports A.2 STRATEGY: Reduce risk from private well to the time frame over which progress is achieved. bacteria, nitrate, and arsenic using state- A.3 STRATEGY: Develop a long-term policy for to the time frame over which progress is achieved.
of water from the Great Lakes and its watersheds (but serves drinking water by better statewide management Generally, progress requires considerable time and certified lab protocols and subsidized by state water reuse that specifies water use categories, Generally, progress requires considerable time and
as a good model). This might put us in good stead when and education. data and thus achieving or measuring progress has funds. develops associated water quality standards, and data and thus achieving or measuring progress has
water-scarce states come knocking at our door.
a longer time frame than the time frame for imple- identifies infrastructure needs. a longer time frame than the time frame for imple-
A.1.b.iv: The Nature Conservancy project, “Ecological Limits menting the related recommendation. iv. Fund a public education campaign menting the related recommendation.
of Hydrologic Alteration” or ELOHA, is a scientifically encouraging private well owners to test
robust and flexible framework for assessing environmental
flow needs across large regions, when time and resources for their well water every 2-3 years (as per
evaluating individual rivers is limited. Using this scientific If the recommendations are implemented, the following outcome should result: current MDH recommendations). This If the recommendations are implemented, the following outcome should result:
information, water managers and stakeholders can develop
regional environmental flow targets and apply them to rivers
should include the development of outreach
of their region to protect ecological needs. See http://www.  Safe drinking water from private wells, as indicated by data on nitrates, pesticides, arsenic, materials that help well owners understand  A coherent strategy for water reuse, as indicated by identified categories of use, standards, for and radium provided by homeowners. the need for testing and how to test, what implementation time frame, and plan for financing infrastructure needs.
more information.
 BENCHMARK: All private wells identified, inventoried and mapped by 2015 test results mean, how to minimize risk and  BENCHMARK: A fully articulated plan in 4 years
 BENCHMARK: 80 percent of private well water quality data added to database by 2020 correct problems, and when they should get
 BENCHMARK: <5% of private wells report contaminant levels in excess of state additional water analysis for contaminants
standards by 2020 such as pesticides.
 BENCHMARK: any well with reported contaminant levels in excess of state standards TIME FRAME: 4 YRS COST*: M The following actions are recommended to implement this strategy.
remediated to meet standards within 1 year of reporting *Cost: L is estimated to be $1 million or less; M is estimated
to be greater than $1million and less than $10 million; H is RECOMMENDATION A.3.A: Plan for water reuse. processing).
estimated to be greater than $10 million. The state agencies, in consultation with outside TIME FRAME: 2-4 YRS COST*: L
experts, should: (1) identify and evaluate all water *Cost: L is estimated to be $1 million or less; M is estimated
Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework

The following actions are recommended to implement this strategy. NOTES reuse strategies and applications; (2) recommend to be greater than $1million and less than $10 million; H is
A.2.a: Minnesota’s public drinking water is well managed, applications relevant to Minnesota’s seasons, estimated to be greater than $10 million.
and now has systems in place to address new contaminants
RECOMMENDATION A.2.A: Track and reduce use as recommended by the MDA, given the of emerging concern. This recommendation focuses on
geographical water use, soil types, and rainfall;
pollutant contamination of private wells. The state strong correlation of nitrate and pesticide the other 20% of the state’s residents that drink private well and (3) recommend an implementation strategy. NOTES
should: application and occurrence. water, and the need to better ensure their water is also safe TIME FRAME: 2-4 YRS COST*: L A.3.a: As population increases, water consumptive use will
to drink. These residents need to be encouraged to test and increase even faster. Thus, to just stay even we must find
i. Require all private wells to be tested at ways to reduce consumptive use. This will require the reuse
report their data, and educated to understand why. The state
the time of property sale or refinancing ii. The MDH should develop and maintain a (MDH) needs to know where these wells are and track what
RECOMMENDATION A.3.B: The MPCA and of water in areas of greater water scarcity and in applications
for nitrates, bacteria, and arsenic and data GIS database of the location of each private is known about them. MDH should work together to set appropriate that do not require the use of high-quality (i.e. potable)
reported to the MDH. If nitrates are above the well and its contaminant concentrations, and standards for water reuse applications identified water. Priority areas for water reuse may include urban areas
where water withdrawals and impervious surfaces restrict
Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL), the well should identify aquifers or hydrologic zones in Recommendation A.2.a (e.g., drinking water infiltration and lower the water table, thereby reducing
should be tested for pesticides in common with elevated risk. vs. lawn watering vs. irrigation vs. industrial
38 39
base flows in streams. Standards written for one end of it to the same level. In June 2010, the MPCA updated its regulating reuse in Minnesota (MPCA and MDH have had

A the spectrum of possible stormwater reuse sites, such as a

playground or ball field, may be inappropriately restrictive
reuse guidance and deregulated some of the regulatory
requirements associated with reuse.
a Memorandum of Understanding to accept these criteria
since the 1980s). This has been done absent a rule using ISSUE B:

for other reuse sites such as natural areas with little potential the agency discretionary authority. The California Criteria
for human exposure, and vice versa. A facility’s wastewater A.3.b: To what standard water that is reused must be treated establish levels of purity based on the type of reuse. The
could be used for its cooling water where there are not points depends on its use. Reused water suitable for drinking water standards for different applications need to be determined by
of human contact. It is also much less expensive, and much must meet federal and state drinking water standards, while rulemaking by a team from the appropriate state agencies.
less energy intensive, to clean already-treated wastewater reused water for cooling can meet less stringent standards.

for watering purposes than to withdraw raw water and clean Currently, the California Criteria are used as the basis of
NPUTS OF NUTRIENTS INTO SURFACE AND The federal Clean Water Act was enacted in

Ecess Nutrients and Other Conventional Pollutants

groundwater must be reduced. Excess phos- 1972, and it requires states to (1) designate what
phorus and nitrogen reaching lakes and rivers beneficial use is appropriate for each specific water
can cause excess algal growth, fouling clear waters, body (lake or river stretch) ; (2) set water quality
Recommendations for Issue A will take varying amounts of outcomes, if they are different from the implementation time Research recommendations (recommendations that address a
time to act on and implement. The times shown in the chart frame. Some of the recommendations depend on others being need for additional scientific or technological understanding) depleting oxygen, killing aquatic life, and disrupt- standards for certain pollutants for each beneficial
below are the time for the state to act, and are not the times implemented first—for example, the water balance of the state are shown in gray to distinguish them from action recom- ing food chains from Minnesota lakes and rivers use; (3) assess all waters as to whether they meet
where outcomes would be realized. The dotted lines are cannot be determined before the county geologic atlases are mendations in black (recommendations for changes that have
the time frame for outcomes, or indicate ongoing repeated completed and the monitoring and modeling are underway. sufficient scientific justification and can be undertaken now). to the Gulf of Mexico, the Great Lakes, and Lake these water quality standards; (4) report to the US
Winnipeg. Excess nitrates and pesticides that leach EPA every 2 years the list of waters that do not
into groundwater used for drinking pose risks to meet standards (the “Impaired Waters” or 303(d)
A.1.a.i, ii: accelerate water balance mapping needs children’s health. Suspended sediment in rivers and list); conduct a study on each impaired water body
A.1.a.iii: build and implement hydrologic monitoring network lakes causes turbidity impairments throughout the to determine the sources and needed reductions of
A.1.a.iv: design and complete the water balance hydrologic models state. There still remain contaminated sediment hot pollutants needed to meet water quality standards.
A.1.b.i, ii: develop a Web-based screening permit system spots contaminated with “legacy” chemicals such This is known as the Total Maximum Daily Load
A.1.b.iii: restrict water exports from state as PCBs. Local fish containing mercury and PCBs (TMDL) of a given pollutant that would need to be
A.1.b.iv: develop eco-based thresholds for minimum flows pose a health risk if eaten without restriction. reduced in order to meet the standard. The TMDL
A.2.a: improve quality of private drinking water is often likened to a putting a lake on a diet what
A.3.a: plan for water reuse is the ideal weight (the standard) and what is the
A.3.b: develop reuse standards Desired Minnesota Future reduction in calories a day (or reduction in pol-
Figure 3-6: Issue A Timelines
The “Land of Unimpaired Waters,” where we have met all our lutant load) needed to achieve that weight. The
Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework

years: 5 10 15 20 25 reduction in pollutant load is shared, or allocated,

water standards for nutrients and solids, we are not contribut-
ing to eutrophication problems beyond our borders, we can across all the different sources of the pollutant to
IMPACT MATRIX FOR ISSUE A RECOMMENDATIONS safely eat local fish. that water body. The next step is to prepare an
Implementation Plan for achieving load reduc-
H A.1.a This figure indicates the impact of implementing a given PROBLEM STATEMENT tions; however, these are not reviewed or required
recommendation (how much of difference it will make to
Cost M A.3.a, A.3.b A.1.b achieving sustainable water use and management), relative Excess nutrients are regarded as one of the top by US EPA; they are reviewed by MPCA. There is
to an estimate of the total cost of the recommendation to three water quality problems in the country, and no requirement to actually implement the Imple-
L A.2.a the public sector (i.e., state funds) for its full implementation.
Cost estimates: L (low) is estimated to be $1 million or less; M have been for decades. A recent study by the US mentation Plans, however.
L M H (medium) is estimated to be greater than $1million and less
than $10 million; H (high) is estimated to be greater than $10
Geological Survey reported that the situation is
Impact million. not improving, especially in agricultural and urban As of 2008, about 18 % of Minnesota’s 12,200 lakes
Figure 3-7: Issue A Impact Matrix rivers and streams. and 14 % of the state’s 15,000 miles of rivers and
40 41
streams had been assessed under this requirement. MINNESOTA IMPAIRED WATERS
Approximately 40 % of assessed water bodies have NORTHFIELD FARMER
been listed as impaired (violating state water qual-
B ity standards). MPCA expects more than 10,000

total impairments statewide once all waters have
been assessed. So far 14 water bodies have been HOMEGROWN FARM KID, DAVE

Ecess Nutrients and Other Conventional Pollutants

removed from the impaired designation following Legvold has been working his own
cleanup efforts. family farm of 800 acres of rolling land
outside of Northfield, Minnesota, since 1976.
Excess nutrients refers to nitrates and phosphorus On it, he raises corn, soybeans, hay, beef cattle,
that enter surface waters and leach to groundwater and, he jokes, "very spoiled golden retrievers." A
due to human activities, and are one of the biggest member on the Minnesota Water Sustainability
water quality challenges in the state. Excess nutri- Framework project's Citizen Stakeholder Advisory
ents cause algal blooms—most algae in freshwater Committee, Legvold endorses the framework's
lakes are limited by phosphorus, and so when phos- recommendations calling for strengthening total
phorus is added in excess, it stimulates algal growth. maximum daily load requirements through a
This condition is known as eutrophication. Excess statewide nutrient management plan and the
nitrates pose a health risk to infants when they occur establishment of agricultural management areas
above a certain level in drinking water (see Issue A: on the watershed scale. "I heartily endorse the
Sustainable Water Supply). Also, excess nitrates that recommendations because, when put in place, harder and harder for farmers to hear the voice of of the state."While soft spoken, Legvold doesn't
enter the Mississippi River from runoff and drainage the practices will help farmers preserve soil, build innovation and sustainability.” mind the spotlight or the stage. He's a regular
flow to the Gulf of Mexico and contribute to the hy- up organic matter, keep soil and fertilizers on in community theater productions, speaks on
poxia zone. These nutrients, phosphorus and nitrate, the farm, and reduce CO2 emissions," Legvold Legvold believes the key to the recommendations' sustainability issues before professional and
are used to fertilize crops and boost productivity. says. And while Legvold farms for his living, he success will be to design a system that's farmer community groups, has testified on water-related
Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework

However, in excess, they result in water quality prob- also believes that boosting the sustainability of led, self-regulating and performance based. He concerns before the Minnesota Legislature and
lems. In addition to phosphorus and nitrogen com- farming systems makes sense from an economic also believes another key incentive will to be U.S. Congress, and has been a participant in the
ing from runoff and drainage of agricultural lands, standpoint as well as ensuring the long-term pro- provide farmers with matching funds or financial Minnesota River–Lake Pepin Friendship Tours
other sources include urban stormwater, wastewater ductivity of the land."Agricultural management incentives to facilitate the adoption of precision project, an effort to bring together "upstream"
treatment plants, underperforming septic systems, areas would give the agricultural community a farming, advanced drainage management and farmers from the prairies of central Minnesota
loss of nutrient-filtering shoreland vegetation, reduc- structure like cities and suburbs have for meeting other state-of-the-art practices and technical and "downstream" farmers from the Lake Pepin
tions in forest cover, increases in impervious surfac- the requirements, as well as the technical support assistance. "Every farmer I know wants to do area in a sort of cultural exchange. Legvold is
es from development, and increased temperatures MAP SOURCE: MINNESOTA POLLUTION CONTROL AGENCY
for farmers who need it," he says. "We're losing the right thing in terms of the environment and quick to speak up on behalf of his profession: "I'm
and storm intensity due to climate change. Excess extension agents rapidly, and with increasing lo- his bottom line," he said. "A financial incentive for whatever it takes to move the farmer out of the
nutrients affect water’s ability to meet agricultural, cal and county cutbacks, there are fewer and fewer would go a long way to help bridge the gap in position of blame and into the role of problem
domestic, and recreational needs; harms aquatic life; Figure 3-8: Impaired Waters Map people for farmers to tap for expertise. It's getting processes and show commitment on the part solver."
42 43


2,123,930 kg/yr, 45% 2,638,067 kg/yr, 55%
and disrupt water’s ability to meet our needs and Groundwater, which supplies drinking water to 73 northeastern Minnesota lakes but increasing in
B provide healthy habitat for other species. percent of Minnesotans through public and private southwestern Minnesota lakes.
• Commercial Automatic Dishwasher • Atmospheric Deposition
• Cropland and Pasture Runoff
wells, is also contaminated by conventional pollut- • Commercial/Industrial Process Water • Feedlots
Another problem resulting from excess nutrients ants. Although the Clean Water Act focuses on sur- SPECIFIC CONCERNS related to this issue that • Dentifrices • Individual Sewage Treatment Systems

Ecess Nutrients and Other Conventional Pollutants

• Food Soils/Garbage Disposal Waste (ISTS)/Unsewered Communities
is the growth of a specific type of algae, blue-green face water, the interconnectedness of surface water have been identified: • Non-Agriculture Rural Runoff
• Groundwater Intrusion (I&I)
algae. These algae can, at times, excrete toxins and groundwater requires Minnesota to consider • Residential Automatic Dishwasher Deter- • Roadway and Sidewalk Deicing Chemicals
known as cyanotoxins, and cause toxic outbreaks both as one integrated system. The main threat • unregulated runoff and drainage from agriculture gent • Stream Bank Erosion
• Human Waste Products • Urban Runoff
known as harmful algal blooms or “red tides”. Cya- to groundwater, nitrate contamination, comes • unregulated urban stormwater runoff EXPECTED
• Noncontact Cooling Water
notoxins can cause skin rashes, severe stomach up- from nitrogen released into the environment from • underperforming septic systems • Raw/Finished Water Supply LOAD
set, seizures, or even death in animals and humans. manure, septic system failure, and fertilizer ap- • loss of shoreland to development
There are many types of blue-green algae that can plication. Contaminated groundwater can in turn • stored phosphorus in lake sediments
581,044 kg/yr, 12%
produce cyanotoxins, and there are many types of contaminate surface water by providing base flow • “legacy” pollutants such as mercury and PCBs Roadway and Sidewalk
cyanotoxins. The factors that lead to cyanotoxin to streams. Other groundwater pollutants include that continue to cause fish advisories Deicing Chemicals:
47,326 kg/yr, 1.8%
production are not well understood, however, In pesticides from farmlands and city lawns and • historic “superfund” hazardous waste sites in Stream Bank Erosion:
Human Waste Feedlots: 32,017 kg/yr, 1.2%
Minnesota, there have been several instances of organic pollutants such as PCBs and PFCs from rivers, lakes, and harbors that have not yet been 62,300 kg/yr, 2.4%
pet poisonings by cyanotoxins. former hazardous waste disposal sites. cleaned up 741,615 kg/yr, Agricultural Tile Drainage
34.9% TOTAL POINT SOURCE (subsurface flows and
WHAT IS KNOWN AND NOT KNOWN: surface tile inlets):
Conventional water quality pollutants are those Mercury, a neurotoxin that accumulates in the CONTRIBUTIONS 62,938 kg/yr, 2.4%
that are most frequently above water quality aquatic food chain, is found in fish throughout In Minnesota, approximately 99% of the water that
standards. They include sediment, pathogens, Minnesota. Although it is a naturally occurring enters the state enters it from the atmosphere as
nutrients, mercury, dissolved oxygen, pH, and so element, more than two-thirds of it is released to precipitation. Because Minnesota contains the Commercial/Industrial
Food Soils/Garbage
Non-Agricultural Cropland and
Disposal Waste: Pasture Runoff:
on and impair a water body’s ability to be used for the atmosphere through human activities such headwaters of the major rivers in the Midwest, it Process Water: 288,183 kg/yr, 13.6% Rural Runoff:
870,283 kg/yr,
Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework

Individual Sewage 236,238 kg/yr, 9.0%

a designated purpose such as fishing, swimming, or as burning fossil fuels and mining. Because it can does not receive downstream pollution like many 815,674 kg/yr, 38.4% Treatment Systems (ISTS)/ 33.0%
Unsewered Communities:
serving as a source of drinking water. cause nervous system damage, MDH issues advi- other states in the country. The water in Minnesota 253,867 kg/yr, 9.6%
sories for limiting consumption of fish from lakes starts out clean (with the exception of airborne con-
Conventional impairments also include persistent, with high mercury levels. Mercury is a particularly taminants like mercury), and it is human activities Residential Automatic Dishwashing
Detergent: Atmospheric Deposition:
bioaccumulative, and toxic chemicals such as PCBs challenging pollutant because it can travel long that add pollutants to it. 129,287 kg/yr, 6.1% 789,241 kg/yr, 29.9%
and mercury. MDH continues to issue fish consump- distances in the atmosphere before being deposit- Groundwater Intrusion (I&I): Commercial Automatic Dishwasher Detergent: Urban Runoff:
tion advisories due to these contaminants, and sedi- ed. Mercury accounted for about 77 % of the listings Since the enactment of the Clean Water Act, water 1,277 kg/yr, <0.1% 60,335 kg/yr, 2.8% 283,858 kg/yr,
ments at the bottom of waterways around the state on Minnesota’s impaired waters list—but only 10 quality in the nation and the state has generally Raw/Finished Water Supply: 55,788 kg/yr, 2.6%
still containing “legacy” contaminants—contami- percent of the human-generated mercury polluting improved, particularly as a result of required reduc- Noncontact Cooling Water: 14,278 kg/yr, 0.7% Dentifrices: 17,494 kg/yr, 0.8%
nants that continue to persist from past practices— Minnesota waterways comes from sources within tions in point source discharges from industry. In
that pose risks to human health and ecosystems. the state. Mercury has been declining in urban and Minnesota, long term records on nutrients and CONTRIBUTIONS
Figure 3-9: Sources of Phosphorus
44 45
some conventional pollutants indicate that many from agricultural practices are not regulated under conservation. However, strictly voluntary programs Impaired Waters program. Of these, about 40 % of least case and oxygen depletion and fish kills in the egory of nonpoint sources, agriculture contributes
B water quality indicators have improved. Phospho- the same framework as other sources of pollutants. are inadequate by themselves to achieve Minne- those have been found to be impaired. Figure B.1 worst case. Figure B.2 shows the main sources of more than 40% of phosphorus to surface waters.
rus trends have gone down at 78% of “milestone” In Minnesota, the state works with the agricultural sota’s water quality goals, as evidenced by the lack shows the distribution of impairments in the draft phosphorus to surface waters in Minnesota in an Approximately half of all nitrates in water come
sites in the state, while 21% of the sites show no community to reduce pollutants using voluntary of progress in reducing nitrates and solids, and 2010 Impaired Waters 303(d) list. average water flow year (MPCA). from agricultural applications of fertilizer, and an-

Ecess Nutrients and Other Conventional Pollutants

improvement. Bacteria levels have gone down at management practices. The proactive work done continued impairments due to excess phosphorus. other quarter come from agricultural manure.
82% of the sites, while 18% show no improvement. by the MDA and BWSR to get farmers to adopt In Minnesota, phosphorus is the limiting factor Nearly two-thirds of phosphorus comes from
However, only 41% of sites show an improvement best practices is admired by other states as a Less than 20 % of Minnesota lakes and streams in causing algal blooms (eutrophication), which nonpoint sources, and about one-third of the total Most of the mercury found in Minnesota comes
in suspended sediments, while 58% show no model for engaging the agricultural community in have been assessed for impairments through the leads to taste, odor and aesthetic problems at the comes from agricultural sources. Within the cat- from out of state, and only about 10% comes from
improvement or a decline in quality. Finally, only
1% of sites show an improvement in nitrate 75%
of sites show an increase in nitrate concentrations DISTRIBUTION OF WATER IMPAIRMENTS
over time, and another 23% of sites show no im- The following gaps in knowledge and policy have been identified:
provement. BIOLOGY, 10%
A recent report from the US Geological Survey OTHER CONVENTIONAL, 6% 1. Impacts of excess nutrients on overall ecosystem structure and function 2. Many agricultural nonpoint sources are not regulated.
summarized national trends in nutrients over a are not well-characterized. In addition, the cumulative impact of this 3. Manure management is not sufficiently regulated.
decade. They found that across the nation, there nutrient enrichment at the level of a river basin like the Minnesota River or
4. Shoreland rules are not robust enough or based on sustainability principles.
is widespread contamination of nitrate and phos- TURBIDITY, 18% the Red River is not well understood.
5. Zoning is inadequately enforced.
phorus and that in most cases it is not declining. 2. The effectiveness of BMPs or treatment technologies on large scales and
Nitrates are particularly a problem in streams and 6. The system for assessing septic performance is inadequate, thus inhibiting
long time frames is unknown.
shallow wells in agricultural regions. Phosphorus is solutions to address failing systems.
3. The effectiveness of pollutant load reductions is not well quantified.
elevated in urban and agricultural surface waters. 7. Pollutant load reductions are not mandatory for some contributors but are
Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework

They also documented that groundwater can be a 4. There is insufficient knowledge of what patterns of nitrogen and
for others.
significant source of nitrate to streams. TOXICS, 31% phosphorus loading produce blue-green algal blooms; the frequency with
8. Current policies regarding the implementation of best management
which blue-green algal blooms become toxic on a waterbody by waterbody
practices tend to encourage short term reactive installations over
The Clean Water Act focused on controlling basis; and ways to conduct rapid assessments for cyanotoxins.
systematic long term improvement.
discharges from point sources, and left the pol-
9. Current policies for on-the-ground projects tend to support equal
lutant discharges from non-point sources largely POLICY GAPS
distribution of funds across the state rather than targeting funding to
unregulated. As a result, they have become a more 1. No integrated regulatory framework is available to address all sources
priority areas to get the most efficient use of funds.
significant contributor over time. Urban nonpoint of nutrient pollution on a watershed-by-watershed basis, regardless of
sources (stormwater runoff) are now regulated to whether these sources are regulated under the federal Clean Water Act
a much greater degree. However, nonpoint dis- or whether they are currently under county or state government control
charges of nutrients, pesticides, soil, and bacteria EUTROPHICATION, 24% Figure 3-10: Water Impairments through land use policy or delegated authority.
46 47
The following actions are recommended to implement this strategy:
B.1 OBJECTIVE: To manage nutrients and other loads, given the interrelationships of these
conventional pollutants in a holistic manner pollutants and their dominant role in causing RECOMMENDATION B.1.A: The state should monitoring should be fully funded. The goal current challenges: (1) a higher clean water
to realize water quality improvements and violation of water quality standards. strengthen and support the process to achieve should be to intensively assess 20 % of the performance goal for new development and
clean water quality and meet standards under the
sources within the state. About half of the mercury compliance with the Clean Water Act. watersheds each year rather than the current redevelopment that will provide enhanced
B that enters from out of state via the atmosphere B.1 OUTCOMES, MEASURES OF SUCCESS, Federal Clean Water Act:
10 %, and to increase the number of sites protection for Minnesota’s water resources;
comes from regional sources (burning of mercury- B.1. STRATEGY: Develop a statewide nutrient AND BENCHMARKS: Outcomes refers to where BMPs are monitored for effectiveness. (2) new modeling methods and credit
containing coal for electricity generation) and the enrichment management framework, with improvements in water quality and movement i. Require that all Total Maximum Daily Load The schedule for conducting TMDL studies calculations that will standardize the use

Ecess Nutrients and Other Conventional Pollutants

rest is from global sources to the atmosphere. The planning and implementation at the watershed towards water sustainability; measures refer to the (TMDL) studies be followed by pollutant and Implementation Plans to determine of a range of “innovative” structural and
state has a TMDL study that is approved by US scale. These watershed plans should use adaptive indicators that are used to assess progress, and load reduction Implementation Plans, and and achieve the necessary pollutant load nonstructural stormwater techniques, and
EPA and covers all the impairments in the state strategies, and consider and address all aspects benchmarks refer to the time frame over which require that the allocation of pollutant load reductions should be accelerated accordingly. (3) a credits system and ordinance package
due to mercury. However, the state can do very of excess nutrients from all sources, regardless of progress is achieved. Generally, progress requires reductions in these plans be mandatory that will allow for increased flexibility and a
little to reduce mercury emissions from other states whether they are currently regulated or managed considerable time and data and thus achieving for all sectors, including nonregulated, iii. Strengthen the use of science in the beneficial streamlined approach to regulatory programs
and countries. under federal or state law or by local units of or measuring progress has a longer time frame nonpoint sources. Implementation Plans use designations for water bodies, and for developers and communities.
government or are unregulated. This plan also than the time frame for implementing the related should include reduction goals, compliance provide for greater flexibility and adaptive
The MDA is required to sample and report on should address solids, bacteria, and pesticide recommendation. timelines, benchmarks for achievement management for water bodies that have ii. Ensure that existing grants programs (BWSR,
pesticide concentrations in wells and surface water of reductions, and require effectiveness naturally high phosphorus or suspended etc.) include the option of green infrastructure
throughout the state. The most recent trend data monitoring to be done by each source, solids. projects and incentives for adoption. As
(MDA, 2009 Water Quality Monitoring Report) with consequences for noncompliance TIME FRAME: 4–6 YRS COST*: H required by the Clean Water Land and Legacy
indicate that atrazine, alachlor, acetochlor, meto- or failure to achieve required reductions. Amendment, such grants must demonstrate
lachlor, and metribuzin are the most commonly If the recommendations are implemented, the following outcomes should result: Implementation Plans should require MPCA RECOMMENDATION B.1.B: The state should ad- outcomes and their effectiveness of green
detected pesticides in groundwater. Average Board review and approval within one year dress impacts from stormwater beyond current infrastructure.
concentrations of acetochlor have not declined  Effective management of surface waters and compliance with the Clean Water Act, as of the TMDL study. The allocations and rules and statutes: TIME FRAME: 1–2 YRS COST*: L (PUBLIC), M
over time, but its principle degradation product measured by monitoring programs and implementation of pollutant reduction plans implementation of reductions in loadings PRIVATE
has. It is detected in about one-third of all samples should all be part of each watershed’s nutrient i. Enact the MPCA study recommendations
annually. Alachlor and its degradates are found in  BENCHMARK: All pollutant reduction plans completed by 2017 enrichment management plan. Nonpoint (pending) for Minimal Impact Design RECOMMENDATION B.1.C: The DNR should
Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework

most samples, but a nearly non-detectable levels.  BENCHMARK: All pollutant load allocations in compliance by 2022 source pollution cleanup funds from the Standards (MIDS) related to stormwater amend the shoreland rules and dock rules
Levels have been declining over time. Atrazine and  BENCHMARK: Fewer than 5 percent of waters listed as impaired by 2025 state should be directed only to projects that management. This approach to stormwater developed by the DNR (2010) to be protective
its degradates are the most widely detected and  BENCHMARK: Increased trend in compliance with zoning and land management rules have an approved Implementation Plan. This management mimics a site’s natural of water quality and to be grounded in the
most frequently detected pesticide in Minnesota.  BENCHMARK: All subsurface sewage treatments systems (SSTSs) inventoried and will likely require approximately 10 years to hydrology as the landscape is developed. principles of water sustainability management.
Concentrations appear to be declining, but the fre- mapped by 2015 implement. Using the low impact development Compliance should be achieved through
quency of detection is increasing. Metalochlor and  BENCHMARK: SSTS noncompliance less than 5 percent by 2020 approach, stormwater is managed on site shoreland educational programs for shoreland
its degradates are detected throughout the state, ii. Accelerate the assessment by MPCA of the and the rate and volume of predevelopment property owners, incentives, and an expansion
and show a steady decline in concentration over state’s watersheds for meeting standards stormwater reaching receiving waters is and strengthening of enforcement capacity. (This
time. Metribuzin is found mostly in the Central for all water quality parameters, and for unchanged. MIDS represents the next is the same as Recommendation E.1.e).
Sands region, and shows no change or pattern in effectiveness monitoring of BMPs at the generation of stormwater management and TIME FRAME: 1–2 YRS COST*: L
concentration over time. field scale of application. Any acceleration of contains three main elements that address
48 49
RECOMMENDATION B.1.D: The state should local requirements and include disincentives B.1.a.ii: Currently the state will complete assessing the state’s and Soil Conservation Authorities (see
provide assistance and resources to increase for nonparticipation waters in a 10-year cycle. This means that the full condition B.2.OBJECTIVE: To provide equity in pollutant B.2 OUTCOMES, MEASURES OF SUCCESS, Recommendation J.2.c) to be established
of the state’s surface waters will not be known until nearly
local capacity to enforce and achieve increased half of the Clean Water Fund investments have been made.
load reduction solutions to excess nutrients and AND BENCHMARKS: Outcomes refers to throughout the state at the watershed scale.
compliance of local zoning decisions, shoreland • Identify appropriate state oversight and This recommendation cuts the time for this assessment conventional pollutant water quality impairments. improvements in water quality and movement This recommendation provides flexibility
rules, and other land management rules. enforcement actions for local programs that in half. This would not speed up the recovery of those Bring all surface waters in the state into towards water sustainability; measures refer to the and self-determination for farmers, and the
B TIME FRAME: 1–2 YRS COST*: M do not effectively administer ongoing SSTS watersheds, but it would provide for more robust data to compliance with water quality standards. indicators that are used to assess progress, and solution is performance-based rather than
assess trends and to enact implementation of pollutant load
management programs. reductions. The benefit of this recommendation comes with
benchmarks refer to the time frame over which proscriptive to the farmer. It avoids treating
significant costs—intensive monitoring of 20 percent of the B.2 STRATEGY: Reform state policy regarding progress is achieved. Generally, progress requires each farm as a point source requiring its

Ecess Nutrients and Other Conventional Pollutants

• Require board licensed and SSTS watersheds per year would require a very large investment agricultural sources of nutrients, solids, pesticides considerable time and data and thus achieving own permit. The implementation of this
professionals to conduct alternatives analyses in staff, streamflow data collection, analytical capacity and and bacteria to accelerate improvements in or measuring progress has a longer time frame recommendation will take time to phase
management capacity. In addition, the assessment of the
for SSTS systems and provide funds for these effectiveness of BMPs on the ground is a significant need, water quality. This strategy follows directly from than the time frame for implementing the related in, and require the establishment of the
analyses. and knowing their effectiveness will improve decision Strategy B.1. recommendation. AMAs, development of monitoring and
TIME FRAME: 1–2 YRS COST*: M making and allow for better strategies to ensure their modeling approaches for compliance,
adoption. and the completion of watershed-based
Research Plan B.1.b: See Implementation Plans across the state (10
RECOMMENDATION B.1.F: The state should water-types-and-programs/stormwater/stormwater-minimal- If the recommendations are implemented, the following outcomes should result: years).
RECOMMENDATION B.1.E: The state should fund additional research and development impact-design-standards-mids.html. Also, best practices are
establish a statewide, locally administered of assessment methods for cyanotoxins, and identified by the MPCA’s GreenStep Cities program.  Effective management of surface waters and compliance with the Clean Water Act, as measured ii. Compliance and Enforcement. The
program that ensures all subsurface sewage determine the cause-effect relationship between B.1.c: Shoreland rules and dock rules that were recently by monitoring programs and implementation of pollutant reduction plans and  BENCHMARK: Watershed and Soil Conservation Authorities
treatment systems (SSTS) are properly managed algal blooms and cyanotoxin production. developed by the DNR but have not yet been adopted 95% of agricultural lands are in compliance with water quality standards by 2025 should be responsible for collecting data from
by responsible professionals. The statewide- TIME FRAME: 2-6 YRS COST*: M by the state. These rules do not squarely address water receiving waters to show compliance and
sustainability but focus on clarifying private property issues.
program should: *Cost: L is estimated to be $1 million or less; M is would be required to provide these data to
estimated to be greater than $1 million and less than the state. A small assessment that would be
$10 million; H is estimated to be greater than $10 B.1.d: A variety of rules and statutes are enforced at the local
• Fund and develop an inventory to identify million. level (counties, cities) and support for this enforcement is needed to oversee the AMA function could
the location and status of every SSTS in lacking. Thus compliance is not well known. The following actions are recommended to implement this strategy: be obtained through the taxing authority
Minnesota, and establish a GIS database of NOTES of the Watershed and Soil Conservation
Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework

B.1.e: Currently, local SSTS management is uneven in

onsite septic system information. B.1.a.i: This would provide a framework for meeting Clean RECOMMENDATION B.2.A: Establish a farmer- watershed; thus not all watersheds would Authorities under Recommendation J.2.c.
its effectiveness across the state, and data on location
Water Act standards and also impetus for strategy B.2.
This meets the requirements of the Clean Water Act while
and performance of septic systems are incomplete. This led, performance-based approach to meeting have an AMA. The AMAs would function Noncompliance will result in a tiered
• Require all local SSTS programs to recommendation will provide a statewide framework for required water quality standards in agricultural as cooperatives (but would be required and response: (1) farmers within the AMAs
placing addition requirements at the state level. The current
management of SSTS with local implementation. The
implement a SSTS management program Clean Water Act does not require Implementation Plans or
alternatives analysis should be considered in the priority
areas and achieve equity in solutions to water not voluntary), and be required to meet the would have two years to voluntarily enact
that, in addition to currently required mandate the pollutant load reductions from TMDL studies— quality impairments. agricultural sector’s pollutant load reduction a remedy to meet compliance for the
order detailed in the MPCA Wastewater Hierarchy (currently
implementation is voluntary. The state can use National
permitting and inspection, incorporates Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits to
codified in Minnesota Rules, Chapter 7077) to promote cost- allocated by that watershed’s TMDLs AMA, such as working with targeted areas
the level of risk posed by (1) SSTS use, (2) effective, sound decision making. i. Agricultural Management Areas (AMAs). study and Implementation Plan The AMA needing BMPs or additional conservation
meet part of the allocation, but there is no similar regulatory
treatment technology, and (3) site limitations. mechanism for controlling sources of nutrients, solids, and
B.1.f: The specific conditions that make blue green algae
AMAs should be established that include all members would work together in a farmer management practices; (2) AMAs that are
bacteria from agricultural runoff or subsurface drainage. By agricultural land within a given watershed led-approach to determine how to meet out of compliance for more than two years
produce cyanotoxins are not known. To mitigate the effects
mandating implementation, the state would provide equity
• Require that local SSTS programs educate between regulated and unregulated sources.
of cyanotoxins, this relationship must be fully understood. (81-scale, 8-digit-HUC). The AMA members these load reductions. Each area would be will be fined (paid by the Watershed and Soil
SSTS professionals and SSTS owners about would be owners of agricultural lands in the overseen by the recommended Watershed Conservation Authority and then assessed
50 51
impairments. This performance-based approach is based assistance role, but serve as the point of contact for the
back to the AMA; the AMA determines on a farmer-supported model used in Florida to manage AMA; the MPCA would be responsible for enforcement The following actions are recommended to implement this strategy:
for itself how to distribute the fine) and agricultural contributions of nutrients to the Everglades, and the levying of fines in the case of noncompliance. The
required to enact a remedy. This provides as part of the consent decree governing the Everglades Watershed and Soil Conservation Authority staff would ACTION PLAN RECOMMENDATION B.3.B: The MPCA should and timely reductions. Similarly, Minnesota should
a consequence for noncompliance and restoration. It has also been used in Nebraska to address need professional training and assistance with developing RECOMMENDATION B.3.A: The state should evaluate the impacts and alternatives to coal-tar push the USgovernment to advance international
nitrates in groundwater and groundwater extractions. monitoring strategies, etc.
incentive for the agricultural community to pursue cleanup of all existing Minnesota PLP based sealants, and report to the Legislature. The agreements to significantly reduce mercury
B find solutions prior to any consequence. The
A feature of this approach is that allows for farmers to
determine for themselves how to meet these thresholds B.2.b: This Certification will help consumer choice and (permanent list of priorities) and NPL (national Legislature should review this information and releases worldwide in the shortest possible time
Watershed and Soil Conservation Authority rather than impose a permit on each farm source. It also behavior, and provide additional incentive for agricultural list of priorities) sites and remedy all CERCLA consider action at the statewide level. frame.
could provide matching funds (gathered allows for voluntary remedies to be enacted initially under producers to meet their thresholds. Food Alliance and GAP (“Superfund”) natural resource damages. TIME FRAME: 1 YR COST*: L TIME FRAME: 1–2 YRS COST*: L

Ecess Nutrients and Other Conventional Pollutants

non-compliant conditions, with more severe consequences (Good Agricultural Practices) certification are possible
through their taxing authority) to facilitate if noncompliance persists. The Watershed and Soil models. The Legislature can encourage this certification by *Cost: L is estimated to be $1M or less; M is estimated to
the adoption of conservation measures such Conservation Authorities would play an advocate and directing government purchasing power. i. State agencies should report to the legislature RECOMMENDATION B.3.C: The state should work be greater than $1M and less than $10M; H is estimated
as precision farming, managed drainage, and on progress, projected timelines and with coalitions, other state partners, Minnesota’s to be greater than $10M.
other state-of-the-art BMPs, and to provide recommended policy changes necessary to congressional delegation, etc., to ensure that EPA-
technical assistance for their adoption. complete the cleanup and remedies. proposed mercury standards achieve substantial NOTES
TIME FRAME: 5-10 YRS COST*: L - PUBLIC B.3.a: There are many barriers to achieving successful
cleanup of legacy sites. These include costs, capacity,
COST; M - PRIVATE COST B.3 OBJECTIVE: To clean up and remediate all B.3 OUTCOMES, MEASURES OF SUCCESS, ii. The state Natural Resource Damage and political will, among other considerations. This
federally and state listed sediment sites around AND BENCHMARKS: Outcomes refers to Assessment trustees (MPCA and DNR) recommendation would require accountability from state
RECOMMENDATION B.2.B: The state should the state that are contaminated by “legacy” improvements in water quality and movement should develop recommendations for funding agencies to pursue cleanups and natural resource damage
establish an agricultural sustainable water chemicals (PCBs, PAHs, Hg, heavy metals, towards water sustainability; measures refer to the an enhanced Natural Resource Damage assessments and remedies, and provide a leveraged
matching fund to assist in cleanups for orphan sites.
certification. All products and agricultural goods etc.) and address continuing sources of these indicators that are used to assess progress, and Assessment program.
that derive from compliant AMAs would receive contaminants. benchmarks refer to the time frame over which B.3.b: The MPCA will provide information to inform the
this official certification. progress is achieved. Generally, progress requires iii. The state should develop and fund a program Legislature’s decision. There are a number of questions that
TIME FRAME: 2–4 YRS COST*: LOW B.3 STRATEGY: Aggressively pursue action considerable time and data and thus achieving with incentives to cleanup orphan industrial should be answered before a full ban might be considered.
For example: how much reduced impact on Polycyclic
*Cost: L is estimated to be $1 million or less; M is on all “legacy” contaminated sediment sites or measuring progress has a longer time frame orphaned “legacy” sites, analogous to the aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) concentrations in pond
estimated to be greater than $1million and less than $10 and associated natural resource damages, and than the time frame for implementing the related Federal Great Lakes Legacy Act. (These sediments would be expected from a ban, and what is the
million; H is estimated to be greater than $10 million. reduction of sources. recommendation. funds have been rolled up in to the Great relative importance of driveway sealants as a source; what are
Lakes Restoration Initiative, and are used to the status of bans elsewhere, for both driveway sealers and
Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework

any analogous use/sale restrictions of other products; what

NOTES match funds from LGUs who want to clean are the updates on any new developments from EPA; and
B.2.a: This is a key recommendation for both Strategy B.1 up orphaned sites around the Great Lakes.) what do we know about the ready availability of alternative
and Strategy B.2. The progress Minnesota farmers have If the recommendations are implemented, the following outcomes should result: This would establish a cost-share fund to products and have they been assessed for unintended
made in adopting conservation practices and reducing their consequences.
impacts on water quality are recognized, and the intent
be used to match cleanup costs. Potentially
of this recommendation is to build on this momentum,  All federal and state listed sites cleaned up, as measured by legal agreement responsible parties should be required to fund B.3.c.: The MPCA is currently implementing stakeholder-
continue to engage farmers in water quality solutions. It is BENCHMARK: all cleanups completed by 2025 monitoring of the efficacy of cleanup (above recommended strategies to reduce Minnesota sources to
also to address equity and societal costs in the context of and beyond cost-share). meet a target of 93 percent reduction of 1990 emissions by
the Clean Water Act, to provide for greater responsibility 2025 with most reductions occurring by 2018. However, it is
and accountability of the agricultural sector in preventing estimated that about 90 percent of the mercury that pollutes
nutrient, bacteria, pesticide, and other conventional Minnesota waters comes from sources outside the state, and
from outside the United States. Thus, avenues beyond state
law should be pursued.

52 53

The recommendations above will take varying amounts of time to act Research recommendations (those that need additional scientific or
on and implement. The times shown are the time for the state to act, technological understanding) are shown in red to distinguish them
and are not the times where outcomes would be realized. The dotted from action recommendations in black (those that have sufficient
B lines are the time frame for outcomes, or indicate ongoing repeated
outcomes, if they are different from the implementation time frame.
scientific justification and can be undertaken now).

B.1.a: require compliance of pollutant load reductions by all sectors UNDREDS OF CHEMICALS AND patho- Most of these contaminants are not currently
B.1.b: strengthen approaches to stormwater pollution
B.1.c: strengthen shoreland rules
gens, which are mostly unregulated, regulated. The knowledge of their presence in the C
continue to enter our water environ- environment is largely driven by advances in the
B.1.d: increase capacity for local land use compliance ment and potentially threaten human health and ability to detect them, but this knowledge is not
B.1.e: strengthen rules managing SSTS ecosystem function. matched by an understanding of their risk to cause

Chemicals and Microbes of Emergin Concern

B.1.f: research cyanotoxin sources harm. Thus “safe” levels have not been determined
by the usual method of risk assessment due to lack
B.2.a: establish farmer-led performance based approach to meeting standards
Desired Minnesota Future
B.2.b: establish agricultural sustainable water certification of data, and they remain unregulated.
A society that has embraced green manufacturing and chem-
B.3.a: address contaminated sediments The endocrine disrupting chemicals are those that
istry so as to eliminate new toxic contaminants, and where
B.3.b: evaluate coal-tar sealant alternatives can mimic chemical signaling chemicals such
drinking water, recreation water, and food are free from harm
B.3.c: further eliminate mercury sources as hormones and interfere with reproduction,
from microbial contamination.
development, growth, metabolism, behavior, and
Figure 3-11: Issue B Timelines years: 5 10 15 20 25 other biological functions. These contaminants
PROBLEM STATEMENT can act as very low concentrations, but the impact
Contaminants of Emerging Concern (CECs) are on human health of most of these contaminants
chemicals and microbes that have recently been at measured environmental exposures is not
IMPACT MATRIX FOR ISSUE B RECOMMENDATIONS detected in the environment due to analytical well understood. However, effects on fish and
H B.1.a advances, have recently been introduced into the wildlife (primarily reproduction) have been
Cost B.1.b, B.1.d This figure indicates the relative impact of implementing environment as new chemicals in commerce, or well-documented for the last 15 years. The US
Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework

M B.1.f
B.1.e a given recommendation (how much of difference are contaminants that have been regulated for one EPA has recently released a list of 201 chemicals
H B.1.a it will make to achieving sustainable water use and
Cost B.2.b, B.3.b, toxic endpoint but have recently been found to that are of highest priority for initial screening
L B.3.c B.1.c, B.3.a management),
B.2.a compared to an estimate of the total cost of
B.1.b, the recommendation to the public sector (i.e. state funds) for have more subtle toxic endpoints at lower exposure and testing by the federal Endocrine Disruptor
M B.1.f L B.1.e
B.1.d, M H
its full implementation. Cost estimates: L (low) is estimated
to be $1 million or less; M (medium) is estimated to be doses. The general category of CECs includes Screening Program because of their occurrence
greater than $1million and less than $10 million; H (high) is the contaminants that are known as endocrine in drinking water. The Minnesota Legislature
estimated to be greater than $10 million.
B.2.b, ImpactB.2.a
B.1.c, B.3.a disrupting chemicals (EDCs); prescription and recently funded the MDH to design and enact a
B.3.b, B.3.c non-prescription pharmaceuticals used by humans screening program for contaminants of emerging
L M H and for livestock; additives to personal care concern in drinking water (
Figure 3-12: Issue B Impact Matrix Impact
and consumer products; and some current use
pesticides. These are described further below. html). The sources of these contaminants include
consumer products, industrial pollutants, and some
54 55
current use pesticides. A list of the highest priority wastewater systems, or in the trash where they (persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic or PBT) what is not known. There is some understanding numbers of chemicals overwhelm the process harmful CECs in drinking water (http://www.
contaminants of emerging concern to children’s can leach from landfills. National studies by chemicals such as PCBs and mercury that of what contaminants are of emerging concern, by which they normally would be assessed for
health is soon to be released by the MDH. the U.S. Geological Survey have demonstrated cause fish advisories or that research has found and their sources. The effects of endocrine regulation. Thus the chemical-by-chemical risk
the regular presence of 10 pharmaceuticals in to have additional more subtle but harmful disrupting compounds, particularly the effects assessment approach will never be sufficient. To reduce future contaminants, “green chemistry”
C Consumer products, such as plastics, detergents, a representative study of drinking water. The effects (e.g., affecting reproduction or obesity at of those compounds that mimic estrogen in Furthermore, the toxicological dose-response has been promoted as a more sustainable C
cleaning formulas, and canned food may contain impacts of exposure to the trace levels of these lower concentrations than might cause cancer); wild fish, are well documented. Impacts on other data that are needed are not yet available, and will business model. Green Chemistry refers to the
additives that are of concern for their potential drugs is not known, but has raised concerns. current-use pesticides that have adverse effects aquatic species such as reptiles or invertebrates take years to obtain. One promising approach is utilization of a set of twelve principles that reduce
to act as endocrine disruptors. The use and on humans and/or wildlife; and pathogens of are not as well known compared to fish. Other to determine the risk by grouping chemicals by or eliminate the use or generation of hazardous

Chemicals and Microbes of Emergin Concern

disposal of these household products results in In addition to chemicals, there are a number emerging concern that enter water from animal endocrine impairments besides reproduction, common modes of action, rather than studying substances in the design, manufacture, and
the release of the additives to wastewater and of microorganisms that are of concern due to waste and untreated human waste and can impair caused by other modes of action, are not well them one by one. application of chemical products. Moving to this
to landfills through trash disposal, and there is exposures from use of recreational waters, and surface water and contaminate drinking water. known. There is little known about the impacts on model requires certain up-front investments by
documented wide-spread occurrence of these exposures due to drinking water. These include humans, but rather possible impacts are inferred Minnesota is a leader in research on industry (with savings from reduced waste later
compounds in the environment as a result. certain water-borne pathogens (disease-causing SPECIFIC CONCERNS related to this Issue that from controlled laboratory studies with animals. contaminants of emerging concern, including on) and widespread adoption will require some
Because waste-water treatment plants are the microorganisms) such as viruses, protozoa, have been identified: Thus there are lots of hypotheses about what the state agencies as well as the state Water incentives. The states of California and Michigan
“collection points” of residential waste, they also algae and bacteria. The sources of these chemicals might cause what impacts, but a full Science Center of the US Geological Survey, have enacted statewide green chemistry policies
collect contaminants of emerging concern and microorganisms include runoff of animal waste PROBLEMS CONTRIBUTING TO ISSUE C and integrated understanding of the potential and researchers at the University of Minnesota which could serve as models for Minnesota.
funnel them into the environment. They are often (domestic animals, pets, and wildlife), storm • nonregulated or underregulated chemicals of risks of these chemicals in the environment is and St. Cloud State. The state has conducted or
referred to as sources of CECs to water, but in fact water, and sewer spills and overflows. These emerging concern (CECs), including endocrine- sorely lacking will take many years of research. sponsored a number of research studies to better The knowledge around environmental pathogens
they are the funnel that collects them from lots of pathogens can cause gastroenteritis and diarrhea; active compounds, nanoparticles, and understand the sources of these contaminants. is different. The effects are known, but the fate
other sources and discharges them. Wastewater in rare cases or in individuals with compromised pharmaceuticals Risk assessment is the regulatory tool that is The 2009 report on the MPCA monitoring and behavior of the pathogens in the environment
treatment plants are not designed to remove immune systems, more severe effects can result. • certain current-use pesticides that have used at the federal and state level to help develop studies ( is less well understood. A goal that has not been
these contaminants, although some contaminants unintended effects on human and/or wildlife environmental standards for toxic chemicals. The view-document.html?gid=10280) underscored the realized is having real-time or rapid assessment of
Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework

are removed under some conditions. This is the Determining how to prevent chemicals and • pathogens, both regulated and unregulated, concept is well-accepted, but the implementation difficulty of understanding this complex issue. whether a beach should be closed for recreational
subject of much interest, and is discussed in detail pathogens from polluting water is essential from animal and human waste and other is very slow. Currently less than 10 chemicals are In addition, the Legislature funded the MDH use.
in Section V, Best Practices. to ensuring water’s ability to provide water sources evaluated per year by the US EPA, such that the to design and implement a process to regulate
management of domestic, agriculture,
Pharmaceuticals are regulated for their manufacturing and energy, ecosystem services, Our ability to achieve sustainable water use
therapeutic purposes by the federal Food and and recreational/cultural/spiritual benefits in is limited by the following science and policy
Drug Administration, but they are not regulated a sustainable way. Specific issues that need to gaps related to toxic chemical and microbial
as environmental contaminants. Drugs enter the be addressed include unregulated or under- contamination:
environment by direct excretion by humans and regulated chemicals of emerging concern
animals, and by disposal of expired or unused (CECs), such as endocrine-active compounds, WHAT IS KNOWN AND NOT KNOWN ABOUT
drugs down the drain or toilet where they enter nanoparticles, and pharmaceuticals; “legacy” THIS ISSUE: What is known is small compared to
56 57
products by providing economic incentives such water systems for the need to add technologies found at
C.1 OUTCOMES, MEASURES OF SUCCESS, as tax deductions.. This act should consider a  Decreasing concentrations of CECs in surface to remove CECs. There is no one system that
AND BENCHMARKS: Outcomes refers to framework for working with the chemical and water, wastewater, and drinking water, as is appropriate for all drinking water systems or C.2.b: The MDH is developing a robust process to identify,
improvements in water quality and movement manufacturing community in a cooperative measured by routine monitoring of certain all wastewater systems due to cost and energy evaluate, and potentially regulate contaminants of emerging
towards water sustainability; measures refer to the way similar to that developed by the University “sentinel” CECs at representative master consumption and pollutant load. Those systems concern, but is limited to considering only drinking water
indicators that are used to assess progress, and of Massachusetts Lowell Center Framework sampling sites.  BENCHMARK: decreases with the greatest need for intervention should exposures and human health. This misses important
benchmarks refer to the time frame over which for Sustainable Products. The process should should be statistically evident within 10 years. be evaluated for the most suitable technologies exposures, such as those resulting from use of residential
progress is achieved. Generally, progress requires also include strategies for providing technical tailored to that system. Best practices for pesticides in lawn and garden applications, or adverse
C considerable time and data and thus achieving assistance needs and support for manufacturing The following actions are recommended to treatment technologies are described in Section V impacts of endocrine disrupting compounds on fish and C
or measuring progress has a longer time frame facilities. Although a more comprehensive implement this strategy: of this report. wildlife. This would be a considerable expansion of their
than the timeframe for implementing the related approach to move towards green chemistry would TIME FRAME: 3-5 YRS COST*: L current program and require additional staff and funding.
recommendation. need a federal focus, this is a value-added action

Chemicals and Microbes of Emergin Concern

If the recommendations are implemented, the that is appropriate at the state level. C.2 OBJECTIVE: To manage the presence of RECOMMENDATION C.2.A: State agencies, RECOMMENDATION C.2.D: Adopt a C.2.c: The need for the system, the cost of the system, and
following outcomes should result: TIME FRAME: 2–4 YRS COST*: M PUBLIC, H existing contaminants of emerging concern to in consultation with outside experts and comprehensive policy and provide funding for the increased energy demands to add new treatments must
PRIVATE reduce and minimize potential risk to humans stakeholders, should develop a systematic, county programs to collect and properly dispose be considered as well as public health protection. A given
 Decreasing concentrations of CECs in surface and aquatic ecosystems. science-based process for the identification, of unused pharmaceuticals. This should build on CEC removal technology may be appropriate for drinking
water, wastewater, and drinking water, as NOTES risk determination, and regulatory outcome of Session Law 223 and require all pharmaceuticals water treatment but is not at all appropriate for wastewater
measured by routine monitoring of certain C.1.a: Green Chemistry refers to the utilization of a set C.2 STRATEGY: Create a science and policy contaminants of emerging concern in Minnesota. to be disposed of through an approved county treatment (an example would be ozonation). Some
“sentinel” CECs at representative master of twelve principles that reduce or eliminate the use framework, including regulatory programs, for The process needs to include considering collection and disposal program (similar to technologies are more cost effective for larger plants than for
sampling sites.  BENCHMARK: decreases or generation of hazardous substances in the design, a process to manage currently unregulated or groups of chemicals by mode of action rather what is now required for hazardous waste). smaller plants. The geology of the area, and water source or
should be statistically evident within 10 years manufacture, and application of chemical products. The under-regulated chemicals of emerging concern. than considering each chemical separately; it Funds should be provided to counties to set up discharge are all important variables to choosing treatment
 Increasing adoption rates of green chemistry field of Green Chemistry is well described (http://www. needs to include a range of policy tools including collection and disposal programs for unused options.
and manufacturing practices, as measured but requires sufficient C.2 OUTCOMES, MEASURES OF SUCCESS, voluntary measures, economic considerations, or expired prescription and non-prescription
by industry sustainability reporting. market or regulatory pressures that make it cost effective AND BENCHMARKS: Outcomes refers to and regulations. pharmaceuticals. This policy should include C.2.d: Pharmaceuticals have been documented to occur
 BENCHMARK: more than half of Minnesota’s for business to adopt them. An advantage to business is improvements in water quality and movement TIME FRAME: 1–4 YRS COST*: L pharmaceuticals used for both human and in surface water and in drinking water throughout the
manufacturing facilities have adopted green that green chemistry practices also reduce waste, which towards water sustainability; measures refer to the veterinary purposes. nation, including Minnesota. This is to minimize disposal
Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework

chemistry practices in 10 years has costs associated with treatment and disposal, and for indicators that are used to assess progress, and RECOMMENDATION C.2.B: Expand the current TIME FRAME: 1 YR COST*: L practices that allow pharmaceuticals to get into waterways
some facilities, it reduces occupational exposures and thus benchmarks refer to the time frame over which MDH Drinking Water Contaminants of Emerging *Cost: L is estimated to be $1M or less; M is estimated to via wastewater treatment plants or septic systems, or from
The following actions are recommended to liability and health care costs. However, product redesign progress is achieved. Generally, progress requires Contaminants program to cover CEC exposures be greater than $1M and less than $10M; H is estimated leaching from animal waste. Session law 223 facilitates the
implement this strategy: and/or facility upgrades often require large investments in considerable time and data and thus achieving from other sources beyond drinking water, and to to be greater than $10M. implementation of collection programs. Federal law (S.3397)
the short term and accrual of benefits over the long term. or measuring progress has a longer time frame broaden program to other agencies and include introduced by Senator Klobachar and passed in 2010 further
ACTION PLAN Unfortunately tax codes are structured to give deductions for than the timeframe for implementing the related fish and wildlife effects. NOTES facilitates such actions. There is voluntary guidance and best
RECOMMENDATION C.1.A: Enact a Green end-of-pipe solutions but does not encourage companies to recommendation. TIME FRAME: 3-5 YRS COST*: L C.2.a: The University has partnered this year with the practices offered to individuals from a variety of sources (e.g.
Chemistry and Manufacturing Act that reform or redesign their processes to eliminate the need of Minnesota Environmental Initiative to frame such a process.
encourages Minnesota businesses to manufacture the harmful chemical. If the recommendations are implemented, the RECOMMENDATION C.2.C: Prioritize the state’s The MPCA and MDH have been involved in this framing html), but there would be even greater water quality
and use safer chemicals in their processes and following outcomes should result: wastewater treatment systems and drinking effort. A report of the outcome of the framing process can be benefits to regulating these disposal practices, and great

58 59
benefit to including veterinary drugs. Similar policies and minimizing exposures to microbes and their in real time, protect drinking water, and to on and implement. The times shown are the the recommendation to the public sector (i.e.
programs are in place for electronic consumer good disposal, effects, as indicated by health data related to develop tools for monitoring use. time for the state to act, and are not the times state funds) for its full implementation. Cost
hazardous waste, etc. water-borne microbial illness. TIME FRAME: 3–5 YRS COST*: M where outcomes would be realized. The dotted estimates: L (low) is estimated to be $1 million or
 BENCHMARK: as a systematic approach to *Cost: L is estimated to be $1M or less; M is estimated to lines are the time frame for outcomes, or indicate less; M (medium) is estimated to be greater than
assessing beach health is implemented, beach be greater than $1M and less than $10M; H is estimated ongoing repeated outcomes, if they are different $1million and less than $10 million; H (high) is
closings may increase due to increased testing. to be greater than $10M. from the implementation time frame. Research estimated to be greater than $10 million.
This is not an indicator of water quality, but is a recommendations (those that need additional
process indicator. Decreased illness data related NOTES scientific or technological understanding) are
C to beach attendance is the best indicator that C.3.a: We do not have consistent policies for when to shown in red to distinguish them from Action C
beaches are being managed more effectively, monitor or close beaches and swimming areas. Coastal recommendations in black (those that have
and these data should show a downward trend beach monitoring has significantly improved in recent years sufficient scientific justification and can be
within 3 yrs of implementation of a statewide undertaken now).

Chemicals and Microbes of Emergin Concern

due to passage of the Beaches Environmental Assessment
program. and Coastal Health Act of 2000 (BEACH Act), which
C.3 OBJECTIVE: Minimize risk of microbes in The following actions are recommended to provides assistance to state and local governments to C.1.a: Green Chemistry Act
drinking water and in recreational uses of water. implement this strategy: develop monitoring programs. This only applies to the east
and west coasts, and the Great Lakes, and not to Minnesota’s C.2.a: develop framework for managing CECs
C.3 STRATEGY: Reduce potential for exposures ACTION PLAN inland waters. This recommendation would expand the Lake
to microbes in drinking water and from RECOMMENDATION C.3.A: Establish and enforce Superior monitoring programs to the rest of the state. C.2.b: expand MDH CEC program
recreational use of water. a consistent statewide policy for assessing
pathogens at public beaches and swimming areas C.3.b: Currently we use E.coli as an indicator organism for C.2.c: pharmaceutical disposal
Cost M C1a, C3a, C3a
C.3 OUTCOMES, MEASURES OF SUCCESS, and informing the public about potential risks fecal pathogens of all types. However, it is not necessarily
AND BENCHMARKS: Outcomes refers to from exposure. representative of all pathogens or all sources. There is C.2.d: treatment technologies
L C2a, C2b,
improvements in water quality and movement TIME FRAME: 2–4 YRS COST*: M considerable attention and interest in this topic at the
C2c, C2d
towards water sustainability; measures refer to the national level, and Minnesota has a number of nationally C.3.a: state policy for pathogens and beaches
indicators that are used to assess progress, and RESEARCH PLAN recognized researchers in this area.
benchmarks refer to the time frame over which RECOMMENDATION C.3.B: Fund research to C.3.b, c: pathogen indicator and source tracking Impact
Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework

progress is achieved. Generally, progress requires identify and adopt a more appropriate indicator C.3.c: Pathogens can end up on beaches and in surface research
considerable time and data and thus achieving organism (or organisms) that is representative waters from humans (e.g. wet diapers), pets, stormwater,
or measuring progress has a longer time frame of pathogen risk (rather than using E. coli) so wildlife (deer have been shown to be a source to North Shore Years: 5 10 15 20 25
than the timeframe for implementing the related that potential health risks from exposure can be streams), water fowl (geese are a large source in many areas),
recommendation. determined. and livestock. In order to remediate or stop a source, it is
TIME FRAME: 3–5 YRS COST*: M critical to know what and where the source is. Minnesota is a IMPACT MATRIX FOR RECOMMENDATIONS:
If the recommendations are implemented, the leader in research on source-tracking. This figure indicates the relative impact of
following outcomes should result: RECOMMENDATION C.3.C: Fund research implementing a given recommendation (how
to identify and characterize the sources of TIME FRAME FOR COMPLETION OF much of difference it will make to achieving
 Improved beach management (testing, pathogens in Minnesota waters (“source- RECOMMENDATIONS: The recommendations sustainable water use and management),
procedures, communication to public) for tracking”) so as to better manage specific sources above will take varying amounts of time to act compared to an estimate of the total cost of
60 61

SING WATER SUSTAINABLY chemical pollution, air pollution, wetland loss,
requires that we use our land sustainably. changes in the hydrological cycle, groundwater
Everything we do on land—urban devel- contamination, and moving water too quickly
C opment, farming, forest management, mining, off the land. Pollutants that enter the air can be
transportation, energy production, even recre- carried great distances, then deposited onto land
ation—affects water quality and quantity. and lakes, and run off into rivers. Damage to water
through the land-water-air connection can harm
Desired Minnesota Future water’s ability to meet agricultural, domestic, D
recreational, manufacturing, energy, and
A society where all of our land use decisions and plans are transportation needs. To maintain healthy water

Land, Air, Water Connection

inextricably linked with sustainable water use and planning. resources, the water implications of land-based
and air-quality-impacting activity and decision
PROBLEM STATEMENT must be considered.
Water does not exist in isolation in the
environment; rather, it influences and is Population increases and related land
Figure D.1. Minnesota water use by influenced by the surrounding air and land. Poorly development affects water. Demand for drinking
source and use category, 2005. considered actions on land can lead to turbidity of water and the use of water for wastewater
(Data from Kenny et al. 2009.) lakes and streams, cultural eutrophication, toxic treatment increase with population. In Minnesota,
domestic use (publicly supplied and self-
MN Withdrawals by Use and Source (excluding Thermoelectric Use), 2005 supplied) accounted for approximately 8.7 percent
of total estimated use (128 billion gallons of 1,476
Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework

160 billion gallons) in 2005. If one excludes the use

Billions of Gallons
120 of water for cooling (non-consumptive), domestic
80 use is 22% of consumptive uses of water.
20 Groundwater
0 As homes, roads, and businesses are built, the
Surface Water amount of vegetated surface area available





Public Supply-

Domestic- Self
to absorb precipitation diminishes. Paved

All Uses
(“impervious”) surfaces and rooftops shed water,
sending it toward lakes and streams carrying
sediment and other pollutants. From 2000 to
2020, the area covered by these impervious
62 63
CAROLYN SAMPSON, onerous, says Sampson, but there’s currently surfaces is expected to increase by 900,000 acres, that help cleanse water. Some 89 billion gallons
ENVIRONMENTAL no statewide, water-related database that
allows companies to easily track trends, model
according to the MPCA. Nearly all of this increase
will occur in watersheds of the Minnesota and
of water, most of it groundwater, were used in
2005 to irrigate farmlands, and another 22 billion

performance, or plan for the future. Mississippi rivers. gallons were used to water livestock. Farming also
AROLYN SAMPSON, AN ENVIRONMENTAL Impervious surfaces coupled with surface contributes polluting sediments, nutrients, and
manager for the Innovation, Technology “It’s a simple technological issue. The state lacks ditching and straightening of natural streams other chemicals to surface water and groundwater
and Quality Division at General Mills, an integrated and accessible data management increase peak flows, which results in flooding, (see Issue B: Excess Nutrients and Other
is a member of the Minnesota Water Sustainabil- system for water quantity and quality that allows channel scouring (erosion) and alteration. Conventional Pollutants).
ity Framework project’s synthesis team, which is for electronic reporting and permitting, as well as Impervious surfaces cause flow velocities and
charged with pulling together the framework’s nine An important part of Sampson’s work at General forecasting,” she says. amounts to increase and then decrease more Other commercial uses of land also influence
subject-specific work team recommendations. Mills involves overseeing water-related compliance rapidly in response to a given rain event (a ”flash water. In 2005, mining used nearly 1.5 trillion
and regulatory requirements for the company’s As a solution, Sampson supports the framework’s flood effect”). Impervious surfaces cause lower gallons of water. Runoff from mining operations Figure D.2. 1990s Minnesota Land Use
D While Sampson was recruited for her technical three main research and development facilities. recommendations for a Web-based water reporting base flows which exacerbate drought impacts, can pollute surface waters D
expertise, the team has also benefitted from and permitting database. Such a system not especially temperature and oxygen extremes. if not handled properly.
her personal interests. She’s a dedicated The largest facility, located near its corporate only would make it more efficient for industry Rainwater runoff from lawns can be five to 10 Tree harvesting and forest

Land, Air, Water Connection

conservationist and outdoors woman, and has headquarters in Golden Valley, operates three to file reports, but could help businesses and times higher than from natural land cover, and management also can
chaired and served as a longtime member of the wells and has an industrial waste discharge permit communities plan and forecast. carry up to nine times more phosphorus pollution. pollute waterways if care
Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness board. (wastewater). Each year, the regulatory reporting Salt used to keep roadways safe in winter ends is not taken to prevent
portion of her work requires Sampson to submit “Once you populate a database, it could be used up in lakes and streams, altering their chemistry. damage. Forested areas
Her employer’s commitment to sustainability multiple hard copies of reports or applications all for a variety of purposes, from running reports Development of land along lakeshores has a are also threatened by
and environmental improvement is impressive, containing similar information to multiple to tracking trends and characteristics,” says particularly powerful impact on water quality impervious surface increases
too. Since 2006, General Mills has reduced its agencies, including the Metropolitan Council, Sampson. Electronic tracking of permitting and in Minnesota because of the land’s proximity caused by second home
water usage rate by 9 percent nearly twice the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, City withdrawals would also help managers of natural to waterways; with populations in counties with development along lake
company’s 5 percent goal. of Golden Valley, and Minnesota Department of resources line up withdrawals with resources to abundant lakes expected to grow at least 35 % shores and streams. Runoff
Public Health. better protect ecosystems, as well as Minnesota’s over the next quarter century, development’s -related changes from
And General Mills has set even more ambitious long-term water budget. threat to such waters is likely to expand. increased stream crossings
Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework

sustainability goals for the future. The company While Sampson sees great value in tracking and by roads, and the amount of
has pledged to reduce its water usage, energy reporting, the current process is cumbersome and a Sampson believes that implementation of the One major land use that affects water is logging have also degraded
usage and greenhouse gas emission rate by little confounding. recommendation will give clear signals to industry agriculture. About 45 % of Minnesota’s land area water in forested areas.
20 percent by 2015, and to trim its solid waste that the state encourages careful planning and is used for crops and pasture. In the process of Some of the more sensitive
generation rate by 50 percent by then. “In business, productivity is everything,” she says. sustainable practices. “Ambiguity is the toughest providing food for the world and contributing to forest areas are affected by
“My time and that of others could be much better thing to plan for,” she says. “The framework’s Minnesota’s economy, farming alters the natural forest practices such as in
“General Mills is committed to protecting and spent solving technical problems or better recommendations to create a comprehensive, Web- location and movement of water on the land. wetland areas, riparian zones
conserving our natural resource base because it’s yet, creating and implementing new methods of based system would result in regulatory stability The 21,000 miles of ditches built to remove water and where the terrain is
the right thing to do and because our business sustainability.” and help industry better forecast and plan.” from Minnesota farmland so it can be cultivated steep and has thin or poorly drained soils. Source: Land Management Information Center
depends upon those resources being plentiful in move precipitation rapidly to surface waters,
the future,” says Sampson. Not only is the reporting and permitting process altering natural hydrology and draining wetlands
64 65
Human activities that affect air quality affect WHAT IS KNOWN AND NOT KNOWN ABOUT to prepare for or develop an alternative industry private forestland are certified under one or both D.1 OBJECTIVE: To achieve an effective and  BENCHMARK: Shoreland, wetland,
water, too. Mercury occurs naturally in the THIS ISSUE: Over the years, numerous practices or other land use in the wake of mine closure, of these programs. enduring connection between water sustainability floodplain, water supply, wastewater, and
environment but is mostly released to the have been developed and applied to minimize the the community can be sustainable. Mining is, and land use decisions. stormwater management rules are consistently
atmosphere through human activities such adverse impact of land uses on waterways. Best or can be, a temporary use of land. However, Our ability to achieve water sustainability and aggressively enforced
as burning fossil fuels and mining. In the management practices (BMPs) for stormwater the degree to which the land is changed varies is limited by the following science and policy D.1 STRATEGY: Integrate water quality and  Local elected and appointed officials understand
atmosphere, it can circumnavigate the globe, management, agricultural practices, and timber greatly depending on the size and depth of the gaps related to land use activities: quantity sustainability principles into state land the impact of land use decisions on water
and comes back to earth in rain. Once in water, it harvesting have been developed to minimize mining operation. Some mineland can be easily use statutes and rules, and local plans, ordinances, sustainability and act on that understanding
moves to sediments where microbes convert it to adverse impacts to water. converted to other uses (gravel pits to shopping SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY GAPS and development review.  BENCHMARK: All land use decisions support
a particularly toxic form, methylmercury, which centers or parks and lakes, for example, as in the 1. The effects of land use changes on groundwater water sustainability
mobilizes in water and ends up accumulating Much is known about shoreland development large commercial area in the city of Maple Grove quantity and quality are not fully understood. D.1 OUTCOMES, MEASURES OF SUCCESS,  The effectiveness of land management activities
in the food chain. This ubiquitous neurotoxin practices to protect waterways. On average, or Cascade Lake in Rochester). Other mineland 2. The impacts of climate change are not well AND BENCHMARKS: on water sustainability is understood
is found in fish throughout Minnesota. Because aquatic vegetation drops by two thirds when is changed greatly and probably for all time understood.  BENCHMARK: All land management
D it can cause nervous system damage, the MDH shorelands are developed. And this loss is linked (iron mines hundreds of feet deep filling with 3. The effectiveness of climate change adaptation If the recommendations are implemented, the activities have a water sustainability D
issues advisories for limiting consumption of fish to lower fish production and water quality. But water). In Minnesota, mining impacts on water strategies is unknown. following outcomes should result: effectiveness score
from lakes with high mercury levels. Mercury shoreland development done with an eye to are controlled by permits issued by the DNR and 4. The effectiveness of landscape restoration  Land management activities improve impaired

Land, Air, Water Connection

accounted for 77 % of the listings on Minnesota’s protecting the land’s ability to slow the flow of MPCA. techniques to treat or recharge water, provide  Local comprehensive land use plans incorporate waters, do not contribute to water quality
impaired waters list—but only 10 percent of the stormwater to lakes and streams can dramatically habitat, protect shorelines, or manage water sustainability, which guides land use impairments, and do not negatively impact
human-generated mercury polluting Minnesota reduce flow of sediments and nutrients into Forests in Minnesota are well-managed for stormwater is not fully understood. decisions across the state water supply
waterways comes from sources within the waterways. water quality as a result of two forestland 5. The cumulative impacts of extractive land uses  BENCHMARK: Every local government  BENCHMARK: Water quality and water
state. Mercury has been declining in urban and certification programs adopted in Minnesota: on ground and surface waters are not fully adopts a comprehensive land use plan with supply outcomes detailed under other Issues in
northeastern Minnesota lakes but increasing in Residential and commercial development also the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and the understood. water sustainability goals and actions this framework are met
southwestern Minnesota lakes. is increasingly informed by efforts to keep Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Sustainable  BENCHMARK: Growth and development
waterways healthy. Rain gardens, rain barrels, forest management as defined by SFI is “To meet POLICY GAPS plans are in conformance with water The following actions are recommended to
SPECIFIC CONCERNS related to this issue that vegetated swales, and other practices retain water the needs of the present without compromising 1. The locus of decision making on land and sustainability goals implement this strategy:
have been identified: on the land, boosting surface water quality and the ability of future generations to meet their water issues are mismatched (generally, land  Permits are only issued for new development
reducing flooding. Still, land use permits are own needs by practicing a land stewardship ethic use decisions are made locally, while water is and new land use activities that do not degrade ACTION PLAN
Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework

• turbidity of lakes and streams typically issued without due consideration of that integrates reforestation and the managing, regulated and enforced at state and federal water quality or negatively impact water supply RECOMMENDATION D.1.A: Integrate water
• excess nutrients impacts on water resources, even though impacts growing, nurturing, and harvesting of trees for levels). sustainability sustainability and land use planning. Amend
• toxic chemical pollution of land use on water are clear. And when BMPs useful products with the conservation of soil, air 2. The county water planning system does not lead  BENCHMARK: All local land use applications Minnesota land use planning statutes and rules
• loss of wetlands are not followed, surface and groundwater is and water quality, biological diversity, wildlife to integrated land and water planning. require information on water quality and (Minnesota Statutes Chapters 462, 394, and
• changes in hydrologic cycle unnecessarily fouled. and aquatic habitat, recreation, and aesthetics.” 3. Minnesota lacks climate change adaptation quantity impacts 473) to require water sustainability planning for
• moving water off land too quickly More than 4.8 million acres of DNR-administered policies and strategies.  BENCHMARK: Local governments deny new comprehensive plans and improve the connection
• deposit of mercury in lakes and streams The benefits of mining can be sustainable, forestland have earned dual certification under 4. See Issue B for gaps related to agricultural development and land use activities that have between land use planning and county water
even as the supply of the mineral resource is SFI and FSC; more than 1.8 million acres of policy. the potential for negative impacts on water planning as required by Minnesota Statutes
finite. If comprehensive planning recognizes county forestland are certified under one or both 5. Mining discharge is permitted on a case-by- quality and quantity Chapter 103B. Specifically:
that mining will not go on indefinitely, and the of these programs; and nearly 830,000 acres of case basis, with no larger water protection  Full compliance with Minnesota’s locally
community uses the economic benefits of mining framework. administered land use related water laws
66 67
i. Amend Chapter 103B, the Comprehensive consider terrestrial natural resources and the ordinances should be updated to reflect water achieved) should be standard across the state NOTES This recommendation provides a framework to put all local
Local Water Management Act, to include provision of water and wastewater services. sustainability. Local land use ordinances establish and established by the state agencies. D.1.a.i.–v: During the 1980s, the Minnesota Legislature governments on a level playing field of leadership and
a definition of water sustainability and criteria for reviewing and approving land use adopted recommendations of the Water Planning Board accountability. One example is compliance with the zoning
require local water plans to address water iv. Require that water sustainability be added as permits. Updated ordinances should specifically iii. In addition to financial resources, state calling for a new local role in statewide comprehensive rules: Many counties do not have the resources to inspect, so
sustainability in addition to other water a primary consideration in the development include water sustainability criteria for approval agencies should provide technical assistance water planning and establishment of a consolidated board of compliance rates are not known. Environmental enforcement
planning requirements. of comprehensive land use plans by all of land use permits. A record of variances from to local governments. State agency staff are water and soil resources to administer local water planning competes with crime and other enforcement priorities for
counties. Minnesota Statutes Chapter 394 lists water sustainability criteria should be kept and often uniquely positioned to understand state and related programs. Policy programs were created to limited local resources.
ii. Amend Chapter 473 to make water comprehensive planning requirements for reported to the state. requirements, observe a range of local units, prevent pollution and to address nonpoint pollution. Today,
sustainability planning a stated requirement counties. Similar to municipalities, counties TIME FRAME: 2–4 YRS COST*: L and provide skilled educational and technical many state agencies and local governments work together D.1.d: The design of lots, structures, landscaping, and other
of the regional plan that is required by the outside the Twin Cities metropolitan region support. to protect and conserve Minnesota’s water resources. water management site features can have a negative or
Metropolitan Council of the Twin Cities. are not required to create comprehensive land RECOMMENDATION D.1.C: Increase compliance TIME FRAME: 2–6 YRS COST*: H Recommendation D.1.a. moves Minnesota into the next positive impact on water resources. Knowledge about the
Chapter 473 also guides comprehensive use plans. with water sustainability laws and rules that are generation of water planning where ensuring sustainable effectiveness of various design and water management
D planning by local governments in the enforced at the local level by providing oversight RESEARCH PLAN water quality and water supply into the future becomes the features on water sustainability is spotty at best. In order D
Twin Cities metropolitan region. Water v. Amend Chapter 462 and 394 to require and resources to increase local enforcement RECOMMENDATION D.1.D: Monitor the goal. to make land use permitting decisions that will have a
supply, wastewater treatment, stormwater comprehensive plans for communities capacity. effectiveness of land use design and land positive impact, local government decision makers must

Land, Air, Water Connection

management, and natural resource outside of the metropolitan region to achieve use activities designed to protect water (e.g. Multiple state agencies (BWSR, MPCA, MDH) have good information on the effectiveness of design and
components are currently required for uniform coverage of water sustainability i. State water laws are often implemented and minimizing impervious surfaces, requiring require components of water planning (water supply plans, water management features. Investment in effectiveness
comprehensive plans in the metropolitan plans throughout the state. This action would enforced at the local government level. For vegetative buffers, on-site infiltration of county water plans, surface water management plans, monitoring and dissemination of results will lead to
region. Water sustainability could become produce a strong connection between county example, shoreland, floodplain, and wild and stormwater) and incorporate what is learned from stormwater permitting, etc.). Local governments often find increasingly better land use decisions.
a unifying concept for these current water plans and local land use plans. scenic rivers laws (Minnesota Statutes 2010 effectiveness monitoring into future land use that these required plans do not align in time nor align with
requirements and should be extended Chapter 103F) are implemented and enforced decisions. local land use planning schedules. This misalignment results TIME FRAME FOR COMPLETION OF
as a significant criterion for required vi. State agencies should review and adjust by local governments. Recommendation in duplication and inefficient effort. RECOMMENDATIONS: The recommendations
transportation, land use, and housing timing requirements for local water planning, D.1.a. would add water sustainability to i. Allocate resources to monitor the above will take varying amounts of time to act
elements of these plans. water permitting, and land use planning to local government responsibilities. Strong, effectiveness of land use activities at the site D.1.b: Planning is only a precursor to action. Local land use on and implement. The times shown are the
better align schedules so local water planning consistent local enforcement is necessary and watershed level. permitting is where discrete decisions are made that result time for the state to act, and are not the times
iii. Require that water sustainability be added as can occur concurrently to reduce duplicated to achieve the state goal of compliance with in changes in how land is used and how it is developed. It is where outcomes would be realized. The dotted
Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework

a primary consideration in the development efforts. these laws. Local governments should receive ii. Require effectiveness monitoring data for very important that water sustainability is applied through lines are the time frame for outcomes, or indicate
of comprehensive land use plans by all TIME FRAME: 2–4 YRS COST*: L additional financial or staffing support from land use practices be made available to all the permitting process. Permit language and drawings ongoing repeated outcomes, if they are different
municipalities. Chapter 462 includes the state to enforce these mandates. potential data users. Involve data users in determine whether a development conserves water or wastes from the implementation time frame. Research
comprehensive planning requirements for RECOMMENDATION D.1.B: Integrate water identifying user needs and improvement water, and whether stormwater is infiltrated on site or moved recommendations (those that need additional
municipalities. Municipalities in the Twin sustainability principles and accountability into ii. To ensure enforcement goals are met, the strategies for the databases. Encourage the off the land and downstream. scientific or technological understanding) are
Cities metropolitan region must create local land use permitting. Minnesota land use state should require annual auditing of sharing of cost effectiveness information for shown in red to distinguish them from action
comprehensive plans in conformance with statutes require local governments to amend land inspections, compliance, and enforcement best management practices. D.1.c: Many of the problems of land use practice have been recommendations in black (those that have
provisions as stated in Chapter 473. Other use ordinances to implement adopted land use actions and outcomes, and publication of TIME FRAME: 2–20 YRS COST*: H addressed by previous legislation, but they are not effective sufficient scientific justification and can be
municipalities are not mandated to create plans and implement required local water plans. findings. Subsequent-year funds should be *Cost: L is estimated to be $1M or less; M is estimated to because of the lack of, or unequal enforcement, and the lack undertaken now).
comprehensive land use plans, however, Following the adoption of local land use plans conditional on acceptable inspection and be greater than $1M and less than $10M; H is estimated of transparency and accountability of compliance rates.
if they choose to adopt a plan they must incorporating water sustainability, local land use compliance rates. Targets (rates and when to be greater than $10M. Enforcement is also not equal across local jurisdictions.
68 69
D.1.a: comprehensive land and water planning

D.1.b: integrate sustainability in land use


D.1.c: increase local enforcement and compliance


D.1.d: monitor effectiveness

Integrity. Sustainable water requires sustainable
ecosystems. Disruptions in the balance of life alter
ecosystem integrity and limit their ability to perform
valuable aquatic ecological functions such as provid-
other, and to support a healthy people and a prosperous
economy. Slowing the rate of water across the landscape
will allow for more infiltration and recharge of aquifers
as well a greater filtering capacity on the surface to
cleanse water support healthy ecosystems.
ing habitat for native species, filtering polluted runoff,
Years: 5 10 15 20 25 and buffering floodwaters. Modifications of hydrological Human activities can disrupt the balance in ecosystems
flows affect the entire water cycle, with both positive and and in hydrological systems, reducing their ability to
negative consequences. meet human needs. For example:
This figure indicates the relative impact of Desired Minnesota Future • Modifications to the hydrologic cycle include dams,
E implementing a given recommendation (how hardening of riverbanks, tile drainage, surface E
much of difference it will make to achieving A society where healthy ecosystems are considered the foundation ditches, wetland drainage, and withdrawal of water
sustainable water use and management), on which human well-being is based, and that all damaged from groundwater aquifers. Such alterations can

Ecological and Hydrological Integrity

compared to an estimate of the total cost of ecosystems have been remedied and all ecosystems are protected benefit society by preventing flooding, increasing
the recommendation to the public sector (i.e., while maintaining a healthy economy. Changes to the hydrological agricultural productivity, or facilitating water
state funds) for its full implementation. Cost system are minimized and historic changes have been addressed to transportation. However, they also can have adverse
estimates: L (low) is estimated to be $1 million or achieve water quality and aquifer recharge needs. consequences such as altering the availability of
less; M (medium) is estimated to be greater than clean water and disrupting the movement of game
$1million and less than $10 million; H (high) is PROBLEM STATEMENT fish.
estimated to be greater than $10 million. Minnesota cannot have a healthy population or a healthy • Development along waterways can destroy habitat
Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework

economy without healthy ecosystems. And one cannot that supports native species and helps maintain
H D.1.c, D.1.d have naturally clean water without healthy ecosystems, an ecosystem in balance. A growing population,
Cost M
and vice versa. Ecosystems purify air and water; provide growing demand for lakeshore property, and
habitat for native species; protect the natural resource subdivision of large tracts of wild lands are leading
L D.1.a, D.1.b
base for agriculture, forestry, industry, and commerce; to increased destruction of ecosystem-supporting
L M H buffer flood waters; support recreational activities; and habitat along the shores of lakes around the state.
Impact much more. Part of what affects and controls ecosystem • When nonnative invasive species are introduced
health is how water flows over and through the into waterways, they can displace native species or
landscape. Thus the physical hydrologic system (water alter the habitat in a way that affects its ability to
movement) is intertwined with the ecological system. maintain proper function.
Both must have sufficient integrity to support each
70 71
• If not planned correctly, agriculture, urban Protecting ecological and hydrologic integrity WHAT IS KNOWN AND NOT KNOWN: In addition, there are costs that are not yet figured of wetlands to allow greater use and productivity lands in an environmentally beneficial and cost-
development, and other human activities does not mean that ecosystems and hydrology Ecological integrity is affected by aquatic into the true cost of losing ecological benefits. of the land. The pendulum has swung back to effective manner they are compensated for
along lakes and streams can reduce the ability should not be altered. Integrity can be maintained habitat loss caused by shoreland development, Ecosystem services that water resources provide greater wetland protection and restoration as not farming lands that are considered marginal
of healthy shoreland ecosystems to keep by strategically planning changes so they provide introductions of non-native aquatic invasive to Minnesotans include water for agricultural, the state recognized the ecosystem benefits of for productivity but if used may contribute
sediments from washing into waterways. the benefit sought without compromising species, and climate change. Land use practices industrial and residential use; fish, waterfowl, wetlands. However, there are tens of thousands of considerably to soil erosion and water quality
• Plants and animals are adapted to specific the underlying systems. An emerging tool and their impacts were discussed in Issue D: mussels, and aquatic foods such as aquaculture subsurface agricultural drain tile and ditches in problems. Many of the provisions of these
ranges of temperature, precipitation and called ecosystem services valuation provides a Land, Air and Water Connection. and wild rice; recreation opportunities (boating, the state, and new areas of the state continue to programs directly address ecosystem integrity
other environmental conditions. Climate promising way to do so. This strategy involves swimming, fishing, hunting, nature viewing); be tiled. Drainage is both good (removes water as well as hydrologic integrity. In Minnesota,
disruptions make it easier for some species to identifying the economic value of the services Nonnative species are introduced at a rate flood control; and aesthetic, spiritual, and from land to improve agricultural productivity) BWSR manages the Reinvest in Minnesota (RIM)
thrive and more difficult for others, affecting healthy ecosystems provide, and factoring the of about one per year in Minnesota. They are cultural benefits. A few studies that have tried and bad (tile drained water carries nitrates and Reserve Program which complements the federal
the overall balance of life in a particular area. cost of replacing those services into cost-benefit introduced by unintentional releases such to estimate the value of these services provide other pollutants to ditches and to rivers). The CRP.
analyses. Thus, if a wetland provides $10 million as moving boats from one water body with an indication of the magnitude of their worth. issue of drainage is laden with political, economic,
Figure E.1. Surface hydrology of Minnesota per year in water-cleansing, waterfowl-supporting, an invasive species to one that has not been One study estimated a value of $5 million per and social values and there is little firm science on The pressure to maximize corn and soybean
and other services, a decision to fill in that colonized, intentional releases such as bait fish year for reduced costs of treating groundwater in best practices (see Section V, Best Practices). yields for both food and biofuel feedstocks, as
wetland would include factoring the $10 million or aquaria fish, or by the migration of a species Rochester. Another estimated a value of $9.37 per well as favorable commodity prices, has in turn
per year needed to provide those services through such as Asian carp approaching Minnesota via milligram of sediment prevented from entering Dams and locks were constructed for hydropower provided incentives to farmers to take land out
E other means. the Mississippi River. Lake Superior alone has a water body. The value of wild rice harvest in and for transportation. There is now movement of conservation protection and place it back E
87 aquatic invasive plants, fish, invertebrates, Minnesota is approximately $5 million annually. to remove dams but it creates conflict between in production. In 2007, Minnesota had 7% of
Finally, water movement and ecological and parasites. Zebra mussels, sea lamprey, rusty The value of sport fishing is estimated at $465 per reconnecting a free flowing river ecosystem agricultural lands (1.8 million acres) enrolled in

Ecological and Hydrological Integrity

communities should be managed as crawfish, round goby, spiny water flea, curly-leaf year per person. uninterrupted by dams or reservoirs (a good the Conservation Reserve Program. More than
systems holistic, connected, and integrated pondweed, purple loosestrife, and Eurasian idea) and allowing the upstream movement of 60% of that enrollment is specifically devoted
systems Minnesota cannot address this issue watermilfoil are some of the most common and Minnesota DNR has an aquatic invasive species unwanted or destructive invasive species (a bad to restoring and enhancing wetlands, habitat,
one lake at a time. well-known. Invasive species cause harm by program to curb their spread and minimize idea). Such decisions will need to weigh both or water quality. However, 1.5 million acres is
introducing novel functions into an ecosystem harmful effects. Its goals are to prevent considerations. due to expire over the next 10 years. Generally
SPECIFIC CONCERNS related to this issue that and using or destroying the resources needed introductions of new invasive species into these lands are marginal lands that do not
have been identified: by native species. They can affect native gene Minnesota, prevent the spread of invasive species The Federal Farm Bill has a number of provide maximum productivity but pose greater
Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework

pools, affecting biodiversity and reproductive within Minnesota, and reduce the impacts caused land conservation programs, including the risks to water resources. Thus keeping land in
• invasive species success. Once they have taken hold, it is nearly by invasive species to Minnesota’s ecology, Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) consisting conservation reserve should be a priority for
• loss of biological diversity impossible to eradicate them, one can just control society, and economy. Many threats come from of temporary easements, the Wetlands Reserve managing water resources. The Federal Farm
• shoreland and aquatic habitat loss their spread. In the US, the worst 79 invasive outside the state, via ballast water from ocean- Program which utilizes permanent easements, Bill has a great impact on farmers’ choices as to
• hydrologic modifications, including drainage species are estimated to cost $79 billion in control going vessels in the Great Lakes to unwanted and the Environmental Quality Incentives how they use their land, and will be reauthorized
and dams measures. Wisconsin spends more than $1 million fish and mussel species migrating north in the Program (EQIP) which offsets the cost of in coming years. While the current Farm Bill has
• lack of ecosystem services valuation for controlling zebra mussels in water intake Mississippi and St Croix transboundary rivers. adopting conservation practices, among many strong conservation measures, it is unclear what
pipes alone. Thus the combined costs of aquatic others. These programs are intended to provide future incentive programs may focus on given
Source: Minnesota DNR invasive species control in Minnesota total in the Hydrologic changes have taken place since the technical and financial assistance to eligible the constantly changing political landscape.
millions of dollars a year. initial settlement of the land, with conversion of farmers and ranchers to address soil, water, Many professionals that are knowledgeable about
forests and prairies to farm land and the draining and related natural resource concerns on their the land easement programs have expressed
72 73
the specific concern that if lands currently in 2. Monitoring and protection policies do not decisions.  BENCHMARK: Valuation of key
RON PALMER,LEECH LAKE conservation were placed back in production, include sufficient biological or effects-based ecosystem services completed in 5 years and
it could negate all the other efforts the state is indictors inclusion in state policy and decisions within 10
RESORT OWNER making to restore and protect water quality. 3. Great Lakes ballast water rules are too weak. years.
4. Mechanisms to avoid introducing and spreading
overused, but The following gaps in knowledge and policy invasive species are insufficient. The following actions are recommended to
Leech Lake resort owners Ron and Sharon Palmer in reality, each with respect to ecological and hydrologic 5. Shoreland rules and policies are insufficient to implement this strategy.
live a life many people would envy. The couple and every integrity have been identified: protect important aquatic habitat.
are owners and operators of Agency Bay Lodge, footprint can 6. The economic value of ecosystem services is not ACTION PLAN
a picture-perfect resort that inspires its happy be detrimental SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY GAPS included in policies or cost-benefit analyses. RECOMMENDATION E.1.A: Enact an Ecosystem
guests to return generation after generation. But, to its health,” 1. The cumulative impacts of water quality and Integrity Act that includes strong rules
while enviable, the Palmers’ lifestyle is hard work. he says. “Like water quantity stressors on critical ecological E.1 OBJECTIVE: To protect ecological benefits for ecosystem protection; invasive species
Says Ron, “I think of my wife and I as stewards of my buildings, processes and their associated aquatic provided to humans from aquatic ecosystems. prevention, penalties for violations, and funding
both Agency Bay Lodge and Leech Lake.” boats, and ecosystem functions, for both lakes and for enforcement; and requires the economic
motors, the lake streams are unknown. E.1 STRATEGY: Restore and protect critical value of diminished ecosystem services to
For 30 years, Palmer has tended the 60-acre can get tired 2. There is insufficient understanding of the effects aquatic ecosystems using a watershed approach. be considered in all policy and regulatory
E property with loving care. “I love the fact that we without the of climate change on ecosystem function and deliberations, including environmental review, E
have a chance to be part of our visitors’ dreams proper care.” When Palmer returned to Leech Lake he told the effectiveness of adaptation strategies to E.1. OUTCOMES, MEASURES OF SUCCESS, cost-benefit analyses, and all rulemaking affecting
and traditions,” he says. “While some of them take others what he’d seen. “I questioned myself and protect vulnerable ecosystems. AND BENCHMARKS: Outcomes refers to our environment. Review all statutes and rules

Ecological and Hydrological Integrity

responsibility for the lake very seriously, others Palmer has seen the signs of invasive species wondered, if that were Leech Lake, would we 3. The effects of modifications to physical habitat improvements in water quality and movement that address terrestrial and/or aquatic habitat
use and enjoy the lake without realizing that it in the form of habitat-choking Eurasian water still be able to attract boaters and fishermen?” associated with sediment transport and channel towards water sustainability; measures refer to the protection, and revise them to take an integrated,
does requires maintenance.” milfoil, fish-egg-eating rusty crawfish, and While always concerned for Leech Lake’s modifications on ecological integrity and indicators that are used to assess progress, and whole watershed approach to protection and
disease-carrying banded snails. He worries about health, Palmer’s apprehension increased. “I’m ecosystem function in streams are unclear. benchmarks refer to the time frame over which restoration.
Central to Palmer’s success is the water quality the impact they might have on the lake’s fish quite certain those Lake Minnetonka lakeshore 4. There is insufficient understanding of the progress is achieved. Generally, progress requires
and ecosystem health of Leech Lake. “It’s population and water quality. Palmer spoke of a residents would love to back up the clock 20 years effectiveness of best practices and of incentives considerable time and data and thus achieving i. The act should be adaptive to new knowledge
definitely the most important aspect in preserving disturbing sight he saw about 10 years ago on a and provide any and all precautions to prohibit needed to change individual behaviors regarding or measuring progress has a longer time frame and lessons learned in the application of the
Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework

our gift to our guests,” he says. “We need to give trip to Lake Minnetonka to buy a boat: the infestation,” he says. shoreland management. than the time frame for implementing the related statute over time (adaptive management
them something to write home about, a lasting 5. There are no tested methods for determining recommendation. principles); it must explicitly address climate
impression which includes a healthy lake with an “There was piece of machinery out on the lake, “If I were to be able to give one gift to the lake, it the economic value of the ecosystem services change impact on ecosystem integrity and
abundant supply of catchable fish.” a combine of sorts, threshing milfoil out of the would be to preserve the quality of its incredible provided by aquatic systems. If the recommendations are implemented, the recognize that some habitats and ecological
water,” he recalls. Workers were hard at cutting a beauty and clarity,” he says. “The water quality following outcomes should result: niches are not going to be preserved.
To that end, Palmer served many years on the trail through what seemed a like a forest of milfoil of Leech Lake is like looking into one of your POLICY GAPS
Leech Lake Area Chamber of Commerce, service from the boat ramp to deeper water just to allow friends’ eyes. It says to me, I’m tired at times, but 1. Aquatic systems and terrestrial systems are  Protection of ecosystem functions, as measured RESEARCH PLAN
groups, and other local organizations dedicated boat access. He’ll never forgot the scene: “There with proper care, education, and maintenance, treated separately, when in fact they are by monitoring of ecosystem indicators. ii. Fund research to identify a suite of ecosystem
to preserving the health of ecosystems and were dumpsters on the boat ramp just filled with I can be around for your grandkids and their interconnected (see Issue D: Land, Air and Water  BENCHMARK: 90 percent of ecosystem services to be included as indicators of
economic vitality of the area. “With a lake as milfoil, trucks coming and going emptying them. grandkids to love and enjoy with the same Connection). indicators meet standards in 10 years. ecosystem integrity (large watershed
large as Leech, one might guess it will never be It just seemed so futile, a never-ending job.” passion we have.”  Inclusion of cost of ecological benefits in policy scale); and to determine their value in
74 75
economic terms. This will provide necessary If the recommendations are implemented, the Interstate issues are key here as well. For example, E. 3 OBJECTIVE: A hydrological system that  Reduction of flooding, as measured by both the watershed scale. This is critical to addressing
information to the Ecosystem Integrity Act. following outcomes should result: keeping invasive mussels out of the upper St. supports economic activities and minimizes frequency and intensity.  BENCHMARK: 20% flood control, and also addresses water quality
TIME FRAME: 5–10 YRS COST*: M PUBLIC Croix north of Stillwater depends mostly on impacts on aquatic ecosystems. reduction in floods in the state by 2035 concerns from agricultural runoff and tile
*Cost: L is estimated to be $1M or less; M is estimated to  Reduction in introductions and impacts of what Wisconsin agencies and residents do in the drainage. This recommendation is essential for
be greater than $1M and less than $10M; H is estimated aquatic invasive species on ecosystem services. Wisconsin waters upstream. E.3 STRATEGY: Keep more land on the water The following actions are recommended to implementing Recommendations B.1.a and B.2.a.
to be greater than $10M.  BENCHMARK: A slowing of the introductions TIME FRAME: 2–4 YRS COST*: M where it falls, and slow its movement across the implement this strategy. It also would provide accurate quantification of
of aquatic invasive species to less than 1 per landscape. Mitigate the water quality and aquifer the benefits of best farming practice, currently
NOTES every five years by 2020 RESEARCH PLAN recharge impacts of hydrological changes made ACTION PLAN underestimated or not counted in many water
E.1.a: An overarching statute is needed to connect and  BENCHMARK: A reduction of 50 percent in RECOMMENDATION E.2.B: Fund research for the benefit of agriculture and other economic RECOMMENDATION E.3.A: Accelerate the quality assessments.
leverage the state’s efforts on all fronts of this complex issue. the number of water bodies negatively impacted and demonstrations that investigate the cost- activities, and plan for future hydrologic changes development and application of the gridded TIME FRAME: 10-2 YRS COST*: M
This act must address climate change and strategies to adapt by aquatic invasive species by 2035 efficiency of biological, chemical, and mechanical that balance water resource needs with economic surface subsurface hydrologic assessment *Cost: L is estimated to be $1M or less; M is estimated to
to it, and include the steps needed to identify the best set control measures of aquatic invasive species. needs. (GSSHA) model to assess watershed hydrological be greater than $1M and less than $10M; H is estimated
of ecosystem services to be used as indicators for valuing The following actions are recommended to TIME FRAME: 2–4 YRS COST*: M characteristics and response. This tool is a to be greater than $10M.
the overall services that water provides to society. The costs implement this strategy. *Cost: L is estimated to be $1M or less; M is estimated to E.3 OUTCOMES, MEASURES OF SUCCESS, landscape model that can depict, in high
of diminished ecological health is not paid directly by the be greater than $1M and less than $10M; H is estimated AND BENCHMARKS: Outcomes refers to resolution and at a fine scale, how water flows RECOMMENDATION E.3.C: Require all future
person or group that caused it, but is an externality or cost ACTION PLAN to be greater than $10M. improvements in water quality and movement across the landscape, and can provide better construction and replacement construction of tile
E paid for indirectly by taxpayers or by no one. RECOMMENDATION E.2.A: Develop statewide towards water sustainability; measures refer to the technical support to LGUs in understanding and drainage systems to incorporate some aspect of E
policies and dedicate funding to implement NOTES indicators that are used to assess progress, and managing their watersheds GSSHA can run for multipurpose drainage conservation technology,
E.2 OBJECTIVE: To reduce impacts caused by consistent policies for the prevention of new and E.2.a: The best course of action is to prevent the invasion benchmarks refer to the time frame over which both single extreme precipitation events or over specifically selected for that location and activity

Ecological and Hydrological Integrity

new and existing aquatic invasive species. managing of existing aquatic invasive species of aquatic non-native species. Once they have taken hold, it progress is achieved. Generally, progress requires the long-term. It couples groundwater to surface from a suite of accepted conservation practices.
infestations. This requires a long-term and broad becomes an expensive and frustrating effort to contain them considerable time and data and thus achieving water interactions, which is especially important The multipurpose intent is to control water
E.2 STRATEGY: Prevent additional introductions geographic perspective. Prevention strategies or control them, and the loss of native species and habitat is or measuring progress has a longer time frame for Minnesota The effects of hydrological changes discharge speed, improve quality of the discharge,
of and reduce the ecological, recreational, require: often permanent. than the time frame for implementing the related and hydrological management, including and increases groundwater recharge.
economic, and health impacts of nonnative recommendation. controlled drainage and flood control structures, TIME FRAME: 2-4 YRS COST*: L
aquatic invasive species. • Thinking globally, regionally, and locally E.2.b: There has been research on control measures, but can be predicted for decision making of effective
• Determining whether they are a problem we need to know the cost effectiveness of different control If the recommendations are implemented, the drainage structures and controls and their precise RECOMMENDATION E.3.D: Expand incentives
Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework

E.2 OUTCOMES, MEASURES OF SUCCESS, exotic measures. For example, organized citizen groups may play following outcomes should result: locations. and grants programs for retrofitting existing
AND BENCHMARKS: Outcomes refers to • Predicting probable dispersal routes a cost-effective role in identifying infestations, remediating TIME FRAME: 5-10 YRS COST*: M drainage tile. BWSR currently provides cost-
improvements in water quality and movement • Increasing isolation of the species infested areas, and educating other citizens of best practices  Effective management of surface waters sharing to farmers for this purpose with Clean
towards water sustainability; measures refer to the • If not possible to keep them out, prepare for for preventing invasive species infestations. and compliance with the Clean Water Act, as RESEARCH PLAN Water Fund support; this program should be
indicators that are used to assess progress, and their arrival measured by implemented pollutant reduction RECOMMENDATION E.3.B: Develop a tool to increased considerably.
benchmarks refer to the time frame over which plans and monitoring programs due to better assess individual farm contributions to water TIME FRAME: 2-4 YRS COST*: H
progress is achieved. Generally, progress requires Once a species has a foothold, strategies include drainage management.  BENCHMARK: flow and water quality of receiving waters. This *Cost: L is estimated to be $1M or less; M is estimated to
considerable time and data and thus achieving restoration; eradication and re-introduction of agricultural lands in compliance with water tool should be a series of integrated models that be greater than $1M and less than $10M; H is estimated
or measuring progress has a longer time frame natives; redesigning the habitat or community; quality standards in 2025 will allow the prediction of the impact of best to be greater than $10M.
than the time frame for implementing the related and adapting. drainage management practices used on the field
recommendation. scale to be addressed on a cumulative basis at
76 77
(Insert images of controlled drainage system and E.3.d: This program is currently funded at approximately The following actions are recommended to E.4.b: Minnesota worked to ensure conservation programs E.1.a.i: Enact Ecosystems Services Act
GSSHA model) $600,000 per year from the Clean Water Fund, and this can implement this strategy. were strengthened in the 2008 Farm Bill, and they were
provide the 75% cost-share to only a handful of farmers. successful. The timeframe for the next reauthorization of the E.1.a.ii: research to determine ecosystem services and their economic value
NOTES ACTION PLAN Farm Bill will likely be in 2012.
E.3.a: The GSSHA model was developed by the US Army E.4 OBJECTIVE: To maximize the placement of RECOMMENDATION E.4.A: Invest in ways to E.2.a: develop statewide policy for AIS
Corp of Engineers and is being used and further developed marginal lands in conservation protection keep existing lands in reserve and accelerate
by DNR. Its development was targeted specifically to help land easements in the state. Enhance the RIM TIME FRAME FOR COMPLETION OF E.2.b: research on control measures
understand the processes that result in cumulative impacts E.4 STRATEGY: Aggressively use all tools and program; preserve the current practices for the RECOMMENDATIONS: The recommendations
in watersheds. See programs to retain conservation-protected lands most environmentally sensitive and beneficial above will take varying amounts of time to act E.3.a: accelerate GSSHA model application
roundtable/2010/erw/emergingscience.pdf. and http://chl. already set aside, and to encourage additional set parcels using targeting tools and state funding on and implement. The times shown are the;528. The asides and protections of marginal lands. to leverage federal funds; expand the marketing time for the state to act, and are not the times E.3.b: model drainage from field scale to watershed scale
DNR has been evaluating the potential of the GSSHA and technical capacity in the state to get federal where outcomes would be realized. The dotted
model to address the cumulative impacts of drainage and is E.4 OUTCOMES, MEASURES OF SUCCESS, project funds on-the-ground, as that is the short- lines are the time frame for outcomes, or indicate E.3.c: require multi-benefit drainage management practices with new or replaced tile drainage
conducting a number of ongoing pilot studies. These studies AND BENCHMARKS: Outcomes refers to term limiting factor ongoing repeated outcomes, if they are different
show much promise for the use of GSSHA in assessing best improvements in water quality and movement TIME FRAME: 4-5 YRS COST*: H from the implementation time frame. Research E.3.d: expand cost-share program for retrofitting existing tile drainage
management practices and in TMDL implementation. This towards water sustainability; measures refer to the recommendations (those that need additional
E model works at the fine-scale of sub-watersheds. indicators that are used to assess progress, and RECOMMENDATION E.4.B: Work with coalitions, scientific or technological understanding) are E.4.a: preserve and encourage conservation easements E
benchmarks refer to the time frame over which state partners, and the Minnesota Congressional shown in red to distinguish them from Action
E.3.b: This could be done by linking existing models that progress is achieved. Generally, progress requires delegation, to maximize provisions for land recommendations in black (those that have E.4.b: work to ensure next Farm Bill has strong conservation elements

Ecological and Hydrological Integrity

work at different scales, from fine-scale field models to sub- considerable time and data and thus achieving conservation programs within the Farm Bill, and sufficient scientific justification and can be
watershed scale (e.g. GSSHA) to medium scale watershed or measuring progress has a longer time frame to adjust agricultural incentives to minimize undertaken now).
models such as HSPF and SWAT, and filling the gaps than the time frame for implementing the related water quality impacts (e.g. have crop subsidies Years: 5 10 15 20 25
with additional model development. Such an approach is recommendation. which encourage use of marginal lands redirected
being discussed as part of the Minnesota River Integrated towards paying farmers to preserve land).
Watershed Study, a partnership of the US Army Corp of If the recommendations are implemented, the TIME FRAME: 2-4 YRS COST*: L IMPACT MATRIX FOR RECOMMENDATIONS:
Engineers, EQB, DNR, MPCA, MDA, BWSR, and UM. following outcomes should result: *Cost: L is estimated to be $1M or less; M is estimated to This figure indicates the impact of implementing
Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework

be greater than $1M and less than $10M; H is estimated a given recommendation (how much of difference H E3d, E4a
E.3.c: Much of the existing tile drain systems are aging and  Keep existing set-aside lands in conservation to be greater than $10M. it will make to achieving sustainable water use Cost M E2b E1a, E3a,
being replaced at an accelerating rate. Also, new systems are protection.  BENCHMARK: Re-enroll all and management), relative to an estimate of the E3b
being installed. This recommendation recognizes that no existing acres as they expire, each year NOTES total cost of the recommendation to the public L E2a, E4b E3c
one solution fits all, and that individual farmers in different  Increase enrollment of marginal lands enrolled E.4.a: The federal programs will pay for land and project sector (i.e., state funds) for its full implementation. L M H
parts of the state have different problems and thus have in conservation protection.  BENCHMARK: costs but pay very little for the personnel or contracting to Cost estimates: L (low) is estimated to be $1
different solutions. BWSR, UM Extension, and the MDA have increase enrollment to 10% of total agricultural accomplish on-the-ground conservation programs. A recent million or less; M (medium) is estimated to be Impact
identified multipurpose drainage conservation practices, lands by 2020 report on the Farm Bill conservation programs stated that the greater than $1million and less than $10 million; H
including controlled subsurface drainage systems, woodchip implementation of these federal programs is not limited by (high) is estimated to be greater than $10 million.
bioreactors, water and sediment control basins, etc. funding but by local capacity.

78 79
takes energy to supply water, and it takes water to sup-
ply energy. Water quantity and quality must be consid-
ered in the context of energy needs, and energy in the context of
water quality and quantity needs.
Second, water is used in the process of transforming energy to
forms people can readily use. Flowing water provides energy for
hydroelectric power production. By far the predominant use of
water in Minnesota is as once-through cooling for thermoelectric
power production. Water is also used in refining oil, growing fuel
crops, and manufacturing bio-based fuels.
Desired Minnesota Future Approximately 4 percent of U.S. power generation is used for
A society in which energy policy and water policy are aligned.
water supply and treatment and about 75 percent of the cost
of municipal water processing and distribution is electricity,
according to the U.S. Department of Energy. This means
PROBLEM STATEMENT. Water and energy are both essential that Minnesotans may indirectly use as much water running
E to life, and to modern society. These two valuable resources are household appliances and turning on lights as they directly use
interconnected and interdependent on each other. Constraints taking showers, washing clothes, and watering lawns.
on one will result in constraints on the other. However, these
connections are not very visible to the public, and thus are Energy production also affects water quality. Most electricity
not always managed to maximize benefits for both, and the used in Minnesota comes from coal-fired power plants. Coal- F
environment. This topic was first acknowledged on a national fired power plants are an important source of mercury to the
level with the 2006 Report to Congress, Energy Demands on environment, so more electricity may result in more mercury in

Water Energy Nexus

Water Resources, by the US Department of Energy. fish. Combustion of fossil fuels produces greenhouse gases that
contribute to climate change, which affects the hydrologic cycle.
What are some of these inter-relationships? First, water use Climate change will also lead to increased water use due to an
Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework

and water management require energy inputs, from pumping increase in demand for electricity.
groundwater for industrial or domestic purposes, to building
and running locks and dams and irrigation systems, to operating As demand for other sources of energy grows, it will also increase
wastewater treatment plants. Water is very heavy, and requires the demand for water. Biofuel production and refining, nuclear
considerable energy to move - one acre-foot of water (325,724 power production, natural gas production all use significant
gal), weighs approximately 1231 metric tons (2,713,890 lbs). water resources. The 2007 Minnesota legislation establishing a
Water treatment, both for drinking water purposes and for goal of 80% greenhouse gas reduction by 2050 (Next Generation
cleaning wastewater for discharge, is highly energy-intensive. In Energy Act, Session Law Chapter 136) will result in shifting the
California, water pumping is the single largest use of electricity fuel mix for electricity production, and this may reduce water
in the state. demand for coal-fired electric plants and shift water demand to
rural areas for increased biomass crop production.
80 81
Achieving a sustainable balance between water California has created such an inventory for the was reviewed by the Framework participants, but
and energy will benefit domestic, manufacturing, state, and some of the relationships reported not further considered for recommendations. WATER—ENERGY NEXUS
energy, and agricultural water uses. So will include (US Department of Energy Report to Current Minnesota statute and practice allows for
increasing efficiency of water use in energy Congress, December 2006, from California only closed loop systems, and thus consumptive
production, and in increasing efficiency of energy Energy Commission.): use is minimized.
use in handling water - reducing the economic,
social, and environmental costs of each. Specific kWh/Million gallons The following gaps in knowledge and policy
issues that need to be addressed include cooling Water Cycle Segments Low High have been identified:
water for thermoelectric plants, biomass and
Supply and Conveyance 0 16,000
biofuel production, electricity use to distribute SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY GAPS
Treatment 100 1,500
and treat water, and hydropower. 1. Interrelationships between water and energy
Distribution 700 1,200
have not been quantified
SPECIFIC CONCERNS related to this Issue that Wastewater Collection
and Treatment 1,100 4,600 2. The economic costs of these relationships are
have been identified:
not well understood.
Wastewater Discharge 0 400
PROBLEMS CONTRIBUTING TO ISSUE F Total 1,900 23,700 3. The ecological costs of water-energy
• cooling water for thermoelectric plants relationships are not well understood.
• biomass and biofuel production Recycled Water Treat-
• electricity use to distribute and treat water ment and Distribution POLICY GAPS
• hydropower for Non-potable Uses 400 1,200
F 1. Energy is not sufficiently considered in water
policy, nor is water sufficiently considered in
WHAT IS KNOWN AND NOT KNOWN ABOUT Each KWH of electricity uses approximately energy policy.
THIS ISSUE: There have been very few studies 25 gallons of water for cooling purposes. About

Water Energy Nexus

to determine and inventory the quantitative 10% of this is lost to evaporation. Wastewater
relationships between water and energy, such as treatment in California uses 500 to 1,500 kilowatt- F.1 OBJECTIVE: To understand all the
the energy costs required to operate a wastewater hours per acre-foot. relationships in the water-energy nexus and
Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework

treatment plant. The Federal government manage water and energy for maximum benefit
considers the water-energy nexus to be a top Production of hydroelectric power in Minnesota to both.
priority, as both energy demands and water involves approximately 7.2 trillion gallons of water
demands are increasing. Both the Department each year (this is an in-stream use, rather than a F.1. STRATEGY: Identify all relationships
of Energy and the US Environmental Protection consumptive or non-consumptive use). Some 892 between water and energy, and determine the full
Agency have ongoing programs to understand billion gallons of water are temporarily withdrawn costs of all water uses for all sources of energy
these relationships in depth, such as the from the state’s surface water and groundwater generation, and costs for all energy uses to
interagency Water-Energy Roadmap (http://www. annually to cool condensers and reactors in produce water. power plants generating electricity from nuclear
or fossil fuels (considered a non-consumptive
use). Low-temperature geothermal energy use
82 83
F.1 OUTCOMES, MEASURES OF SUCCESS, of energy on water quality, and determine the
RECOMMENDATIONS: The recommendations
AND BENCHMARKS: Outcomes refers to costs associated with these relationships. above will take varying amounts of time to act ISSUE G:
improvements in water quality and movement TIME FRAME: 2–4 YRS COST*: L on and implement. The times shown are the
towards water sustainability; measures refer to the time for the state to act, and are not the times

indicators that are used to assess progress, and ACTION PLAN where outcomes would be realized. The dotted
benchmarks refer to the time frame over which RECOMMENDATION F.1.B: Review and revise lines are the time frame for outcomes, or indicate HE TRUE PRICE OF WATER IS NOT ecological benefits, or “ecosystem services”, that
progress is achieved. Generally, progress requires energy policies as needed for reducing impacts ongoing repeated outcomes, if they are different accounted for in our society. Tension ex- water provides (see Chapter D, Issue: Air, Land,
considerable time and data and thus achieving on water quality and quantity, and establish water from the implementation time frame. Research ists between environmental restoration and Water Connections). The value of these
recommendations (those that need additional
or measuring progress has a longer time frame sustainability thresholds (water quality and quantity) and protection and economic growth. Tension benefits (or services) is very difficult to put a
scientific or technological understanding) are
than the timeframe for implementing the related for energy policies to meet in order to be enacted. shown in red to distinguish them from Action exists between those who see water as a (free) price tag on there are a number of approaches
recommendation. This is also part of Recommendation J.1.a. recommendations in black (those that have public good and those who prefer to see water as that economists use, but they are not yet widely
TIME FRAME: 2–4 YRS COST*: L sufficient scientific justification and can be an economic good. accepted or validated.
If the recommendations are implemented, the undertaken now).
following outcomes should result: RECOMMENDATION F.1.C: Position and encourage Desired Minnesota Future Putting a more accurate value on water should
Minnesota business to develop specific future renewable F.1.a: understand and quantify the nexus A society in which water is a considered a public service lead to better decision-making, and to wiser
 Accounting for all costs of water-energy energy technologies that minimize impacts on and is priced appropriately to cover the costs of its pro- and more conservative use of water. A variety
interdependencies, as measured by completed groundwater and surface waters by providing incentives, F.1.b: review energy policy for water sustainability duction, protection, improvement, and treatment, and the of incentives are available to encourage
inventory.  BENCHMARK: a completed tax credits, etc. economic value of its ecological benefits. conservation and water quality protection,
inventory of relationships by 2012; accounting TIME FRAME: 2–4 YRS COST*: M F.1.c: encourage renewable energy that minimizes including water pricing structures, restrictions on
for full costs completed by 2016. *Cost: L is estimated to be $1M or less; M is estimated to be water impacts PROBLEM STATEMENT: Conventional models certain uses during drought, subsidies for water
F greater than $1M and less than $10M; H is estimated to be and decision making applied to water pricing saving technologies, and markets. Water pricing
The following actions are recommended to greater than $10M. Years: 5 10 15 20 25 fail to fully take into account the true or actual structures for municipal drinking water have
implement this strategy: value of water and aquatic resources. As a result, been developed that promote conservation, and
NOTES policies that influence how water is managed are in general consist of a fixed base cost, that covers
RESEARCH PLAN F.1.a: The intersection of energy policy and water policy is This figure indicates the relative impact of
based on an inaccurate picture of the costs and the costs of distribution and treatment to the
understood conceptually, but not quantitatively. To make implementing a given recommendation (how
RECOMMENDATION F.1.A: Understand the much of difference it will make to achieving benefits of various possible courses of action. municipality, with increasing block rates per unit
Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework

smart and effective decisions about aligning the water and

nexus of water and energy. For all water-energy energy policies, one needs to understand the full dimensions sustainable water use and management), This skewed perspective influences all uses of of water used. This means that the cost per unit

Water Pricing
connections (biofuel production, cooling water of these relationships. compared to an estimate of the total cost of water—for agriculture, domestic use, recreation, volume of water increases with larger volume use,
for thermoelectric plants, hydropower, electricity the recommendation to the public sector (i.e. ecosystem services, manufacturing and energy, so that those that use more water pay more per
F.1.b: See Recommendation J.1.a. state funds) for its full implementation. Cost
used to produce and distribute municipal water, and transportation. volume and thus pay more overall. The Metro
water used in fuel refining, etc), the state agencies estimates: L (low) is estimated to be $1 million or area has required conservation water pricing
F.1.c: this recommendation recognizes that we cannot
less; M (medium) is estimated to be greater than
in consultation with other experts should compile foresee or predict the next generation of renewable energy, The true value of water includes all the real costs in2010, and the concept has now been adopted
but we should be poised to be a leader in both renewable $1million and less than $10 million; H (high) is
and inventory what is quantitatively known estimated to be greater than $10 million. associated with its use (pumping, moving through for municipal water suppliers who serve over
energy and water management by creating a welcoming
about each of these relationships (how much environment for this sector. The focus should be on those pipes, treatment, distribution) and maintenance. 1000 people across the entire state (103G.291),
water is used for how much energy produced in technologies that minimize effects on water resources. Cost M F1c What is overlooked from an economic effective in 2013. Currently (and not including
Minnesota by sector, and vice versa); the impacts L F1a, F1b perspective is the equivalent cost(s) of the value the 2010 changes), 116 community water systems
L M H that water has to people indirectly. These are the have some form of conservation pricing, 26
84 85
Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework

communities have a decreasing block price • including recreation value, cultural value, and These indirect benefits, or ecosystem services, in phosphorus in the Minnesota River. tax benefits, etc.) on long-term conservation
structure that discourages conservation, and the spiritual value in decision making provided by water resources include: Agricultural use of water is approximately 6% of behaviors of people, businesses, organizations G.1 OUTCOMES, MEASURES OF SUCCESS,
remainder of communities have a flat fee, uniform total water use in Minnesota (19% of consumptive and governments. AND BENCHMARKS: Outcomes refers to
structure or have not reported their structure. WHAT IS KNOWN AND NOT KNOWN: • providing habitat for fish, wild rice, waterfowl, use, or non-thermoelectric cooling use), with improvements in water quality and movement
Water used for industrial purposes includes the mussels, and supporting aquatic ecosystems more than 90% of agricultural water used for POLICY GAPS towards water sustainability; measures refer to
Resolving the disconnect between the true value “non-consumptive” use of water for cooling of • providing food from fish, wild rice, and irrigation. The value of irrigation water use on the 1. The value of ecosystem services and the the indicators that are used to assess progress,
of water and the way water is valued in economic thermoelectric plants (once through cooling waterfowl national scale is $9.98 per acre, determined by the spiritual and cultural value of water are not and benchmarks refer to the time frame over
discussions will require dealing with issues of with water returned to same water body it was • purifying water and filtering pollutants from difference in profit per acre for non-irrigated and included in planning, regulatory or economic which progress is achieved. Generally, progress
ecosystem services valuation, public benefits taken from) and water used for a diverse array of wetlands and buffers irrigated lands. Based on this national water cost- evaluations. requires considerable time and data and thus
vs. private rights, and costs of remediation vs. industries. The value of water for industrial use in • mitigating flooding per-acre and Minnesota’s water use, the marginal 2. The public value of water is not integrated into achieving or measuring progress has a longer
costs of protection. It will require Minnesotans Minnesota cannot currently be calculated because • mitigating drought value of irrigational use (which is equivalent state regulatory programs for water allocation time frame than the timeframe for implementing
to thoughtfully consider the concept of treating detailed data on quantities, expenses, and other • providing water for groundwater recharge to the difference between precipitation and or water quality management. the related recommendation.
water differently for different uses. It will demand characteristics of such use are not available. • storing water irrigation water), is approximately $0.04 per 1,000 3. Current policies do not consider fairness of who
that energy production be balanced with water • offering recreational opportunities gallons. This value has significant uncertainty due pays, and policies frequently don’t consider cost If the recommendations are implemented, the
impacts, a healthy economic environment with Water use for residential purposes and its price is • satisfying aesthetic, cultural and spiritual needs to the lack of a Minnesota-specific cost per acre effectiveness. following outcomes should result:
water resources protection. It will mean viewing well documented for the Twin Cities Metro area. and desires estimate of irrigation. 4. Policies tend to consider economic growth and
wild rice production as both a spiritual need The price charged for residential water varies • conserving biodiversity environmental protection an “either-or” rather  Reduced water consumption per capita, as
and an economic need for Native Americans. It substantially. For 91 communities in the Metro, See the Water Valuation White Paper for than “both-and” proposition. measured by water utilities  BENCHMARK:
will mean including recreational, cultural, and for instance, the average price paid by consumers While rough estimates are available for the additional details. 5. Current policies and permitting processes decreased water use that more than offsets
spiritual value in decision making. Finally, it will in 2005 varied from $0.58 per 1,000 gallons to value of some of these benefits individually, focuses on small individual mitigation actions, increased demand from population growth.
require an economic model for water pricing that $5.40 per 1,000 gallons, a range of nearly an there is a great deal of uncertainty due to lack of The following gaps in knowledge and policy rather than system wide improvement. Trends discernable in 5 years.
considers future infrastructure need costs. order of magnitude. The average was $2.11 per Minnesota-specific data, and lack of validation of have been identified: 6. Water supply and wastewater treatment pricing  Improved ecosystem health and improved water
1,000 gallons. The average cost per person per the models used. structures are not integrated. quality in municipalities with an ecosystem
SPECIFIC CONCERNS related to this issue that year was $53.45. The Water Valuation White SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY GAPS 7. The costs of meeting new standards and
G have been identified: Paper prepared for this project by the University Hedonic property price studies (the use of 1. A lack of data and modeling approaches that providing safe drinking water are becoming
service fee added to base price of water, G
as indicted by water quality and biological
of Minnesota estimated that the marginal market values to assess people’s values of an integrate economic costs with the additional prohibitive for small communities. indicators used in monitoring programs
PROBLEMS CONTRIBUTING TO ISSUE G value associated with the indirect benefits of environmental attribute) show that water quality costs of water benefits, including ecosystem  BENCHMARK: water quality and ecosystem

Water Pricing
• water pricing structures that do not encourage improved water quality and quantity would be (as measured by clarity) is positively associated services. G.1 OBJECTIVE: To encourage conservation of improvement seen with in 10 year period.
conservation approximately $6 per person per year. In other with land value, and that proximity to open-water 2. A lack of research-based data on the true water and achieve informed decision making by
• lack of ecosystem services valuation in water words, Metro residents pay approximately $50/ wetlands is positively associated with property comparative cost of protection vs restoration incorporating the actual or “true” value of water The following actions are recommended to
pricing yr to cover the costs of bringing clean drinking value but proximity to forested wetlands is activities in policies. implement this strategy:
• public ownership vs. private use rights water to their homes, and would need to pay negatively associated with property values. A 3. A lack of accurate data over time on residential
• costs of remediation vs. costs of protection approximately $6/yr above that to account for contingent valuation study (surveys to assess and commercial water use and the effectiveness G.1. STRATEGY: Incorporate the economic value ACTION PLAN
• treating water to different degrees depending protecting the indirect benefits provided by water people’s willingness to pay for environmental of pricing strategies in reducing water use (price of ecological benefits provided by water (or the RECOMMENDATION G.1.A: Improve water pricing
on use resources. There are not enough data for areas improvements) in Minnesota found that residents elasticity). value of the diminished capacity to provide such structures to be inclusive of all the costs of water
• balancing economic environment with water outside the Metro to determine the marginal, or were (hypothetically) willing to pay a total of $141 4. A lack of understanding of the influence of benefits) in decision-making and assessments and to encourage conservation. Require that the
resources protection indirect, value of water. million in 1997 dollars to achieve a 40% reduction various incentive programs (grants, loans, without commodifying water. conservation water pricing structures enacted under
86 87
Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework

103G.271 include the economic value of ecological Disincentives should also be considered, such as here, and is what is rarely included in the pricing schemes If the recommendations are implemented, the TIME FRAME FOR COMPLETION OF IMPACT MATRIX FOR RECOMMENDATIONS: This
benefits (as determined in Recommendation G.1.d, taxes or fees on products or services that impact of water or in policy analysis in general. Research is needed following outcomes should result: RECOMMENDATIONS: The recommendations figure indicates the relative impact of implementing
below) for all users. Initially, an across-the-board water, which could be used to offset the costs of the to quantify the relationship of the economic loss associated above will take varying amounts of time to act a given recommendation (how much of difference
fee could be instituted immediately, with clear incentives. with a change or loss in ecological function; the University of  All small community systems should be able to on and implement. The times shown are the it will make to achieving sustainable water use and
direction to replace this with a scientifically-based TIME FRAME: 1–5 YRS COST*: H Minnesota is a nationally recognized leader of this cutting-edge pay for basic testing and treatment of drinking time for the state to act, and are not the times management), compared to an estimate of the total
value after the completion of the research in economics research. The recovery of these costs, added as an water, including removal of natural pollutants where outcomes would be realized. The dotted cost of the recommendation to the public sector
G.1.d. The initial fee should be comparable to the RESEARCH PLAN additional amount to the base price, should be collected by the such as arsenic, and have adequate wastewater lines are the time frame for outcomes, or indicate (i.e. state funds) for its full implementation. Cost
current MDH connection fee a $3.00 per year RECOMMENDATION G.1.D: Fund a research project municipality, and provided to the DNR to conduct ecosystem treatment  A shared revenue system should ongoing repeated outcomes, if they are different estimates: L (low) is estimated to be $1 million or
per connection is recommended. In addition to the to determine an estimate of the economic value restorations in that municipality. This recommendation would be established and providing for these resources from the implementation time frame. Research less; M (medium) is estimated to be greater than
public water suppliers covered under 103G.291, all of the diminished ecological benefits provided by provide approximately $10-15million on an annual basis to within 5 years. recommendations (those that need additional $1million and less than $10 million; H (high) is
other appropriators required to have a permit under water as a result of environmental degradation; ie restore ecosystem benefits related to water use in communities. scientific or technological understanding) are estimated to be greater than $10 million.
103G.271 and Minnesota Rules 6115.0620 should be the cost of restoring and protecting these benefits. The following actions are recommended to shown in red to distinguish them from Action
required to pay a fee to cover the economic value of An economics model for estimating their overall G.2 OBJECTIVE: To achieve equity in access to safe implement this strategy: recommendations in black (those that have H
ecological benefits. This fee should be added to the value should be developed using the best available drinking water and adequate wastewater treatment sufficient scientific justification and can be Cost M F1c
water use fee under 103G.271 an additional $5.00 knowledge and science and applied to Minnesota. for all Minnesota communities.G.2 Strategy: Ensure RECOMMENDATION G.2.A: Develop funding undertaken now).
L F1a, F1b
per million gallons is recommended. The recovered This project should also be funded to collect the communities have the resources (funding, technical streams or strategies to help share revenues from
costs should be dedicated for ecosystem restoration necessary site-specific data to calibrate and validate staff) to provide safe drinking water and adequate all sources across large and small communities L M H
and protection within the watershed from which the the model. This value of diminished benefits should wastewater treatment. regardless of the number of connections. This G1A: include ecological benefits in water pricing Impact
appropriation occurs which would eventually lead be incorporated into all community water pricing recommendation reinforces the principle that safe
to a more reliable, safer source of water. Thus the structures, as described in G.1.a. G.2. STRATEGY: Ensure that small communities drinking water and adequate sanitation is a right of G1B: include other economic incentives in water pricing
recovered fee would be used to directly benefit the TIME FRAME: 3–4 YRS COST*: L have the resources (funding, technical staff) to all Minnesotans.
payers. *Cost: L is estimated to be $1M or less; M is estimated to be provide safe drinking water supplies and adequate TIME FRAME: 1–5 YRS COST*: H G1C: transition business to more equitable pricing
TIME FRAME: 1–2 YRS COST*: L greater than $1M and less than $10M; H is estimated to be wastewater treatment. *Cost: L is estimated to be $1M or less; M is estimated to be
greater than $10M. greater than $1M and less than $10M; H is estimated to be G1D: research and model value of water ecological benefits
G RECOMMENDATION G.1.B: Include other economic G.2 OUTCOMES, MEASURES OF SUCCESS, AND greater than $10M.
incentives to promote homeowner conservation in NOTES BENCHMARKS: Outcomes refers to improvements G2A: provide for shared resources between small and large communities
concert with conservation pricing structures, such as G.1.A: Human activities on land and water have affected in water quality and movement towards water NOTES

Water Pricing
subsidies for installing water saving technologies. ecosystem function, and in turn have diminished the capacity sustainability; measures refer to the indicators that G.2.A. It is important to ensure that all Minnesotans have equal Years: 5 10 15 20 25
TIME FRAME: 1–2 YRS COST*: M of those ecosystems to provide certain services such as are used to assess progress, and benchmarks refer access to safe drinking water. In some cases, small communities
nutrient removal or flood mitigation. The draining of a wetland to the time frame over which progress is achieved. have localized issues and cannot afford to address them to
RECOMMENDATION G.1.C: Provide some resources diminishes its ability to filter runoff of nutrients, or to provide Generally, progress requires considerable time and the same extent as do large systems, with many connections
(subsidies, matching grants, etc) for transitioning a reservoir for excess water in times of extreme precipitation. data and thus achieving or measuring progress and thus higher revenues. For example, some communities
businesses to the use of conservation technologies The presence of chemicals in a lake’s sport fish causes a loss has a longer time frame than the timeframe for in western Minnesota have concentrations of arsenic in
(e.g., drip irrigation systems; water reuse systems, of “services” (the lake should provide clean fish to eat) to those implementing the related recommendation. their drinking water that is considered unsafe, but putting in
etc). the health of the business and agricultural who would want to eat the fish they caught from that lake. The treatment systems is very costly for them.
community is essential to the state’s economic well- economic value of the services that wetland or lake would have
being, and this transition should not be punative. provided had it not been adversely impacted is what is meant
88 89
Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework



delivery and treatment ages, we must
replace it. As new pollutants become a
concern, and new technologies develop, we must
implement them. As the population grows and
so they need to be considered and managed
together (see Chapter B, Issue: Excess Nutrients
and Conventional Pollutants for specific issues
regarding private wells and SSTS.) In Minnesota,
all three categories of infrastructure systems
moves, and as we shift to water re-use, we must are in need of upgrading to replace aging and
build new infrastructure to meet new needs. We deteriorating systems, to put effective systems
must build resiliency into our public built envi- in place where they do not yet meet needs and
ronment to protect it from unanticipated threats. regulatory requirements, and to meet the growing
needs of a growing population. Specific issues
Desired Minnesota Future to be addressed include drinking water and
A society that maintains and protects its infrastructure for wastewater treatment plant building, expansion,
drinking water, wastewater, stormwater, and flood protection in new technologies, and maintenance; stormwater
a manner that sustains our communities and our water resourc- infrastructure, infrastructure related to water re-
es and maintains and enhances ecosystems; and reuses water use; and water security (being addressed by the
where appropriate to conserve our sustainable supply. state in partnership with the federal government
and not further addressed here).
Three broad categories of physical water In Minnesota, drinking water comes from
G management systems are associated with use of surface water (approximately 25%) and
water in Minnesota: systems to provide drinking groundwater (approximately 75%). Drinking
water, systems to handle and cleanse wastewater, water infrastructure includes (1) community
and systems to manage drainage which includes water systems - publicly owned municipal H
agricultural stormwater and urban stormwater. systems, regional water systems, privately
Agricultural drainage is addressed in Chapter owned condominium and trailer park systems;
E, Issue: Ecological and Hydrological Integrity, (2) nonprofit non-community systems, such

Infrastructure Needs
and urban stormwater infrastructure is discussed as schools, day care centers, churches, retreat
here. Although not technically public facilities, centers; and (3) private wells. In addition, six
private wells and individual subsurface sewage rural water systems have been installed in
treatment systems (septic systems, or SSTS) northwestern and southwestern Minnesota due to
are often considered part of this basic water insufficient shallow groundwater for private wells.
infrastructure. Their impacts are interconnected,
90 91
Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework

Drinking water systems consist of four main parts: and extensively used for purposes besides for use, or to temporary small ponds instead via life, estimated at 40 years. New challenges and Table 1: Minnesota 20-Year Drinking Water Infrastructure Need by Project Type
the water source, transmission and distribution drinking: watering lawns, cleaning, and so on. rain gardens, rain barrels, pervious pavements, opportunities may call for new technologies that
infrastructure, treatment infrastructure, storage In the Twin Cities metro area, lawn watering and vegetated swales. Known as low-impact will need to be considered in future wastewater
facilities, and other components, such as security and other outdoor water uses account for some design (LID), such systems are becoming more treatment infrastructure. These new technologies Project Type Needs (million dollars) Proportion (%)
and data acquisition facilities. 20 percent to 30 percent of annual public water common across the state. Other innovative are being developed to remove contaminants of Source 372.0 6.2
supply use. As infrastructure is replaced and management approaches such as pollutant emerging concern, such as endocrine disruptors Transmission/Distribution 2,819.3 47.1
The need for new water delivery and treatment upgraded, an important consideration should trading, reuse of stormwater, and polluter-pays and pharmaceuticals, and may be needed in new Treatment 1,982.9 33.1
infrastructure is driven by two converging be whether modifications to current approaches pricing systems could also impact stormwater construction or as upgrades in existing plants. Storage 770.3 12.9
forces: the aging of existing infrastructure, could help reserve drinking water for drinking management. The federal Municipal Separate Other opportunities include using wastewater Other 43.9 0.7
and demographic changes that are shifting water purposes, and use water not treated to Storm Sewer (MS4) program is designed to as a feedstock for algae-based renewable energy Total 5,988.4 100.0
the location, time, and intensity of need for drinking water standards, including water that has reduce surface water pollution from storm sewers. systems, potential for capturing and recycling Source: Drinking Water Infrastructure Needs Survey and Assessment, EPA, 2007
water. Some changes may also be called for by already served another purpose, for tasks such as MS4s that discharge into designated “special nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus), and
changes in understanding of threats to water watering lawns, as a way to reduce demands on waters” and “impaired waters” require additional potential for reusing some wastewater before The MPCA estimates that Minnesota’s public wastewater infrastructure will need more than $4.5
safety - for instance, the need to protect drinking water supply infrastructure and on the waterways runoff controls and BMPs. sending it to wastewater treatment facilities. billion in improvements over the next 20 years. In addition, individual wastewater systems will need
water supplies from terrorism, or the growing that serve as sources. more than $1.2 billion in improvements to protect the environment and public health.
awareness of the presence and possible health Wastewater treatment facilities in Minnesota SPECIFIC CONCERNS related to this issue that
impacts of contaminants of emerging concern. In Municipal separate storm sewer systems, known fall into two main types: municipal treatment have been identified: A 2009 needs survey identified 1,200 wastewater projects around Minnesota with a total estimated cost
addition, new approaches and technologies for as MS4s, gather water from the community facilities, and individual sewage treatment of $4.3 billion. This is a substantial increase over the $2.5 billion reported by a similar survey in 2003:
addressing water issues have emerged in recent and route it away from streets and walkways systems (ISTSs) or subsurface sewage treatment PROBLEMS CONTRIBUTING TO ISSUE H
years. Some utilities are turning to advanced to prevent flooding. In the past, municipal systems, (SSTSs), often known as septic systems. • drinking water and wastewater treatment Table 2: Minnesota 20-Year Wastewater Infrastructure Need by Project Type
treatment options, including activated carbon, stormwater often fed into wastewater treatment Wastewater treatment facilities remove pollutants infrastructure building, expansion, and
ozonation, ultraviolet (UV) light, and reverse infrastructure, adding a huge intermittent from used water and then discharge it to surface maintenance
osmosis, in order to remove nitrates, and remove burden to wastewater treatment systems and waters or to land. • stormwater infrastructure Infrastructure Need 2009 WINS (millions) 2003 WINS (millions) Difference (millions)
contaminants of emerging concern, such as occasionally causing an overflow that resulted • new treatment technologies Sewer System Rehabilitation $1,890 $315 $1,575
endocrine disrupting chemicals, pharmaceuticals, in the release of untreated sewage into receiving Most municipal wastewater systems in Minnesota • Infrastructure related to water reuse New Collection $187 $486 ($299)
and pathogens that are not removed by waters. All but a small percentage of Minnesota’s operate under federal National Pollutant New Interceptors $475 $206 $269
conventional disinfection. The issue of stormwater infrastructure has now been separated Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits WHAT IS KNOWN AND NOT KNOWN: Combined Sewer Overflow $17 $5 $12
H contaminants of emerging concern is addressed from wastewater systems (i.e. the elimination or State Disposal System (SDS) permits for land About 23% of Minnesotans get their drinking Inflow and Infiltration $216 $206 $10 H
in Chapter C of this section; see Section III, Best of Combined Sewer Overflows, or CSOs). This discharge. Septic systems do not operate under water from private wells. The U.S. EPA estimates Unsewered Area Projects $188 $277 ($89)
Practices for a full discussion of the technologies reduces the load on wastewater treatment these permits. Costs for wastewater treatment that Minnesota’s drinking water infrastructure will Advanced Treatment $192 $272 ($80)
listed here. facilities, but it also results in water from streets, systems include construction, maintenance, need approximately $6 billion for infrastructure Secondary Treatment $1,167 $773 $394

Infrastructure Needs
which often carried sediment and contaminants, operation (chemicals etc.). upgrades over the next 20 years—not including Total $4,332 $2,540 $1,791
A major challenge for (and opportunity for running directly into waterways. To reduce the accommodations for a growing population. Source: Future Wastewater Infrastructure Needs and Capital Costs, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, 2010
improvement in) drinking water supplies in adverse effects of such flow, communities are Many of Minnesota’s wastewater treatment plants Drinking water systems will also need increasing
Minnesota is that drinking water is commonly starting to route stormwater to land, to containers were built in the 1970s and 80s. Some wastewater flexibility and resiliency to deal with the Sewer systems over 50 years old are generally considered beyond their reasonable life. Minneapolis
treatment systems in Minnesota date to 1800s. unexpected events of climate change (drought, and St. Paul have the largest percentage of collection pipes above 50 years of age (72%), in contrast
Most are approaching the end of their useful flood, etc.). with greater Minnesota, where approximately one-third of the collection system is over 50 years old,
92 93
Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework

and the Twin Cities metropolitan area suburbs, with only 10% of sewers over 50. Major structural and oversees the financial management of With the exception of the Twin Cities metro area, The following gaps in knowledge and policy POLICY GAPS
components of wastewater treatment facilities have an estimated useful life of 40 years. Most treatment the revolving loan funds. The revolving funds most of Minnesota struggles with the affordability have been identified: 1. There is no plan by the state and local
facilities were built in the early to late 1970s and are rapidly approaching the end of their useful life. provide low-interest loans and grants to of wastewater infrastructure. Minnesota has new governments to pay for infrastructure needs not
finance infrastructure that might otherwise be limits for phosphorus and nitrogen discharges SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY GAPS covered by the state revolving funds.
Table 3: Future Wastewater Infrastructure Need by Project Type unaffordable to communities, and require a 20% from wastewater treatment systems as a part of 1. The life cycle costs of all water-related 2. There is little resiliency or redundancy in current
state match. The communities must provide a EPA regulations. In many cases, new limits will infrastructure are not well known. drinking water and wastewater systems.
general obligation bond to secure the loan. require costly upgrades to wastewater treatment 2. The current status of most infrastructure in the 3. State and local governments lack criteria and
Project Types Quantity (Million Dollars) % Total plants. state is unclear. policy for the management of infrastructure in
% Type The growing expenses of these systems are being 3. There is no system for assessing the status of a manner that encourages sustainable land and
Sewer System 2,773.05 64 met with reduced federal support. For example, Studies done by a variety of cities have concluded public and private infrastructure. water use.
Rehabilitation 1,897.15 68 the federal government cut funding for the Clean that “greening” the “grey” infrastructure is 4. Minnesota lacks adequate and appropriate
New Interceptors 450.55 16 Water State Revolving Fund from $1.35 billion in more cost effective. For example, New York water reuse policies.
Infiltration/Inflow 215.36 8 1998 to $689 million in 2008. City spent $1.5 billion protecting and restoring
New Collection 193.36 7 the ecosystem that surrounds (and filters) their H.1. OBJECTIVE: Get “ahead-of-the-curve” on planning water infrastructure for future needs.
Combined Sewer Overflow 16.63 1 Approximately 450,000 Minnesota homes, Catskill water supply reservoir rather than invest
(CSO) Correction 75,000 cabins, and 10,000 businesses (resorts, $9 billion in the equivalent treatment structures H.1 STRATEGY: Incorporate adaptive management strategies, new technological advances, and
Wastewater Treatment Facilities 1,379.69 32 commercial & industrial buildings) are outside that would have been needed. Seattle concluded water reuse technologies into drinking water and wastewater treatment plant and stormwater
Secondary Treatment 1,188.21 86 areas served by public wastewater treatment that green stormwater infrastructure investments infrastructure decision-making.
Advanced Treatment 191.46 14 systems. In total, approximately 535,000 locations in one neighborhood cost only one-quarter of the
Unsewered Area* 187.63 4 should have a functioning septic system. Of these, estimated costs of traditional stormwater pipes H.1 OUTCOMES, MEASURES OF SUCCESS, AND BENCHMARKS: Outcomes refers to
Total 4,340.37 100 208,000 —39 percent—are failing or an imminent and collection systems. improvements in water quality and movement towards water sustainability; measures refer to the
Source: Future Wastewater Infrastructure Needs and Capital Costs, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, 2010 threat to public health and safety, with a total cost indicators that are used to assess progress, and benchmarks refer to the time frame over which
*Unsewered Area projects doesn’t include the potential need to address the unsewered areas with failed or to upgrade of $1.2 billion. All three types of water infrastructure systems progress is achieved. Generally, progress requires considerable time and data and thus achieving
inadequate Subsurface Sewage Treatment Systems (SSTS). face new challenges today due to global or measuring progress has a longer time frame than the timeframe for implementing the related
A 2006 MPCA survey found 1,025 small climate change. Increased intensity of summer recommendation.
communities in Minnesota with inadequate rainfalls due to climate change could render
The current model that is used to pay for pollution prevention as a tool for ensuring safe wastewater management. The combined past stormwater designs inadequate. Climate
H infrastructure needs for wastewater and drinking drinking water. The Clean Water State Revolving population of the communities was 108,970, change will increase the likelihood of pathogen If the recommendations are implemented, the The following actions are recommended to H
water includes the Clean Water State Revolving Fund supports water quality protection projects and total discharge was 2.3 billion gallons per occurrences that will need to be treated for in following outcomes should result: implement this strategy:
Fund and the Drinking Water State Revolving for wastewater treatment, stormwater control, year. Problems included straight pipes without drinking water systems.
Fund, both of which are programs within the nonpoint source pollution control, and watershed treatment, aging equipment and structures, and  Achievement of on-going process to identify and ACTION PLAN

Infrastructure Needs
US Environmental Protection Agency. These management. In Minnesota, the revolving funds untreated sewage discharged at the surface. The recommend new technologies to the MPCA and RECOMMENDATION H.1.A: Create a standing
programs pass funds to the states to finance are provided to the MPCA, and the MPCA and number of failing or inadequate systems reported the Public Facilities Authority Emerging Technologies and Green Infrastructure
infrastructure improvements. The Drinking MDH determine the priority in which projects each year is most likely lower than the actual  BENCHMARK: report to the MPCA every advisory committee of water treatment experts,
Water State Revolving Fund also emphasizes are funded for wastewater/stormwater and number. 2 years with updated review and efficacy utility managers, scientists from the water treatment
providing funds to small and disadvantaged drinking water, respectively. The Public Facilities of treatment and reuse technologies, and industry, consulting, and academic sectors, League
communities and to programs that encourage Authority, a multi-agency authority, administers recommendations for their adoption. of Minnesota Cities, the American Council of
94 95
Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework

Engineering Companies (ACEC), and MPCA that is out of date, and identify green infrastructure options  An ongoing plan to pay for infrastructure needs TIME FRAME FOR COMPLETION OF IMPACT MATRIX FOR RECOMMENDATIONS: This
staff to provide biennial updates and advice to for use across the state. This reduces redundancy in effort, will be designed and implemented RECOMMENDATIONS: The recommendations figure indicates the relative impact of implementing
the Legislature, MPCA, MDH, and local units and gets the information up front to improve decision  BENCHMARK: implementation within 5 above will take varying amounts of time to act a given recommendation (how much of difference
of government on new treatment technologies making. This advisory group should consider innovative years, with review of strategy and its ability to on and implement. The times shown are the it will make to achieving sustainable water use and H H2a
(including green infrastructure), their efficacy, technologies, such as water-free waste treatment. fund future projections completed every 5 years time for the state to act, and are not the times management), compared to an estimate of the total Cost M
their costs and benefits, and their appropriateness thereafter. where outcomes would be realized. The dotted cost of the recommendation to the public sector L H1b H1c H1a
for adoption. They would serve as an expert H.1.b: see Recommendation A.2.a lines are the time frame for outcomes, or indicate (i.e. state funds) for its full implementation. Cost L M H
clearinghouse for this important and rapidly The following actions are recommended to ongoing repeated outcomes, if they are different estimates: L (low) is estimated to be $1 million or
changing information. H.1.c: In this national program, EPA is developing technical implement this strategy: from the implementation time frame. Research less; M (medium) is estimated to be greater than
TIME FRAME: 1–2 YRS COST*: L assistance for utility managers. recommendations (those that need additional $1million and less than $10 million; H (high) is
RECOMMENDATION H.2.A: Develop a long- scientific or technological understanding) are estimated to be greater than $10 million.
RECOMMENDATION H.1.B: Implement appropriate H.2 OBJECTIVE: To develop a strategy for term strategy for funding new and expanded shown in red to distinguish them from Action
water reuse strategies - See Recommendation A.2.a. paying for future infrastructure needs, as they are infrastructure, and its maintenance. recommendations in black (those that have
TIME FRAME: 1–2 YRS COST*: L needed, rather than deferring the problem. sufficient scientific justification and can be
RESEARCH PLAN undertaken now).
RECOMMENDATION H.1.C: Adopt Effective Utility H.2 STRATEGY: Adopt improved methods i. Fund research to identify different
Management promoted by US EPA to help utilities for economic valuation of water infrastructure funding options and approaches that are H1a: create standing advisory committee on new technologies
respond to current and future challenges (See investments to pay for future investments, and for sustainable and incorporate the cost of future
also new EPA Clean Water and Drinking Water life cycle of water-related infrastructure. technologies and infrastructure replacement H1b: address water reuse
Infrastructure Sustainability Policy) into utility pricing to make infrastructure
TIME FRAME: 1–2 YRS COST*: L H.2 OUTCOMES, MEASURES OF SUCCESS, sustainable, including life-cycle costs. This H1c: adopt Effective Utility Management program
*Cost: L is estimated to be $1M or less; M is estimated to AND BENCHMARKS: Outcomes refers to research should also consider the costs and
be greater than $1M and less than $10M; H is estimated improvements in water quality and movement benefits of centralized vs. decentralized H2ai: determine long term funding strategy
to be greater than $10M. towards water sustainability; measures refer to the treatment, and relative economic impacts of
indicators that are used to assess progress, and re-use feasibility on both approaches. H2aii: implement long term funding strategy
NOTES benchmarks refer to the time frame over which
H.1.a: Treatment technologies and their applications are progress is achieved. Generally, progress requires ACTION PLAN
H changing very rapidly, as are the costs. The regulations considerable time and data and thus achieving i. Adopt a funding structure after consideration Years: 5 10 15 20 25 H
of wastewater may also change rapidly in response to or measuring progress has a longer time frame of the recommendations from the panel in
Contaminants of Emerging Concern regulation (see Chapter than the timeframe for implementing the related J.2.a.i; costs required above those covered by
C, Issue: Contaminants of Emerging Concern). Current recommendation. the State Revolving Funds should be shared

Infrastructure Needs
best practices are reviewed in Section III of this report; by the state and communities (since benefits
however, the knowledge base is currently in its infancy and If the recommendations are implemented, the are accrued both locally and statewide).
will expand greatly over the next decade. Experts in green following outcomes should result: TIME FRAME: 2–4 YRS COST*: H
infrastructure and treatment technologies can position the *Cost: L is estimated to be $1M or less; M is estimated to
state and cities to be ready to incorporate state-of-the-art be greater than $1M and less than $10M; H is estimated
approaches rather than plan for infrastructure replacement to be greater than $10M.
96 97
Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework



achieved by empowering Minnesotans to
make substantial changes in how water is
valued, how water is used, how water is conserved,
and how water stewardship is instilled in future
less of a sense of appreciation for and ownership
in water resources. Unsustainable behaviors with
respect to water quality and quantity aremore
common than not.

generations. Humans are part of ecosystems, not A second, related problem is that we do not
separate from them. Therefore planning for water have a clear understanding of the best way to
sustainability must support and engage citizens engage citizens in caring for and about water
as learners, as decision makers, and as actors resources. Education certainly plays a role, but
on whom water sustainability depends. Most education alone is insufficient. Education is about
important, sustainable behaviors must be woven learning, citizen engagement is about doing. As
through our cultural fabric. Minnesota becomes more culturally diverse and
communication and education technologies
advance, new ways of sharing knowledge and
Desired Minnesota Future
creating conversations hold new promise for
A resilient society that values, understands, and treasures our wa-
building water literacy and engendering a sense
ter resources, and acts in ways to achieve and maintain sustain-

Citizen Engagement and Education

of concern, responsibility, and stewardship in
able and healthy water resources.
everyone who benefits from Minnesota’s water
Minnesotans place a high value on a clean, If future water supplies are to be healthy and
abundant water supply and healthy aquatic sustainable, they will need the support of a well-
H ecosystems. Relatively few understand the informed public that cares about water and takes
benefits to nature that water provides, the personal responsibility for ensuring that the
connection between ecosystem health and human policies and practices are in place to take care of
well-being, what protecting water and waterways it in the long term. This means ensuring that all
entails, or how their own behavior and choices Minnesotans, from children through adult, learn I
affect it. Relatively few know exactly where their about water and its role in supporting human
water comes from; this reflects a disconnect activity and environmental quality. It means
between water we use and protecting and valuing ensuring that citizens understand the interactions
it at its source. Decreased time spent outdoors between water and all aspects of human activity,
means less engagement with water resources, and from agriculture, domestic use, manufacturing
98 99
Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework

and energy, and transportation to recreational • insufficient education - there is a lack of EE%20in%20MN.pdf ) Legislative action in 2010 I.1 OBJECTIVE: Have an engaged and active  BENCHMARK: an increased rate of community level. Ultimately successful strategies require the
use and ecosystem services. It means engaging coordinated, ongoing water education across has articulated environmental education goals citizenry. engagement of 5% every two years, with an state to promote, teach and foster values around freshwater.
citizens in conversations and activities that lead the continuum from K–12 to adult and a lack of and adopted a renewed plan for students and overall goal of more than 50% engagement by
to a better understanding of and involvement in opportunity for meaningful civic action as part citizens (115A.073). However, it should be noted I.1 STRATEGY: Build a sense of ecological and 2025. I.2 OBJECTIVE: Have an informed and educated
the determining the long-term fate of our water of ongoing water education. that environmental education reside in the social responsibility, ownership and efficacy—a citizenry.
supplies. It means building an awareness of then • Citizen engagement in water statutes regulating waste management(115A), and water ethic through citizen engagement. Design The following action is recommended to
role of water in human well-being and ecosystem stewardship  participation is uneven and not public education. Thus few teachers are aware and incorporate meaningful and effective citizen implement this strategy: I.2 STRATEGY: Develop and implement a
well-being and the interactions between organizations to promote it are hindered by a of them, and they are not required to use them. In engagement in planning and implementation comprehensive program to achieve the goal of
them. Most critically, it means identifying and lack of long term strategies and support. other words, environmental education is not part that affects water sustainability. Build capacity RECOMMENDATION I.1.A: Provide stable “water literacy” and sustainable water behavior for
putting into practice successful approaches of the public education code. in state and local government, community- funding for a long-term program to expand the all citizens.
for connecting the dots from knowledge to WHAT IS KNOWN AND NOT KNOWN: based organizations, and citizens for public engagement of the public, communities, and
sustainable behavior. The survey of Minnesotans’ knowledge and The following gaps in knowledge and policy engagement. Engage citizens across the state and business in water conservation and stewardship. I.2 OUTCOMES, MEASURES OF SUCCESS,
attitudes about water conducted as part of the have been identified: include traditionally underrepresented groups in Such a program should be designed to evolve AND BENCHMARKS: Outcomes refers to
VENN DIAGRAM (ENGAGEMENT IN MD) development of this framework indicated that the “water conversation” to increase awareness, and adapt over time, but should have a long-range improvements in water quality and movement
Minnesotans understand that humans and SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY GAPS promote diverse values, build a sense of shared (20+ year) time frame of implementation. This towards water sustainability; measures refer to the
Engagement ecosystems need healthy water; that behavior 1. There is a lack an understanding of what responsibility, and promote civic action and water program must develop leadership capacity, citizen indicators that are used to assess progress, and
needs to change to reverse trends toward water techniques, incentives, and policies are most stewardship. engagement capacity, networks, and knowledge benchmarks refer to the time frame over which
degradation; that most citizens need to learn effective at encouraging conservation and in a suite of approaches. It must be supported by progress is achieved. Generally, progress requires
more about how their behavior affects water sustainable practices. I.1 OUTCOMES, MEASURES OF SUCCESS, all state agencies and local government units. It considerable time and data and thus achieving
Knowledge quality; and that most citizens need to learn more AND BENCHMARKS: Outcomes refers to must develop a culture of responding to input or measuring progress has a longer time frame
about the basics of water. POLICY GAPS improvements in water quality and movement from citizens, businesses, and other levels of than the timeframe for implementing the related

Citizen Engagement and Education

1. A comprehensive strategy for public towards water sustainability; measures refer to the government. These programs should have state, recommendation.
Values The findings of this Framework’s education engagement in water planning and policy is indicators that are used to assess progress, and local, and NGO collaboration and partnership.
technical work team indicate that it is important lacking. benchmarks refer to the time frame over which TIME FRAME: ONGOING COST*: M If the recommendations are implemented, the
Actions for people to understand (1) the connection 2. A comprehensive approach to environmental progress is achieved. Generally, progress requires *Cost: L is estimated to be $1M or less; M is estimated to following outcomes should result:
between individual and corporate actions, and literacy and water resources education, for all considerable time and data and thus achieving be greater than $1M and less than $10M; H is estimated
(2) the importance of water to our physical ages and all stages of learning, is lacking. or measuring progress has a longer time frame to be greater than $10M.  Improved water literacy in the general public,
and economic well-being. Education involves 3. K-12 environmental education is governed than the timeframe for implementing the related as measured by improved scores in Minnesota’s
SPECIFIC CONCERNS related to this issue that changing not only knowledge but also values under waste management statutes instead of recommendation. NOTES environmental literacy survey (conducted 3
have been identified: and action, and that civic engagement is key to being managed under education standards. I.a.1: Successful strategies for citizen engagement and times over last 12 years).  BENCHMARK: a
creating behavior change. If the recommendations are implemented, the societal change include education, incentives, peer-to- statistical increase in water literacy questions
I PROBLEMS CONTRIBUTING TO ISSUE I following outcomes should result: peer interactions, group interactions, removal of barriers, with each survey, and a final benchmark of I
• unsustainable behavior - conservation Environmental education in Minnesota has trust, and economic drivers for individual engagement achieving 90% water literacy in surveyed
practices are not widely practiced enjoyed successes and setbacks over time, as  Increased participation by citizens at the local and behavioral change; and sometimes enforcement as a Minnesotans within 10 years.
• health/environment disconnect - regulations documented by the Minnesota Association for level, as indicated by increased membership, last resort (such a seat belt laws to ensure public safety). It  Improved water literacy in K-12 students, as
address human health or ecosystem health, but Environmental Education (http://minnesotaee. philanthropy, and volunteer activities in requires leadership, effective networks, knowledge, fiscal measured by improved test scores as part of the
rarely both org/Resources/Documents/History%20of%20 engagement organizations. and human resources, and effective governance at the state education standards and goals.
100 101
Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework

 BENCHMARK: Passing scores in water existing sustainable behaviors and encourage pesticide applicators must be educated and vii. incentivize and then, with time, require shown in red to distinguish them from Action
literacy assessment in 90% of K-12 students behavior change of all citizens. The goal of certified, professionals involved in land and water sustainability training at all (large) recommendations in black (those that have
within 10 years. water literacy should be more than merely water issues should receive interdisciplinary facilities that hold a wastewater, drinking sufficient scientific justification and can be
an understanding of water sustainability instruction on water sustainability issues and water, appropriation, etc. permit or license (i.e. undertaken now).
The following actions are recommended to and an understanding of how our behaviors professional practices. leverage business to do some education.).
implement this strategy: and choices affect sustainability; it should TIME FRAME: ONGOING COST*: H CORE I1a: long term public engagement support
go the additional step of affecting behaviors iii. fund 8 Basin Educators through UM OBJECTIVES: SE2, G2, G4
RECOMMENDATION I.2.A: Ensure the education and choices (similar to “stop smoking” Extension to work in watersheds within the 8 *Cost: L is estimated to be $1 million or less; M is I2a: ensure children water literacy
of children using a suite of learning and campaigns) . This campaign should also be major river basins to provide and coordinate estimated to be greater than $1million and less than $10
behavioral tools to transform the sustainability tied to incentive and enforcement campaigns. water resources education and citizen million; H is estimated to be greater than $10 million. I2b: ensure adult water literacy
values of the next generation of Minnesotans. Education does not result in behavior change engagement. This will increase capacity at
without the other two approaches. both the state and local level. NOTES
i. Amend the K–12 education standards to TIME FRAME: ONGOING COST*: H I.2.a.: Such actions are critical to achieve transformative Years: 5 10 15 20 25
require sustainability education, including iv. require wastewater and drinking water utility behavior change necessary to achieve sustainable individual
water literacy education, for all Minnesota RECOMMENDATION I.2.B: Ensure the education operators to participate in the U.S. EPA actions. Culture change is best achieved over a generation,
schoolchildren in all grades. Curriculum of adult citizens and professionals using a suite Effective Utility Management courses that so this needs to begin now. IMPACT MATRIX FOR RECOMMENDATIONS:
development should coherently bring of approaches and strategies, including those include sustainability training and tools. This figure indicates the relative impact of
together the many excellent resources found in “A Greenprint for Minnesota: State Plan I.2.b: Cultural change requires education for all ages, with implementing a given recommendation (how
already available, but should include an for Environmental Education, 3rd Edition” (http:// v. establish a mechanism for providing ongoing different approaches used for citizens, for professionals, for much of difference it will make to achieving
understanding of basic water hydrology information and research on water policy to decision makers. Social media and digital communications sustainable water use and management),
and its relation to ecosystems, water The state should: inform, and improve the “water literacy” of, should be used to their fullest; for example, the use of compared to an estimate of the total cost of

Citizen Engagement and Education

sustainability and an understanding of how legislators and local elected and appointed technology such as smart phones to report real time data the recommendation to the public sector (i.e.
human behavior and choices affect our water i. nurture “Citizen Science”: State agencies officials based on the model provided by may appeal to younger adults. Because all professionals are state funds) for its full implementation. Cost
resources. The development of curriculum and local governments involved in water the Minnesota Forest Resources Council. also adults, adult education programs double their impact estimates: L (low) is estimated to be $1 million or
modules for web-based and distance learning decisions should find opportunities to engage This program should educate decision when coordinated with professional education programs. less; M (medium) is estimated to be greater than
should be funded. Such curricula should be citizen volunteers in water quality and makers on the potential water sustainability $1million and less than $10 million; H (high) is
reviewed and updated on a regular schedule quantity data gathering. Engagement of this consequences of their decisions, include tools TIME FRAME FOR COMPLETION OF estimated to be greater than $10 million.
by the Department of Education. A wiki site type will result in experiential learning while for achieving water sustainability in a local RECOMMENDATIONS: The recommendations
for teachers should be developed, where building needed databases. land and water context, and build capacity for above will take varying amounts of time to act H I2a, I2b
best practices, case studies, etc, could be adapting planning to new information. on and implement. The times shown are the Cost M I1a
shared and improved. An assessment tool ii. adopt voluntary or mandatory certification time for the state to act, and are not the times L
I or test should be created to track learning. and mandatory education requirements vi. construct programs to instill conservation where outcomes would be realized. The dotted
Sustainability education will require an for water resource professionals, technical and stewardship practices with incentives, lines are the time frame for outcomes, or indicate
interdisciplinary approach. assistance providers, and other professionals education, voluntary actions, and also ongoing repeated outcomes, if they are different Impact
involved in land and water issues. These enforcement (parallel to Minnesota seat belt from the implementation time frame. Research
ii. Develop and implement long-term water professionals must also change perspectives law and compliance). recommendations (those that need additional
literacy education campaigns to reinforce and behaviors. Just as septic installers and scientific or technological understanding) are
102 103
Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework



water polices but they have been de-
veloped to react to specific issues, and
thus the whole is less than the sum of its parts.
Current governance structure is fragmented and
legislative capacity and organization, can
impede the ability to govern water and create
frustrating and wasteful inefficiencies. However,
these various scales of governance also lead to
resilience and to greater citizen involvement.
diffuse and should be strengthened to address the
complexity of issues that must be faced to reach Water policies also suffer from insufficient
sustainable water management. integration across natural water systems. Lakes,
streams, and groundwater are often treated as
Desired Minnesota Future separate systems from a regulatory standpoint,
Governments, institutions, and communities working together in even though they are intimately interconnected in
implementing an overarching water sustainability policy that is the environment.
aligned with all other systems policies (land use, energy, eco-
nomic development, transportation, food and fiber production) Complicating the governance picture is the fact
through laws, ordinances, and actions that promote resilience and that insufficient staff resources are available
sustainability. to carry out permitting and compliance
enforcement. At the same time, Minnesotans
PROBLEM STATEMENT have high expectations for exceptional water
Minnesota’s waters are governed by hundreds management due to the presence of Legacy
of laws, regulations, rules, and ordinances Amendment funding.
involving more than 20 federal agencies, seven
state agencies, and hundreds of local units of Water in the environment in its various forms and

Institutions and Governance

government. Governance affects every aspect reservoirs is all part of an interconnected system
of water use, from drinking water to irrigation, that does not pay attention to political boundaries.
recreation, waterfowl protection, energy Impacts on one aspect of this system reverberate
production, and wastewater discharges. Because through the others. It is critical that efforts to
I the governance evolved over time and somewhat manage and protect water take into account the
independently at federal, state, and multiple local connections and how impacts on one aspect of
levels, there are some inefficiencies, disconnects, the system affect others. It is all one system.
gaps, and at times, contradictions that get in the
way of good water management. Insufficient J
coordination of federal, state, and local agencies,
104 105
Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework

[insert figure showing various federal, state, and local Minnesota Statutes, chapter 103A, identifies The approach to managing the state’s water
agencies and lines and which regulate groundwater, surface policy objectives, programs, or implementation, should recognize that water is a system and is
water, wastewater, stormwater, drinking water, etc.] authority does not always accompany them; while connected to other natural and human systems.
agencies have individual goals and priorities, Actions in one part of the system can result, and
SPECIFIC CONCERNS to this issue that have they are not governed by overarching goals or have resulted in, significant adverse impacts in
been identified: priorities. The state does not do a good job of other parts of the system. For example, land use
balancing the competing interests impacting and water quantity and quality are intimately
• state-level coordination - water management our water system in light of overall policy goals. connected, but this connection is not always
has not always been coordinated across state The policy pieces do not always fit together to recognized in our land use or other resource
agencies create a seamless whole because they were cut at management policies. A comprehensive approach
• legislative capacity - with so many critical various times, by various people, out of different to land use, water quality, water quantity, and
issues vying for attention, and with water materials. A summary of the history of Minnesota population growth should be used. Integrated
management being so complex, it is difficult for water policy is found in the Policy Work Team water policy across the major river basins and
legislators to give water issues the attention White Paper ( major aquifers is needed, in addition to the
they need cfans/@pub/@cfans/@wrc/documents/asset/ watershed scale. Community planning and
• multiplicity of local players - through time, a cfans_asset_220216.pdf). growth planning has not been tied to water
complex and challenging patchwork of local availability, so in some cases development
organizations (SWCDs, WDs, WMOs, NGOs, Water governance in Minnesota has been occurs where there is the least amount of water.
cities, and counties) has evolved to govern fragmented and reactive rather than proactive Economic incentives for growth and business
water at the local level (responding to a specific need). It has been development do not consider water availability.
• history - water policy has developed in an evolutionary rather than visionary (one specific
additive manner over time in reaction to specific policy at a time rather than developing policy to Water policies currently are not integrated across
issues meet overarching goals). It operates at different natural water systems—they do not consider
• lack of systems thinking regarding water - a scales, each with strengths and weaknesses. the interconnected nature of surface waters and
misperception prevails that groundwater and Agency goals and objectives sometimes conflict. groundwater and their connections to other
surface water are independent and can each be Water governance has been driven by specific natural systems. This has resulted in adverse
regulated without consideration of the other; a issues, problems, and special interests followed impacts on water quantity, water quality, and fish

Institutions and Governance

similar misperception exists for drinking water, by a reaction from the Legislature, which has no and wildlife health. Nor are they adaptive, to allow
wastewater, and stormwater group with a long term dedication to water policy. new knowledge or experience to shape policy
There has been little comprehensive assessment over time. Adaptive and flexible state water plan
WHAT IS KNOWN AND NOT KNOWN: and strategic intent to protect and manage and policies will be important as we begin to
Minnesota is considered to be a leader in Minnesota’s waters, with the exception of the face the challenges presented by climate change.
developing water policy by its sister states, recent Clean Water Legacy Act. Laws related to Future water policy must connect water quantity
particularly with regard to wetland conservation energy, economic development, land use, food and water quality; groundwater and surface water;
and its landmark Clean Water Legacy Act. production, water quality and quantity, and land human health and ecosystem health.
J However, Minnesota state water policy acquisition or land retirement issues are adopted J
lacks big-picture goals and priorities. While and implemented on a silo basis.
106 107
Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework

Current policies should recognize the long-term principle, a polluter would pay whether it is a policy and management at the state level. The POLICY GAPS If the recommendations are implemented, the  BENCHMARK: State agencies and
health of the natural system and the ecological point source or an unregulated nonpoint source. ten-year Water Plans produced by the EQB are 1. It is unclear what water governance structure following outcomes should result: boards review all their programs for water
benefits it provides. Water decision making tends (This issue is addressed in B. Issue: Excess excellent documents that present the challenges is best for sustainable water in Minnesota, or sustainability by 2013.
to emphasize short- over long-term values and Nutrients and Conventional Pollutants). of water management but offer little in the way of what should be the criteria for deciding.  Water sustainability quality and quantity goals  BENCHMARK: State agencies and
does not always balance current needs, policies, solutions. The EQB is somewhat constrained by 2. Water policy tends to focus on the short term, are reached efficiently. The outcomes to the boards change programs to align with water
and values against long-term priorities. Minnesota water laws are neither flexible nor its relationship to the executive branch. Another and needs a longer range to avoid deferring recommendations are governance outcomes, sustainability by 2018.
adaptive across landscapes. A “one size fits all” state-level board, the governor-appointed Clean longer term costs and issues. but will lead to reaching the overarching goal  BENCHMARK: The Water Sustainability
Water policy is not always integrated across approach creates a challenge for LGUs because Water Council, was created by the Clean Water 3. Water governance policies not generally not of water sustainability. Specific benchmarks Board is established by 2013.
agencies and scales of governance, and statutes different parts of the state have different water Legacy Act but does not have clear authority adaptive, flexible or resilient (one size fits all) include:  BENCHMARK: The Water Sustainability
do not encourage integration. For example, much issues. Water governance has been dealt with or purpose since the adoption of the Legacy 4. Water governance policies are not  BENCHMARK: The Water Sustainability Board annually reviews progress toward water
more might be accomplished if the requirements on a statewide basis, yet there is a lack of policy Amendment. Its primary mission was to advise consistently constructed to be outcome- Congress completes recommendations for sustainability goals beginning at its inception
of the Clean Water Act and the Safe Drinking focusing on geographically based hydrologic on the Clean Water Legacy Account (which has based. changes in state statutes and rules within 3 and then ongoing.
Water Act were better aligned, and implemented conditions (with a notable exception being the no funds) and its authority regarding the Clean 5. Drinking water, stormwater, and wastewater years of convening.  BENCHMARK: Watershed and Soil
at the state level using an integrated approach. Wetland Conservation Act). The number of state Water Fund is highly limited under the best are interconnected but are managed  BENCHMARK: The recommendations of the Conservation Authorities are established
Drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater agencies with authority over water makes it interpretation. independently. Water Sustainability Congress are adopted into statewide by 2020.
should be managed in an integrated hard for LGUs to determine who’s in charge, and 6. Groundwater and surface water are existing statute and rules within 4 years of the
manner they are all part of one system. agencies and the Legislature often shift the target. The water-related state agencies have coordinated interconnected but often managed termination of the Congress. The following actions are recommended to
LGUs are responsible for implementing many to a much greater degree since the Clean Water independently.  BENCHMARK: Minnesota adopts the implement this strategy:
Short-term goals tend to defer long-term costs to state water policies, but are given inadequate Legacy Act and the formation of the Clean Water 7. Treaty rights requiring clean water are not Minnesota Water Sustainability Act at the
water (e.g., development in the Twin Cities, some resources, tools, and authority to do so. LGUs Fund Interagency Coordinating Team, comprised fully recognized by state government and the termination of the Congress. ACTION PLAN
alternative energy programs, some economic perceive there are too many requirements, of the senior leadership of the agencies with general public. RECOMMENDATION J.1.A: Convene a one-time
development programs). The state has no especially overlapping planning requirements responsibility for water. They meet frequently and Minnesota Water Congress to review all current
sustainable water plan or vision and no single (e.g. comprehensive plans, watershed plans, have created interagency work groups to address state statutes and rules for alignment with
entity to hold other units of government and county water plans). specific aspects of the intent of the Clean Water J.1 OBJECTIVE: To have state environmental and natural resource policies aligned water sustainability goals. A Congress to review
scales accountable to the larger vision. Although Fund, from prevention strategies to outcomes and with water sustainability goals that efficiently directs on-the-ground actions. progress on environmental issues currently
needs are different across the state, state agencies The many state-level agencies and organizations measures. However, there still remains a need for exists in Minnesota statute (see MN Stat. 2010
and LGUs focus on their individual missions, not are not always effective. The agencies have greater coordination across different scales of J.1 STRATEGY: Provide uniform state guidance for water sustainability policy and §116C.04). This review should include areas of

Institutions and Governance

on the big picture, possibly due to limitations in specific missions and are bound by specific governance, from the local level to the state-wide a governance delivery structure to assure that Minnesota has a comprehensive, well law both directly and indirectly related to water
funding and statutory authority. federal and state law, which can create silos, level. integrated, and effective water policy for the future. sustainability (e.g., land use, see Issue D; energy,
overlap, or contradictions in implementation. see Issue F; building codes; transportation;
Minnesota water policy should embrace the However, the “right” constellation of agencies The following gaps in knowledge and policy J.1 OUTCOMES, MEASURES OF SUCCESS, AND BENCHMARKS: Outcomes economic development; drainage; food and
principle of equity. There is inequity between the for Minnesota is not clear, and an optimal form have been identified: refer to improvements in water quality and movement towards water sustainability; fiber production), using water sustainability
requirements imposed on LGUs and businesses should follow function. As water policy changes measures refer to the indicators that are used to assess progress, and benchmarks as a core principle throughout. The review
and the fact that the agriculture industry is in response to this Framework, the agency SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY GAPS refer to the time frame over which progress is achieved. Generally, progress requires should consider maximizing multiple benefits
exempt from many water requirements but is a missions may change as a result. However, there 1. A fully integrated, accessible information and considerable time and data and thus achieving or measuring progress has a longer across issues (e.g., achieving water quality
J major if not the largest contributor to nonpoint is widely held belief that the Environmental data management system for water quantity time frame than the time frame for implementing the related recommendation. improvements and energy cost savings over the J
pollution of nutrients. Under the “polluter pays” Quality Board (EQB) adds little value to water and quality data has not been developed. life of a building; reducing stormwater runoff
108 109
Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework

impacts and addressing climate change impacts). RECOMMENDATION J.1.C: Re-establish the ii. The Water Sustainability Board membership to develop and implement watershed and land system can result and have resulted in significant adverse The following tasks are envisioned for the Congress:
The review is not intended as a comprehensive bicameral Legislative Water Commission to should represent all state agencies and sustainability plans (see Recommendation J.1.d. iv impacts in other parts of the system. As public policy pieces
rewrite of water statutes, rather the charge of the provide leadership on water policy development. boards directly or indirectly involved above). WSCAs would be responsible for working have been added, there has been little real consideration of i. Develop and apply criteria in the review that are derived
Congress is to identify overlap, gaps, and conflicts The water commission should be a staffed, in water policies. In addition, the board with local governments with land use authority to how they interact with the existing pieces. There is almost from the vision, core objectives, strategies, and actions
in current statutes and rules and alignment with enduring entity designed to increase knowledge shall have legislative members and integrate the Watershed and Land Sustainability always a gap between expectations for new programs and recommended in the Minnesota Water Sustainability
sustainability principles. State law should be about water issues and provide a forum for members representing local governments, Plans into local land use planning as stated in actual delivery, given the resources allocated to carry it Framework.
reviewed in the context of federal and local laws considering implications of proposed legislation environmental organizations, and citizens Recommendation D.1.a. WSCAs would have the out. Further, given the complexities of the system, a fix for
and rules. The Congress should recommend addressing water sustainability. to provide well-rounded perspective but responsibilities and roles of the current soil and one issue may cause a negative result somewhere else. The ii. Consider how to integrate the recommendations of the
specific and comprehensive statutory changes TIME FRAME: 1 YR COST*: L not serve as stakeholders. (This executive/ water conservation districts (SWCDs) including pieces will not always fit together to create a seamless whole framework into statute and rules, as appropriate.
based on the review. legislative/citizen structure borrows the best the valuable function of linking local landowners because they were developed at various times, by various
TIME FRAME: 3 YRS COST*:L RECOMMENDATION J.1.D: Create a Water from the models of the Legislative-Citizen with state and federal programs. They should be people. iii. Consider how to apply the principles and practice of
Sustainability Board as a crosscutting Commission on Minnesota Resources granted taxing authority, and serve as the official adaptive management to statutes and rules related
RECOMMENDATION J.1.B: Enact a Minnesota governance structure bridging state and local [LCCMR], the Clean Water Council [CWC], partner with local governments on water planning Land use and water quantity and quality are intimately to water sustainability. Adaptive management is a
Water Sustainability Act at the termination of action. The Water Sustainability Board will and other commissions.) (see Recommendation D.1.a). The WSCA connected, but this connection is not always recognized structured, iterative process of optimizing decision
the Minnesota Water Congress. The act will have the responsibility for coordinating and TIME FRAME: 2–5 YRS COST*: L authority would include groundwater and surface in our land use or other resource management policies. making as new knowledge or information or learning
serve as the umbrella statute guiding all law and overseeing implementation of the Minnesota water, and water quantity and quality issues. Examples include: we lack meaningful comprehensive accrues over time. It is a policy that allows decision
actions related to water sustainability. It should Sustainability Act (see recommendation J.1.b RECOMMENDATION J.1.E: Create watershed- WSCAs would oversee and ensure compliance planning that reflects an understanding of how activities making in the face of uncertainty, with an aim to reduce
include a water sustainability vision and policy above) and advising on expenditures from the scale Watershed and Soil Conservation of the performance of all agricultural landowners on land affect water; agricultural land use is not always well uncertainty over time via system monitoring.
statement as articulated by the Minnesota Water Clean Water Fund. Authorities (WSCAs) throughout the state with in the Agricultural Management Area of their linked to state water policy; water policies are not integrated
Sustainability Framework, and principles and the responsibility of implementing the goals of watershed (see RecommendationB.2.a). across natural water systems; water policy is not always iv. Identify deficiencies, inconsistencies, and opportunities
policy characteristics to guide future state and i. The Water Sustainability Board would the Minnesota Water Sustainability Act. The TIME FRAME: 10 YRS COST*: L integrated across agencies and scales of governance, and in implementation and enforcement of statutes and
local actions. replace the current CWC and the water creation of WSCAs would arise through a process *Cost: L is estimated to be $1M or less; M is estimated to statutes do not encourage integration; cumulative impacts of rules. The congress should recommend specific means
responsibilities of the Environmental Quality of transition from water planning within the be greater than $1M and less than $10M; H is estimated water extraction permits on aquifers or natural systems are to increase effectiveness of implementation and
The act should direct state agencies and boards Board (EQB) but draw on the most effective political boundaries of a county to water planning to be greater than $10M. not always calculated or evaluated in the permitting process. enforcement. The review should also consider how to
to evaluate their programs and operations aspects of each, and have greater authority at roughly the watershed level (8-digit HUC or Actions on land harm water; without understanding and gain cost efficiencies in compliance.
for alignment with the Act. The results of the than either body presently possesses. 81 watershed scale) but the boundaries would be NOTES acting on this interrelationship, we are not in a position to
alignment evaluation and subsequent actions Thus two governance structures would be determined locally. The transition would occur J.1.a: The intent of this recommendation is to take the protect, preserve, and enhance natural water systems. Finally, v. Identify overlap, gaps, conflicts, and opportunities

Institutions and Governance

taken to fully align should be reported to the eliminated, and replaced with one. The CWC over a 10-year period to allow existing water bold step of redesigning our water (and related) policies to ensure that these new policies are effective, changes to in the responsibilities of state agencies and boards
Water Sustainability Board (see J.1.d below). This would be disbanded and the water functions planning entities within a watershed (SWCDs, around sustainability principles, in a proactive way. Many the form of state agency organization should be considered in implementing laws and rules related to water
shall include agencies that both directly and of the EQB would be placed under the Water WMOs, and WDs) to negotiate a process of of our existing statutes and rules are effective, so the to best conform to the function of the agencies reflected in sustainability. The Congress shall clearly identify
indirectly implement and enforce water policies. Sustainability Board. The charge of the Water transition to a single WSCA. BWSR would be recommendation is not to throw the baby out with the the recommended changes to the laws. The Congress would roles and responsibilities of state agencies and boards
The evaluation shall inform a reorientation Sustainability Board would be to coordinate empowered to work with local water planning bathwater –the recommendation is to examine all policies require staff, and these should be new hires rather than in implementing recommendations of the congress,
of programs and operations toward water and advise on all aspects of water, with entities to establish watershed boundaries and at the same time and keep the pieces that are effective and reassignments of existing state agency or legislative staff. including any improvement to current organizational
sustainability goals. representation and support from both the plan for transition. improve and add where needed to make the policies holistic, structure.
TIME FRAME: 4 YRS COST*: L legislative and executive branches. consistent, effective, and sustainable. These changes must
J WSCAs would be the entity responsible for recognize that water is a system and is connected to other J
working with the Water Sustainability Board natural and human systems. Our actions in one part of the
110 111
Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework

J.1.b: The recommended changes to statute, rules, and recommendation suggests extending the model used in the internal databases within 5 years November 2010 TMDL Database Development J.2.b: A constant theme throughout the Framework is the J.1.a: review statutes and laws for water
governmental organization will need an over-arching statute Metropolitan area to the entire state for success over the  BENCHMARK: the interagency portal Outcomes and Rules Promulgation Report), need for adaptive management of our water resources. sustainability
with a clear policy statement to bind our water policy into an next 25 years. The recommendation uses the term “roughly designed and completed 5 years after the and such support would need to be expanded to It seems fitting that the final recommendation of the
integrated whole. at the watershed level” in recognition that some flexibility agencies complete internal databases. include the other agencies as well as the portal Framework is to ensure that the Framework itself is adaptive J.1.b: enact Water Sustainability Act
may be needed in determining the boundaries of watershed development. This is a long-term investment but by a regular review and update. The University is ideally
J.1.c: This recommendation addresses the need to provide planning. The following actions are recommended to continually is identified as a high priority need for suited to convene and lead the broad expertise needed to J.1.c: re-establish the Legislative Water
greater depth of understanding of the complex issues implement this strategy: the state. provide such periodic reviews. Commission
surrounding our water resources within the Legislature, J.2 OBJECTIVE: To have a “living” Water TIME FRAME: 10 YRS COST*: H
and an organizational structure to ensure that the needed Sustainability Framework informed by current, RECOMMENDATION J.2.A: Fund the creation TIME FRAME FOR COMPLETION OF J.1.d: create Water Sustainability Board
research support is provided. The former Legislative Water accessible data and information. of an inter-agency data and information portal. RECOMMENDATION J.2.B: Ensure that the RECOMMENDATIONS: The recommendations
Commission is perceived by many to have been very This portal would provide a single door, or entry, Water Sustainability Framework is adaptive and above will take varying amounts of time to act J.1.e: form Watershed and Soil Conservation
effective in this role. J.2. STRATEGY: Provide a comprehensive, via the internet to access all state water-related continues to be useful to the state over its 25 on and implement. The times shown are the Authorities
accessible data portal (a single, coordinated databases. It would provide an alignment of the year lifespan by requiring a review and update time for the state to act, and are not the times
J.1.d: This recommendation streamlines the oversight entry point for accessing multiple databases) of data, but not require all data to conform to the every 5 years. This review should be conducted where outcomes would be realized. The dotted J.2.a: create interagency data and information
of the Clean Water Fund to a single body that includes all water quality and water quantity data from all same single database or structure. Conceptually, it independently (in the spirit of the original lines are the time frame for outcomes, or indicate portal
both legislative and executive branch participation. This relevant agencies, and ensure adaptive changes would be a wheelhouse design with spokes to the Framework development) and it is recommended ongoing repeated outcomes, if they are different
recommendation also provides a “vertical” structure for are made to the Framework as new data and agencies; agencies would still maintain their own that it be done in a collaborative and consultative from the implementation time frame. Research J.2.b: maintain Framework as “living” document
connecting local government (81 watershed scale) to the information become available. data. This would require the following steps: (1) manner by the University of Minnesota Water recommendations (those that need additional
statewide governance structure. This Board would also jointly determine the common architecture for the Resources Center. scientific or technological understanding) are
provide needed review and approval of local water and land J.2 OUTCOMES, MEASURES OF SUCCESS, portal, identify what data would be included, and TIME FRAME: EVERY 5 YRS COST*: L shown in red to distinguish them from action Years: 5 10 15 20 25
sustainability plans with the exception of the Metro area, AND BENCHMARKS: Outcomes refer to specify requirements for the individual databases *Cost: L is estimated to be $1M or less; M is estimated to recommendations in black (those that have
these plans do not require approval. improvements in water quality and movement to be included in the portal; (2) individual state be greater than $1M and less than $10M; H is estimated sufficient scientific justification and can be
towards water sustainability; measures refer to the agencies would develop or upgrade or expand to be greater than $10M. undertaken now).
J.1.e: This recommendation addresses the need for effective indicators that are used to assess progress, and databases that would contain agency specific
local water planning advocates statewide and recommends benchmarks refer to the time frame over which data, and (3) design the architecture to allow NOTES
a mechanism and organizational structure for doing so at progress is achieved. Generally, progress requires the portal to access and translate the data for a J.2.a: For example, the MDH maintains well logs, drinking IMPACT MATRIX FOR RECOMMENDATIONS:
the watershed scale. It also addresses the need to reduce the considerable time and data and thus achieving data user, and finally link the databases within water monitoring data, fish consumption advisories, etc., This figure indicates the relative impact of

Institutions and Governance

redundancy and overlap at the local level. Management of or measuring progress has a longer time frame the portal. For example, the MDH maintains and these data would need to be digitized and placed in a implementing a given recommendation (how H J.2.a
land and water resources at the watershed scale makes sense than the time frame for implementing the related well logs, drinking water monitoring data, fish relational database. Similarly, the water quality monitoring much of difference it will make to achieving Cost M
because of the relationship of land use activities to water recommendation. consumption advisories, etc., and these data data from the MPCA and the water appropriation permitting sustainable water use and management), L J.1.b, J.1.d, J.1.a, J.1.c,
quality within a watershed. State and federal water programs would need to be digitized and placed in a data from DNR would be fully digitized for linking to the compared to an estimate of the total cost of J.1.e J.2.b
are increasingly recognizing the watershed as a geographic If the recommendations are implemented, the relational database. Similarly, the water quality portal; and so forth. The MPCA has begun this process for the recommendation to the public sector (i.e. L M H
area for planning and funding. The model of watershed- following outcomes should result: monitoring data from the MPCA and the water its data with Clean Water Fund support (see November state funds) for its full implementation. Cost
based water planning and streamlining of organizations appropriation permitting data from DNR would 2010 TMDL Database Development Outcomes and Rules estimates: L (low) is estimated to be $1 million or Impact
suggested in this recommendation reflects the success of  Complete access to all water quality and be fully digitized for linking to the portal; and Promulgation Report), and such support would need to be less; M (medium) is estimated to be greater than
J the 25-year old Metropolitan Surface Water Management quantity data, as measured by: so forth. The MPCA has begun this process for expanded to include the other agencies as well as the portal $1million and less than $10 million; H (high) is J
Act (Minnesota Statutes, sections 103B.201–253). The  BENCHMARK: all agencies have completed its data with Clean Water Fund support (see development. estimated to be greater than $10 million.
112 113



of sewage and water used by residences, business, and in-
dustry to a sufficient level that it can be safely returned to
the environment. It is important to treat wastewater to remove bacteria,
pathogens, organic matter and chemical pollutants that can harm human
health, deplete natural oxygen levels in receiving waters, and pose risks to
animals and wildlife. Wastewater discharge quality is regulated by the US
EPA and MPCA under the Clean Water Act through the National Pollut-
ant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES). Wastewater treatment plants
(WWTP) are issued permits for allowable discharges of solids, oxygen (as
biological oxygen demand, or BOD), bacteria, nutrients, and other regulated
pollutants on a plant-by-plant basis, depending on their receiving waters.

Conventional Treatment. Wastewater undergoes multistage treatment

Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework

Best Practices
involving the removal of physical, biological, and chemical contaminants.
After debris removal, the first stage is primary treatment, which removes
solids by settling. Secondary treatment is a biological treatment stage to
remove dissolved organic matter from wastewater. Sewage microorganisms
are cultivated and added to the wastewater, and the organic matter serves
as their food supply. The microorganisms absorb nutrients and organic
matter as they grow. There are three approaches used for secondary
treatment, and they include fixed film, suspended film and lagoon systems.
Fixed film treatment grows microorganisms as a film on a solid substrate
(such as rocks), and technologies include trickling filters, rotating biological
contactors, and sand filters. Suspended film systems grow the bacteria in
114 115
suspension, and they settle out as sludge which is removed, treated, and universally required is secondary. However, tertiary treatment of wastewater for other purposes, a higher level of treatment may be needed. The following estradiol taking up to a few days). Overall, some estradiol and estrone are
disposed of. Suspended film systems can be operated in a smaller space is often required to further remove contaminants to a sufficient degree to sections discuss treatments for the removal of certain classes of CECs, expected to persist following conventional activated sludge treatment, with
than fixed-film systems that treat the same amount of water. However, protect receiving waters, and may be mandated for certain plant permits. including endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) and pharmaceuticals relatively lower estradiol persistence (<10%). Cited studies show estradiol
fixed-film systems are more able to cope with drastic changes in the amount Tertiary treatment can consist of an extension of secondary biological and personal care products (PPCPs). It should be noted that most of these removal rates of 70%, 87%, 88%; estrone rates of 74% and 61%; estriol rates
of biological material and can provide higher removal rates for organic treatment for additional nutrient removal, or advanced treatments to remove contaminants are not regulated because there is insufficient data to conduct of 80-95%; and ethynyl estradiol rates of 30-85%. Assessment of natural
material and suspended solids than suspended growth systems. Activated other contaminants. a human health risk assessment. However, in many instances around the estrogen removal is complicated by the possibility that these compounds
sludge, extended aeration, and sequential batch reactor systems are all country and internationally, there is clear evidence of impacts of these are being transformed among their different chemical forms inside the
examples of suspended film systems. Lagoon systems are shallow basins Phosphorus can be removed by chemical precipitation with alum, ferric contaminants in wastewater discharge on fish in receiving waters. WWTP. A full scale mass balance showed that total estrogenic potential
which hold the wastewater for several months to allow for the natural chloride, or lime. Phosphorus also can be reduced by enhanced biological was reduced from 58-70ng/L to 6ng/L in one WWTP using conventional
degradation of nutrients and organic matter by naturally occurring bacteria. phosphorus removal. Specific microorganisms can be selectively enriched Activated Sludge. Activated sludge processes have been shown to remove activated sludge treatment. Another study reported 50-66% total estrogenic
This approach is usually used by smaller plants (< 1 million gallons/day). and accumulate the phosphorus during their growth, and can be removed >77% and >90% of the natural estrogen compounds estrone (estrone) and potential reduction in conventional activated sludge treatment, with 5-10% of
and the resulting sludge used as fertilizer. This approach is considered estradiol (estradiol) across all biological field treatment types. Natural the total estrogenic potential partitioning to sludge.
Constructed wetlands are being used more frequently, and, depending on highly effective and cost-efficient. It has been used successfully on the Metro estrogens have been noted to make up a majority of wastewater effluent
design, can act as a primary, secondary and sometimes tertiary treatment. WWTP. estrogenicity in many studies. Another study reports that activated sludge WWTPs using activated sludge with nitrification/denitrification processes
However, design is critical to their performance, more so than for other can consistently remove >85% of estradiol, estriol, and ethynyl estradiol have been shown to have increased removal of PPCPs, EDCs, and nitrate
systems, and they are subject to space limitation. Nitrogen removal involves oxidizing ammonia (the form of nitrogen found (synthetic estrogen used for birth control pills), while estrone is more compared to WWTPs without nitrification/denitrification. Many studies
in wastewater) to nitrate (nitrification) in a two-step aerobic process, and variable. Natural estrogens tend to be low on the sorption spectrum, and have confirmed that approximately >90% of estrone, estradiol, and ethynyl
Membrane bioreactors (MBR) are also used for secondary treatment, and then reducing the nitrate to nitrogen gas (denitrification) under anoxic thus most of their removal is due to biodegradation, not simple sorption, estradiol will be removed from activated sludge treatment plants with
combine activated sludge treatment with the use of a membrane to separate conditions. All steps are facilitated by selectively enriched bacteria. The although estrogenic activity is still expected in sludge. Maximum removal nitrification/denitrification. Sludge age (same as solids retention time),
solids from liquid. This approach can overcome poor settling of sludge in resulting nitrogen gas is harmless and is released to the atmosphere. Sand of natural estrogens is obtained in aerobic conditions; in anaerobic hydraulic retention time, temperature, nitrification/denitrification, and
conventional activated sludge systems. It allows for very effective removal filters, lagoons, and constructed wetlands can all be used to reduce nitrogen, conditions, some compounds are more persistent (e.g., estrone degradation phosphate elimination are thought to be factors affecting removal rates of
of both soluble and particulate biodegradable materials at higher loading but a well-designed activated sludge process can do the job the most easily decreases by a factor of 3-5; ethynyl estradiol is only degraded under contaminants in activated sludge systems.
Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework

Best Practices
rates. This increases sludge retention times, usually exceeding 15 days, and and effectively. Denitrification is often accomplished with mixed slurry aerobic conditions, while estradiol is oxidized at similarly high rates across
ensures complete nitrification (the biological conversion of ammonia to reactors, in fixed bed reactors, or denitrification filters. The process is very all redox conditions). Estradiol removal efficiencies in a Canadian study Regarding synthetic EDCs and PPCPs, alkylphenols (nonionic detergent
nitrate) even in extremely cold weather. The cost of building and operating sensitive to temperature, available organic carbon, sludge age, retention of 16 WWTPs found estradiol removal rates of 40-99%, estrone removal surfactant additives and their stable breakdown products; they can
an MBR is usually higher than conventional wastewater treatment plants, time, and pH. In summary, modern WWTPs can effectively accomplish rates from net production of 98%, with nitrification being correlated with constitute up to 5-10% of dissolved organic carbon in WWTP influent) are
and the membranes can be fouled over time. This technology is becoming nitrogen removal when biological nitrification/denitrification is a part of the successful estrone and estradiol removal. Estradiol is also noted to require less water soluble and tend to accumulate more in sludge than the natural
more common, and life-cycle costs have been steadily decreasing. The small activated sludge process. similar conditions as those that result in nitrification. In general, removal estrogens. They tend to persist in anaerobic sludge environments, although
footprints of MBR systems, and the high quality effluent produced, make of estrogenic activity is highly variable during conventional secondary subsequent land spreading may result in >90% degradation in 1-3 months.
them particularly useful for water reuse applications. They are typically used Advanced Treatments and their Efficacy for CEC Removal. A range of treatment. Additionally, nonylphenol has been detected in surface water that receives
for small-to-medium systems (<10 million gallons/day) new technologies have been developed to remove additional contaminants, WWTP effluent in the 0.1-14µg/L range, indicating that not all NP is bound
including contaminants of emerging concern (CECs; see Part III, Issue C). Natural steroid estrogens degrade slowly (in order of rapidity: to sludge; significant portions leave in effluent.
Tertiary Treatment. The minimal level of wastewater treatment that is For wastewater that is discharged to pristine waterways, or is being re-used estrone>estradiol>ethynyl estradiol, with complete removal of ethynyl
116 117
In a study of 5 conventional activated sludge WWTPs, 85-99% of Reverse Osmosis. Reverse osmosis removes ionic salts and other molecules Ozonation and other Advanced Oxidation Processes. Water is treated
nonylphenol and 38-99% bis-phenol A (BPA) were removed. Alkylphenols by selective filtration. It appears to be a viable treatment for removal of with ozone or other reagents to produce strong oxidizing agents that react
and phthalates concentrated in sludges. Nonylphenol has shown indications most EDCs/PPCPs in drinking water, except for neutral low molecular and breakdown contaminants. Ozonation has been, in some cases, very
of being degradable by conventional activated sludge similarly to other weight compounds. Reverse osmosis achieved >90% removal of natural effective at removal of pharmaceuticals—diclofenac and carbamazepine
major wastewater organic compounds (60-88% removal rate), although steroid hormones in one study. A combination of reverse osmosis with (>90%), bezafibrate (50%) – but clofibric acid was stable even at high ozone
widely varying ranges have been reported. Again, where nitrification occurs, nanofiltration can result in very efficient PPCP removal, including a wide doses. Ethynyl estradiol and estradiol are expected to be completely
removal of nonylphenol tends to be enhanced. Additionally, production of range of pesticides, alkyl phthalates, and estrogens. Reverse osmosis and transformed; nonylphenols have also been effectively removed. Pairing
estrogenic byproducts is reduced in aerobic vs. anaerobic sludges. nanofiltration foul quickly in the treatment of wastewater, making them ozonation with UV or H2O2 (peroxide, such as is done in advanced oxidation
prohibitively expensive. processes) may be required to achieve the most effective transformation of
In one published study, 95% of Ibuprofen was removed, in agreement with pollutants. For instance, ozonation alone did not remove clofibric acid, but
other literature stating that ibuprofen, although widely present, can be Granulated Activated Carbon (GAC). Water is passed through a bed of when pairing O3 with H2O2, improved removal of clofibric acid and other
readily eliminated. “Low” eliminations of Atenolol, Solatol, Trimethoprim, activated carbon granules that adsorb contaminants. GAC has been shown compounds was achieved. This and other advanced oxidation processes
Azithromycin, Erythromycin, macrolide antimicrobials, and “variable” to be very effective at removing many pharmaceuticals, except for clofibric are effective for drinking water treatment, but the high levels of organic
eliminations of sulfamethoxazole and Ketoprofen have been reported in acid. Competition with organic matter in WWTP effluent for sorption sites matter in wastewater use up the oxidizers make them inefficient and yield
WWTPs using activated sludge. Note that although conventional WWTP can reduce EDC and PPCP removal rates. EDC and PPCP removal depends limited results. Advanced oxidation systems are also effective at removing
can achieve high removal efficiencies, this treatment does not eliminate on the solubility of the compounds – more soluble, polar compounds are not pathogens. One hypothetical option would be to apply these methods to
trace PPCP contamination in surface waters, as removal rates vary greatly removed efficiently. Powdered activated carbon has greater efficiencies of highly treated wastewater after biological treatments to reduce the dissolved
due to local conditions and the nature of the contaminant. removal for some pharmaceuticals, but is typically used in episodically to organic matter as much as possible. However, there are no examples of the
treat a specific situation. commercial use of advanced oxidation for wastewater treatment.
Linear alkylbenzene sulfonates (LAS) are used in the production of anionic
surfactants; they are readily biodegraded in conventional WWTP settings Ultrafiltration/Nanofiltration. Water is forced through semipermeable Conclusion. Many advanced treatment technologies, especially
(~80% biodegradation, with total removal 95-99.5%). membranes that filter out very small particulates (ultrafiltration) and combinations of them, are efficient at removing EDCs and PPCPs from
Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework

Best Practices
dissolved molecules (nanofiltration). A study of 52 EDC/PPCPs in modeled drinking water. The high organic carbon content of wastewater, however,
Phthalate plasticizers and brominated flame retardants tend to partition to and natural waters found that nanofiltration exceeded ultrafiltration in greater lowers their effectiveness and increases their costs, and thus greatly
sludge in the WWTP process. EDC/PPCP removal. Nanotfiltration removal efficiencies were between limits these treatments from being used by WWTPs. Currently there are no
44-93%, except for naproxen (0% removal), while ultrafiltration removal well-accepted or established treatment technologies for effectively removing
In summary, overall removal rates of EDCs and PPCPs in conventional was typically less than 40%. Nanofiltration retains these compounds on EDCs and PPCPs from wastewater.
WWTPs with activated sludge vary strongly, and elimination is often the membrane both through hydrophobic adsorption and size exclusion,
incomplete. The more polar the molecule, the more likely it is to remain while ultrafiltration retention is typically due to hydrophobic adsorption.
soluble in effluent. Activated sludge processes can result in high EDC However, these systems foul quickly when used on wastewater systems, and
removal, but are not likely to achieve concentrations below maximum are reserved for use in drinking water treatment. These techniques are also
allowable levels for some estrogens, alkyphenols, or BPA. highly effective for the removal of pathogens.

118 119
Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework


ACEC American Council of Engineering Companies MWSF Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework

AMA Agricultural Management Area NGO Non-Governmental Organization
BMP Best Management Practice NPDES National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System
BWSR Board of Water and Soil Resources NPL National List of Priorities
CEC Contaminant of Emerging Concern NRC National Research Council
CERCLA Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and NRDA Natural Resource Damage Assessment
Liability Act PAH Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon
CSO Combined Sewer Overflow PBT Persistent, Bioaccumulative, and Toxic
CWC Clean Water Council PCB Polychlorinated Biphenyl
CWF Clean Water Fund PFC Perfluorinated Compound
DNR Department of Natural Resources pH A measure of the acidity or basicity of a solution
DOE Department of Energy PLP Permanent List of Priorities
EDC Endocrine Disrupting Chemical Q90 A measure of stream flow when flow level is exceeded 90% of the time
EPA Environmental Protection Agency SDS State Disposal System
EQB Environmental Quality Board SSTS Subsurface Sewage Treatment System
GAP Good Agricultural Practices SWCD Soil and Water Conservation District
GIS Geographic Information System TMDL Total Maximum Daily Load
GSSHA Gridded Surface Subsurface Hydrologic Analysis model TSCA Toxic Substances Control Act
HUC Hydrologic Unit Code UM University of Minnesota
IJC International Joint Commission USGS United States Geological Survey
ISTS Individual Sewage Treatment System UV Ultraviolet
KWH Kilowatt Hour WD Watershed District

LCA Life Cycle Analysis WINS Water Infrastructure Needs Survey
LCCMR Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources WMO Water Management Organization
LID Low-Impact Design WRRI Water Resources Research Institute
MCL Maximum Contaminant Limit WSB Water Sustainability Board
MDA Minnesota Department of Agriculture WSCA Watershed and Soil Conservation Authority
MDH Minnesota Department of Health
MGS Minnesota Geological Survey
MIDS Minimal Impact Design Standards
MOU Memorandum of Understanding
J MPCA Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
MS4 Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System
120 121
After review of background information on water use, water supply, and
water quality, the project Synthesis Team developed core objectives to guide
the development of recommendations. The core objectives are listed below
with reference numbers for related framework recommendations.


Recommendations related to Core Objective ST2:
Scientific and Technical Objectives
ST 3  Measure our actions to determine For many issues data are inadequate, costly
ST 1  Understand and act on linkages to Water resources affect and are affected by sustainability to acquire, or scientific understanding
many other major environmental, social, is insufficient to assess if our actions are
Part 5 | APPENDICES land use.
and economic systems, including energy
The framework must make it easy to link
sustainable or not. Monitoring programs
The framework must make it easy to link land use and land management to water
Glossary of Terms 115 land use and land management to water generation and use, transportation systems, resource sustainability. (both to assess condition and to assess
Core Objectives Related to Recommendations 116 urban development, agricultural land use, effectiveness of actions) are insufficient.
resource sustainability. While we must be willing to act based on
natural resource extraction (forestry and min-
Project Organization 117 ing), and ecological systems. Because water the best scientific knowledge currently
Team Members and Other Contributors 118 resources are strongly connected with these available our ability to attain a sustainable
other systems, we can not manage water re- water policy is dependent upon cost-
sources in isolation from how we live on and effectively developing our incomplete
use the land. Our land use policies (urban, scientific understanding of the sustainability
agricultural, and forestry) must be linked to of our actions through monitoring and
water policies with the goal of sustainable modeling.
water qualities and quantities.
Recommendations related to Core Objective ST3:
Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework

Recommendations related to Core Objective ST1:
Social and Economic Objectives
ST 2  Address variations among regions Minnesota is an ecologically and SE 1  Recognize divergent values and Individuals have differing personal values
and scales. hydrologically diverse state containing perspectives that result in different priorities for water
The framework must address variability in parts of at least five major water basins and The framework must allow for and recog- use; diverse views on the value of the vari-
regions and scales. seven ecoregions. Thus most solutions to nize divergent values and perspectives. ous types and quality of water resources;
identified issues are not one size fits all and and varying opinions about the seriousness
should not necessarily be implemented of threats to water resources. We may not
uniformly statewide. Solutions must be ever have one common view, but we should
tailored to specific geographical regions have shared goals that honor different
based on differing population densities, values and perspectives while allowing for
climatic conditions, soil and geological sustainable water quality and quantity.
conditions, ecosystems, land uses, and levels
of degradation.

122 123
B APPENDIX Core Objectives Related to Recommendations Core Objectives Related to Recommendations APPENDIX B
Recommendations related to Core Objective SE4: Recommendations related to Core Objective G3:
Recommendations related to Core Objective SE1:

SE 2  Embrace sustainable behaviors. Our society has an insufficient conservation

Governance Objectives G 4  Motivate the will to act A will to act is necessary for policy change
ethic/behavior; limited understanding of G 1 Design a holistic, comprehensive We lack a state water vision that can provide The framework must create an environment that leads to sustainability. A lack of will to
The framework must move Minnesotans that pushes us out of the status quo. act arises from the inertia that comes with
to adopt sustainable behaviors among its the connection between land use, water use, institutional framework and policies for a unified framework for our water policies. the status quo; fear of changing; the 2-4 year
citizens, communities, businesses, and water quality, and where water comes from; water Policies have historically been developed political cycle and other political consider-
industries. and engages in inadvertent behaviors, such The framework must provide a holistic, in response to a specific issue, and thus are ations that interfere with wise decision-mak-
as invasive species introductions. Humans comprehensive approach to water resource piecemeal, inconsistent, fragmented, and ing about our public water resource. The will
often see ourselves as disconnected from the governance and management. reactive. Federal, state and local agencies to act must occur at all levels: legislative, ad-
natural environment, when in fact we are a tend to have isolated responsibilities and ministrative, local governmental, individual,
part of it. Behavior change is needed through- structures based on these issue specific in businesses and industries.
out society at individual, organizational, and statutes (i.e., are in silos). This governance
governance levels to achieve sustainability. structure results in tension among entities Recommendations related to Core Objective G4:
It is important to identify mechanisms that charged with the implementation of water
make it in the self-interest of people to adopt policy both laterally and horizontally. G 5  Take action in the face of knowledgeUncertainty in the science and knowledge
sustainable behaviors. gaps and uncertaintyaround issues will always be present to
The framework must move forward and some degree. The failure to act in the face
Recommendations related to Core Objective G1: of imperfect knowledge may exacerbate
encourage action while continuing to refine
Recommendations related to Core Objective SE2: our knowledge and understanding. problems. We must be willing to act on
G 2 Plan for the long-term Most attention to issues is focused on the the best available scientific information,
SE 3  Clarify and balance economic, Tension exists among various interests The framework must address water resource short term; sustainable solutions require understanding that our decisions may be
environmental, and social needs (private sector, local, state, and federal sustainability into the long-term. long-term strategic planning and solutions modified as we gain new information. This
government units, non-governmental and the leveraging of resources to meet includes decision-making in the face of
The framework must acknowledge, clarify, long-term challenges. We must move out of
and improve balance between economic, organizations, citizens) between economic complexity, conflicts, and an unsupportive
growth and environmental protections. the crisis du jour mode. political landscape.
environmental, and social justice needs.
Sustainability requires a healthy economy, Recommendations related to Core Objective G5:
and healthy environment, and healthy Recommendations related to Core Objective G2:
society; so solutions must find balance in the
G 6  Recognize limited capacity and Solutions are sometimes limited by insuffi-
use of our public water resource. G 3 Create actions and processes that Our statutes and policies rarely allow for resources cient funding and human resource capacity,
are flexible and adaptable adapting to the future, including adapting
Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework

The framework must recognize and address both in numbers and appropriate education
Recommendations related to Core Objective SE3: The framework must be flexible and to climate changes, economic changes, and skills. Policy development that does
and demographic changes; potentially limited human and funding resources.
adaptive to allow it to remain effective in not consider the constraints imposed by
SE 4  Mediate competing or Different economic and social sectors use the face of changing challenges from both transformative forces over which we have limited resources leads to policies that may
contradictory demands on water and value water differently; ecosystem human and natural systems. little direct control. Since we cannot predict be unimplemented or unenforced. Policy
The framework must provide a means to needs are not always recognized; and there the future, policies must include processes development must consider implementa-
mediate among competing or contradictory is growing demand for water by all sectors. that permit them to be flexible and resilient tion resource needs and funding should be
water resources demands while ensuring Water quality and quantity are sometimes while providing real solutions to changing reliable, long-term and integrative.
sustainability. limited resulting in competing or challenges.
contradictory demands. Life cycle costs and Recommendations related to Core Objective G6:
cost effectiveness across pollutant sources
or between water uses are typically not
considered when making decisions. Policies
and processes must be in place to make
and enforce sustainable choices between
conflicting demands.

124 125
Guiding Principles APPENDIX E
To guide the content of the recommendations:
Implementation and Attainability
Sustainability The Framework will focus on factors that Minnesotans can positively
The Framework ensures sustainable water use. Water use is sustainable influence within the 25-year time frame and that are measurable, attainable,
when the use does not harm ecosystems, degrade water quality, or and recognizable.
compromise the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
The Framework recognizes the necessity of protecting, conserving,
and enhancing water systems to ensure economic, ecologic, and social
sustainability. To guide process and product:
Inclusiveness: Representatives of all levels of government, the
Comprehensiveness/Interconnectedness private and nonprofit sectors, academia, and citizens provide input to the
The Framework addresses water resources in all forms recognizing the Framework.
interconnections among the components of the water system, whether
above or below ground. The Framework also addresses the connectedness Clarity: The Framework is easy to understand.
of the water system to other systems such as land, air, and habitat. The
Framework recognizes effective water management requires intentional Persuasive: The Framework is compelling and clearly explains
collaboration to avoid managing one part of the system in isolation from the issues and how recommended actions will benefit people and ecosystems.
entire system.

Quality of Life
The Framework acknowledges that healthy aquatic systems contribute to
Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework

enhanced quality of life and that social change may be necessary to achieve
sustainable water use.

The Framework serves as a guide to integrate, coordinate, and increase
efficiencies in water planning, management, and monitoring systems.

Science-based, Flexible and Adaptive

The Framework is founded in the most widely accepted current science and
awareness of on-going efforts while fostering generation of, and adaptation
to, new information, changed conditions, and new solutions.
126 127
DEB to add names of people she consulted who were not on teams
The legislative mandate funding the Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework project envisioned a collaborative effort involving experts on all Darrell Gerber, Program Coordinator, Clean Water Action
aspects of water from throughout the state. Embracing this vision, the University of Minnesota Water Resources Center directly collaborated with a Tony Kwilas, Director of Environmental Policy, Minnesota Chamber of Commerce
broad group of scientists, water professionals, and citizens. The 200 team members and advisors listed below were vital to the development of the Dave Legvold, Farmer near Northfield, formerly Manager Cannon River Watershed District
Framework. They contributed countless hours advising the project core team, developing technical team white papers, synthesizing knowledge, Daryn McBeth, President, Minnesota Agri-Growth Council
commenting on draft documents, and communicating with citizens and colleagues about the project. Joan Nephew, Executive Director, Freshwater Society
While the final content of the Framework is the product of the Water Resources Center, team members were indispensible in developing the knowledge Shirley Nordrum, UM Extension Local Educator in Water Resource Management, Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe
base on which the Framework stands. The Framework is a document for the citizens of Minnesota largely because of the effort of everyone included Charlotte Quiggle, Sugar Lake Association and Corinna Township Planning Commission Member
below. Mary Richards, Co-founder, Maplelag Resort and Conference Center
Project Team Members Brian Strub, Member Outreach Manager, League of Minnesota Cities
Headwaters Council Vern Wagner, Vice President, Anglers for Habitat
Chair Steve Morse, Executive Director, Minnesota Environmental Partnership Synthesis Team
Dr. James L. Anderson, Emeritus Professor, UM Dept. of Soil Water and Climate Chair Dr. Deborah L. Swackhamer, Co-director, UM Water Resources Center
Dr. Willis Anthony, Agricultural Economist, Farmer in Nicollet County Facilitator, Cynthia Hagley, UM, Environmental Quality Extension Educator, Minnesota SeaGrant
Martha Brand, Environmental Attorney Maggy Blue, Lower Sioux Community
Dr. Kathryn Draeger, Statewide Director, UM Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships David Craigmile, Farmer near Dawson, Chair Lac qui Parle County Planning & Zoning Commission, Manager/Secretary Lac qui Parle - Yellow Bank
Jon D. Evert, Clay County Commissioner, Red River Basin Commission, Association of Minnesota Counties Watershed District
Rebecca Flood, Assistant Commissioner for Water Policy, MPCA Dr. Mae Davenport, Assistant Professor, UM Dept. of Forestry
Dr. Randall E. Hicks, Director, Center for Freshwater Research & Policy, UM Duluth Dept. of Biology Klayton Eckles, City Engineer, City of Woodbury
Dr. Keri C. Hornbuckle, Professor, University of Iowa Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering Dan Edgerton, Director of Water and Natural Resources, Bonestroo, Inc.
Dr. Michael A. Kilgore, Associate Professor of Natural Resource Economics and Policy, UM Dept. of Forest Resources Christopher Elvrum, Water Supply Planning Manager, Metropolitan Council
Dr. L. William (Bill) Kueper, Vice President, Wenonah Canoe, Inc. Sherry Enzler, Director NorthStar Consortium, UM Institute on the Environment
Dr. John J. Magnuson, Emeritus Professor of Zoology and past Director of the Center for Limnology, University of Wisconsin- Madison Mark Gamm, Environmental Services Director, Dodge County
Gene Merriam, President, Freshwater Society Dr. Kris Johnson, Sustainability Science Scholar, UM Institute on the Environment
Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework

Dr. Carl Richards, Division Director, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Mid-Continent Ecology Division Linda Kingery, Executive Director, UM Northwest Regional Sustainable Development Partnership
Terry Schneider, Mayor, City of Minnetonka Larry Kramka, Assistant Commissioner of Operations, DNR
Louis N. Smith, Attorney, Smith Partners, PLLP Barb Liukkonen, Water Resources Educator, UM Water Resources Center
Jeff Stoner, Hydrologist, U.S. Geological Survey Jerome Malmquist, Energy Management Director, UM Facilities Management
Joe Martin, Assistant Commissioner, Minnesota Department of Agriculture
Citizen Stakeholder Advisory Committee Helen McLennan, Manager, Morrison County Soil and Water Conservation District
Co-Chair Marian Bender, Executive Director, Minnesota Waters Brad Moore, Senior Advisor for Public Affairs, Barr Engineering, Inc.
Co-Chair Barbara Liukkonen, Water Resources Educator, UM Water Resources Center Paul Nelson, Scott County Natural Resources Program Manager, Scott County Watershed Management Organization Administrator
Jeff Broberg, President, Minnesota Trout Association Dr. Paige Novak, Associate Professor, UM Dept. of Civil Engineering
Mark Doneaux, Administrator, Capitol Region Watershed District Carolyn Sampson, Environmental Manager, General Mills
Perry Forster, Chairman, Riley Purgatory Bluff Creek Watershed District Kris Sigford, Water Quality Program Director, Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy
128 Annalee Garletz, Environment and Natural Resource Policy Analyst, Association of Minnesota Counties 129
Jim Stark, Director, U. S Geological Jim Sehl, Regional Groundwater Christopher Elvrum, Metropolitan Beth Neuendorf, Metro District
Survey Minnesota Water Science Specialist, Minnesota Dept. of Council Water Resources Engineer,
Center Natural Resources Ted Field, Senior Project Manager, Minnesota Dept. of Transportation Director, Center for Water and the Department of Natural Resources Linda Kingery, Executive Manager, Minnesota Dept. of
John Linc Stine, Assistant Dale Setterholm, Associate TKDA, MESERB member Kevin Newman, Senior Project Environment at the UM Duluth Jim Stark, Director, U. S Geological Director, UM Northwest Regional Agriculture
Commissioner of Health, Minnesota Director, Minnesota Geological Jeff Freeman, Deputy Director, Manager, WSB Engineering Natural Resources Research Survey Minnesota Water Science Sustainable Development Patrick  Flowers, Manager, Xcel
Dept. of Health Survey Public Facilities Authority Robert Race, Civil/Geotechnical Institute  Center Partnership Energy
Lisa Thorvig, Municipal Division Lawrence Sukalski, Farmer Jack Frost, Watershed Coordinator, Engineer, Minnesota Nursery & Dr. Richard Axler, Senior Research Kevin Stroom, Macroinvertibrate Courtney Kowalczak, Program Jim Japs, Assistant Director,
Director, Minnesota Pollution Jerry Wright, University of Metropolitan Council Landscape Association Associate, UM Duluth Natural Taxonomist, Minnesota Pollution Director, Minnesota Waters - Minnesota Dept. of Natural
Control Agency Minnesota Extension John Hines, Monitoring Hydrologist, Lih-in Rezania, Principal Public Resources Research Institute Control Agency Duluth Resources
John Wells, Strategic Planning Domestic Use Technical Work Team Pesticide & Fertilizer Management Health Engineer, Minnesota Dept. Dr. Kristen Blann, Freshwater Tony Sullins, Field Supervisor, U.S. Molly MacGregor, Principal Rebecca Kenow, Government Affairs
Director, Environmental Quality Co-chair Dan Edgerton, Bonestroo, Division, Minnesota Dept. of of Health Environmental Health Ecologist, The Nature Conservancy Fish and Wildlife Service Planner, Minnesota Pollution Manager, Flint Hills Resources
Board Inc. Agriculture Division Mark Dittrich, Senior Planner, Henry VanOffelen, Natural Control Agency Peder Larson, Attorney, Larkin
Paige Winebarger, Guardianship Co-chair Dr. Raymond Hozalski, Dale Homuth, Regional Waters Prashant Shrikhande, Citizen Minnesota Dept. of Agriculture Resource Scientist, Minnesota April Rust, Project WET Hoffman
Council, Freshwater Society Professor, UM Dept. of Civil Manager, Central Region, Minnesota Judy Sventak, Water Resources Julie Ekman, Permit Programs Center for Environmental Coordinator, Minnesota Dept. of Debra L. McGovern, Consultant
Steve Woods, Assistant Director, Engineering Dept. of Natural Resources Assessment Manager, Metropolitan Supervisor, Minnesota Dept. of Advocacy Natural Resources Craig Pagel, President, Iron Mining
Board of Water and Soil Resources Dr. Bill Arnold, Associate Professor, Miles Jensen, Senior Project Council Natural Resources Education Team Molly Schultze, Public Affairs Association of Minnesota
Agricultural Use Team UM Dept. of Civil Engineering Manager, Bonestroo, Inc. Gene Soderbeck, Supervisor, Dr. Paul Glaser, Senior Research Co-Chair Barbara Huberty, Director, Conservation Minnesota Jeff Stollenwerk, Supervisor
Co-Chair Warren Formo, Executive Jim Bode, St. Paul Regional Water Mike Kelly, Agronomist, Minnesota Municipal Wastewater Treatment Associate, UM Dept. of Geology Rochester resident Ron Struss, Pesticide Best Industrial Water Quality Permits,
Director, Minnesota Agricultural Services Nursery & Landscape Association Section, Municipal Division, and Geophysics Co-Chair Faye Sleeper, Co-director, Management Coordinator, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
Water Resources Coalition Marianne Bohren, Executive Tim Kelly, Administrator, Coon Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Mark Hanson, Wetland Wildlife UM Water Resources Center Minnesota Dept. of Agriculture David Tieman, Director of
Co-Chair Dr. Gary Sands, Associate Director, Western Lake Superior Creek Watershed District Princesa VanBuren Hansen, Populations and Research Group, Felicia Brockoff, Carver County Soil Lyndon Torstenson, Educational Operations, Faribault Foods
Professor, UM Dept. of Bioproducts Sanitary District Mark Knoff, Public Works Director, Principal Water Planner, Minnesota Dept. of Natural and Water Conservation District Patnerships Manager, National Eric Yost, Corporate Environmental
& Biosystems Engineering John Borghesi, Project Manager, City of Mankato Environmental Quality Board Resources Meghan Cavalier, Executive Park Service Mississippi National Engineer, Hutchinson Technology
Adam Birr, Southeast Water Quality CH2M Hill Dr. Tim LaPara, Associate Professor, Marcey Westrick, Clean Water Dr. Rebecca Knowles, Plant Director, River’s Edge Academy River & Recreation Area Inc.
Specialist, Minnesota Dept. of Dave Brostrom, Project UM Dept. of Civil Engineering Specialist, Board of Water and Soil Ecologist/Habitat Biologist, Karen Davis, Outdoor Education Jenny Winkleman, Education and Recreational/Spiritual/Cultural
Agriculture Coordinator, Upper Mississippi Brian Livingston, Stormwater Policy Resources Division of Resource Management, Expert, Three Rivers Park District Outreach Manager, Mississippi Team
Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework

David Craigmile, Farmer River Source Water Protection & Technical Assistance, Minnesota Mark Wettlaufer, SWP Planner, Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Tracy Fredin, Director, Center for Watershed Management Co-Chair Dr. Nancy Schuldt, Water
Scott Hoese, Farmer Project Pollution Control Agency Minnesota Rural Water Association Dr. Jan Koegh, Associate Director Global Environmental Education Organization Quality Coordinator, Fond du Lac
Tim Larson, Minnesota Pollution John Chapman, Program Director, Doug Lubben, Drinking Water Team Dr. Bruce Wilson, Professor, for Science, Mid-Continent Ecology and WaterShed Partners, and Manufacturing and Energy Team Band of Lake Superior Chippewa
Control Agency UM Dept. of Bioproducts & Client Service Manager, CH2M Hill UM Dept. of Bioproducts & Division, U.S. Environmental Assistant Professor, School of Co-chair Gary Hohenstein, EHS Co-Chair Dr. Ingrid Schneider,
Jonathan Olson, Farmer Biosystems Engineering Cliff McLain, Water Division Biosystems Engineering Protection Agency Education, Hamline University Operations Manager, 3M Professor, UM Dept. of Forest
Joel Peterson, Water Resources Lois Eberhart, Program Manager, Manager, Moorhead Public Service Ecological Services Team Terry Lee, Water Coordinator, David Fulton, Assistant Unit Co-chair Jerome Malmquist, Resources, Director, Minnesota
Engineer, Board of Water and Soil Minneapolis Surface Water & Sewers Jay Michels, Project Manager, Co-chair Dave Wright, Unit Rochester Public Utilities Leader–Wildlife, U.S. Geological Energy Management Director, UM Tourism Center
Resources Administration Emmons & Olivier Resources, Inc. Supervisor, Minnesota Dept. of Doug Norris, Wetlands Program Survey Facilities Management Rose Berens, Preservation Director,
Shawn Schottler, Senior Scientist, St. Randy Ellingboe, Drinking Water Randy Neprash, Senior Project Natural Resources Division of Coordinator, Minnesota Dept. of Cindy Hagley, Environmental Bob Anderson, Environmental Boise Forte Band of Chippewa
Croix Watershed Research Station Protection Manager, Minnesota Manager, Bonestroo, Inc., Minnesota Ecological Resources  Natural Resources Quality Extension Educator, Engineer, Sappi Inc. Maggy Blue, Lower Sioux
Greg Schwarz, Farmer Dept. of Health Cities Stormwater Coalition Co-chair Dr. Lucinda Johnson, Daniel O’Shea, Minnesota Minnesota Sea Grant Christina Connelly, Biofuels Community
130 131
Betsy Daub, Policy Director, Minnesota Bruce Blumgren, Minnesota consultations Directors, Minnesota Association of Christine Hansen, administrative
Friends of the Boundary Waters Dr. Shannon Fisher, Associate Geological Society Dr. Mark Seeley, Extension Watershed Districts support, UM Water Resources
Wilderness Professor of biology and Director, Dr. K.William Easter, Professor, UM Climatologist/Meteorologist, Dan Stoddard, Assistant Director, Center
Dr. Mae Davenport, Assistant Mankato State University Water Dept. of Applied Economics University of Minnesota Dept. of PFM Division, Minnesota Dept. of David L. Hansen, photographer, UM
Professor, UM Dept. of Forest Resource Center Christopher Elvrum, Water Supply Soil, Water, and Climate Agriculture Minnesota Agricultural Experiment
Resources Ann Glumac, President, Glumac Planning Manager, Metropolitan Martha McMurry, Population Project Support Staff  Station
Tom Howes, Manager, Fond du Lac Executive Enterprise Council Projections, Minnesota Office of the Project Leader Dr. Deborah L. Mary King Hoff, technical writer
Natural Resources Department Ron Harnack, Consultant Jenna Fletcher, Embrace Open State Demographer Swackhamer, Co-director, UM Ann Lewandowski, Agricultural
Pat McAnn, Fish Advisory Diane Jensen, Consultant Space Coordinator, Trust for Public Mark Tomasek, Minnesota Pollution Water Resources Center Team support, research fellow UM
Coordinator, Minnesota Dept. of Craig Johnson, Intergovernmental Land Control Agency Water Quality Project Coordinator Jean Water Resources Center
Health Relations Representative, League of Dan Folsom, Vice President Standards Unit Coleman, Attorney/Land use Rachel Liechty, Recreational/
Vicky Raske, Preservation Officer, Minnesota Cities Civil Engineering, Design Tree Jack Ditmore, Director of planner, CR Planning, Inc. Spiritual/Cultural Team
Grand Portage Band of Lake Brad Karkkainen, Professor of Engineering, Inc. Operations, Management and Citizen Stakeholder Involvement support, masters candidate UM
Superior Chippewa Water Law, UM Law School Jeff Freeman, Deputy Director, Budget, Dakota County Coordinator Barbara Liukkonen, Natural Resources Science and
Ann Schwaller, Natural Resource Kent Lokkesmoe, Director, Division Minnesota Public Facilities Cliff Aichinger, Administrator, Water Resources Educator, UM Management,
Wilderness Specialist, Superior of Waters, Minnesota Dept. of Authority Ramsey Washington Conservation Water Resources Center Sharon Pfeifer, meeting design
National Forest, Boundary Waters Natural Resources Ruth Hubbard, Administrator, District Susan Binkley, document design support, DNR
Canoe Area Wilderness Brad Moore, Senior Advisor for Minnesota Rural Water Association LeAnn Buck, Executive Director, and illustration, Breeze Publishing Bijie Ren, Valuation Team
Lark Weller, Water Quality Public Affairs, Barr Engineering, Mark Lindquist, Biofuels Program Minnesota Association of Soil & Arts researcher, Ph.D. student, UM Dept.
Coordinator, Mississippi National Inc. Manager, Minnesota Dept. of Water Conservation Districts Christina Clarkson, project website of Applied Economics
River and Recreation Area Tim Sherkenbach, Deputy Natural Resources Jason Lamote, Legislative Assistant, support, UM Water Resources Nina Shepherd, media and public
(MNRRA) National Park Service Commissioner, Minnesota Robert McCarron, Economist, Rep. James Oberstar, U.S. House of Center relations coordinator, UM Water
National Park Service Pollution Control Agency Environmental Analysis and Representatives Diane Desotelle, Ecosystem Resources Center
Erik Wrede, Water Trails Shelley Shreffler, Assistant Director, Outcomes Division, Minnesota Victoria Reinhardt, Ramsey County Services team support, Desotelle Rob Slesak, Agricultural Use Team
Coordinator, Minnesota Dept. of Leglislative-Citizen Commission on Pollution Control Agency Commissioner, Association of Consulting research contributor, Minnesota
Natural Resources Minnesota Resources Brian Noma, Drinking Water Minnesota Counties Natural David Fairbairn, author of water Forest Resources Council
Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework

Policy Team  Rob Sip, Environmental Policy Protection Section, Minnesota Resource Committee Chair use, supply, and quality background Sara Specht, graphics support, UM
Co-Chair John Helland, Board Specialist, Minnesota Dept. of Dept. of Health Linda Bruemmer, Director, papers, Ph.D. student Water Institute on the Environment
Member, Minnesota Center for Agriculture Alan Peterson, Presient, Irrigator’s Environmental Health Division, Resources Science, UM Water Kelly Wilder, Policy Team
Environmental Advocacy John Wells, Strategic Planning Association of Minnesota Minnesota Dept. of Health Resources Center researcher, masters candidate,
Co-Chair Sherry Enzler, Director Director, Environmental Quality Barbara Weisman, Conservation Bryce Pickart, Assistant General Bridget Faust, researcher, student UM Humphrey Institute of Public
NorthStar Consortium, UM Board Program Specialist, Agricultural Manager, Metropolitan Council UM Environmental Sciences, Affairs, Juris Doctor candidate
Institute on the Environment Valuation Team  Development and Finance Environmental Services Policy, and Management Hamline University School of Law
Martha Brand, Environmental Chair Dr. Stephen Polasky, Fesler Assistance Division, Minnesota John Jaschke, Executive Director, Cynthia Hagley, Synthesis Team Tracy Thomas Wilson, document
Attorney Lampert Professor of Ecological/ Dept. of Agriculture Minnesota Board of Water & Soil facilitator, Environmental Quality editor, UM College of Food,
Dave Dempsey, Director of Environmental Economics, UM Others who contributed their Resources Extension Educator, Minnesota Agriculture, and Natural Sciences
Communications, Conservation Dept. of Applied Economics expertise through presentations or Barb Haake, President, Board of SeaGrant
132 133
Over the course of a year, project team members worked to build a strong knowledge foundation for the Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework.
The Framework itself represents only the final conclusions derived from these foundational documents. Scientific papers comprehensively
documenting Minnesota data on water use, water availability, and water quality were prepared and used by all project teams. Eight Technical Work
Teams were organized around water policy and education, and how water is used and valued. Each team prepared a white paper describing what we
know about their topic area, what we don’t know, and issues that must be addressed to reach water sustainability. In addition, a report was prepared
summarizing the extensive citizen and stakeholder outreach efforts during the project. Comprising an additional 250 pages, the thirteen background
documents described below are available on the University of Minnesota’s Water Resources Center website
Water Use in Minnesota
Water Availability in Minnesota
Water Quality in Minnesota
Agricultural Water Use Technical Work Team Report
Domestic Water Use Technical Work Team Report (includes drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater)
Manufacturing and Energy Water Use Technical Work Team Report
Recreational, Spiritual, and Cultural Uses of Water Technical Work Team Report
Ecosystem Services Technical Work Team Report
Water Policy Technical Work Team Report
Water Education Technical Work Team Report
Water Valuation Technical Work Team Report
Public Water Infrastructure Needs Report
Citizen Stakeholder Outreach Efforts Report
Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework

134 135
Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework


Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework


Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework


Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework


Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework


Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework


Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework


Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework


Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework


Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework


Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework


Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework


Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework


Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework


Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework