Water Supply

To ensure a sustainable water supply for the region’s current and future generations, we need to integrate water supply planning with land and resource planning.

The information found here will help both communities with and without public water supplies to develop local comprehensive plans that protect the integrity of the region’s water supply and the quality and quantity of water resource.

There are resources to help you meet the minimum requirements, as well as ideas and examples that may make your water supply plan and local comprehensive plan better.

Water Supply Plan

All communities that have public water supplies in the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area are required to prepare water supply plans as part of their local comprehensive plan. Communities and utility boards must officially adopt the plan along with the local comprehensive plan.

Communities without public water supplies do not need to prepare a water supply plan, but should include information about plans to protect private water supplies in appropriate sections of the local comprehensive plan, described in the sections on conservation and reuse, source water protection, and sub-regional collaboration.

 Minimum Requirements: 
  • If the community has a municipal community public water supply system, complete all information in the DNR & Metropolitan Council water supply plan template. Information must be submitted in the template provided and submitted through the MnDNR Permit and Reporting System (MPARS).

  • Include extended water demand projections for 2020, 2030, 2040 and ultimate build-out that are consistent with population forecasts in the community’s system statement.

 Get More Out of Your Plan:


As appropriate, incorporate the following into plans and programs, consistent with your organization's roles and responsibilities: 

  • Acknowledge potential water supply issues identified in your community’s water supply profile (Appendix 1 of the Master Water Supply Plan) and support partnerships to address them in local water plans and water appropriation permit applications.

  • Explore and support water demand (water conservation and efficiency) programs such as incentives, ordinances, education and outreach, rates and other approaches, the metropolitan Council’s Water Conservation Toolbox can support these efforts.

  • As appropriate, support collaborative efforts to evaluate the likelihood of significant declines in aquifer water levels before water appropriation permits are requested. The analysis may be determined in consultation with DNR.

  • Work with partners to evaluate relationships between aquifer withdrawals and surface water features. If a connection is likely, management plans should include aquifer testing, monitoring water levels and pumping rates and surface water flow, triggers and actions to protect aquifer levels, a schedule for periodic analysis of data to identify the need for action to mitigate impacts, and a schedule for periodic and timely reporting to DNR.

  • Collaborate with partners, including MDH and others, to support local actions that prevent spread of contamination.

  • Work with partners to identify opportunities for sharing information, reducing duplicate work, and partnering on projects that improve understanding about aquifer productivity and extent.

  • If a Groundwater Management Area has been designated in your area, partner with DNR and neighboring water users to use water in accordance with the approved plan.

  • Support collaborative efforts to periodically review local water supply risks and potential alternatives to mitigate those risks. Technical advances, regulatory adjustments and subregional developments can present new opportunities for local water suppliers to enhance the resiliency, sustainability, and affordability of their water suppliers.

  • Continue to work with local, state and federal agencies, as required. 

 We Can Help!

Because your community relies primarily on private wells and does not own/operate a municipal community public water supply system (PWS), you do not need to prepare a local water supply plan. However, it is important to acknowledge existing conditions related to water supply sources in your community. These are not statutory requirements but rather expectations of minimum content to determine completeness.

 Minimum Requirements:
  • Include information about water supply sources, by providing the following maps from your system statement:

    • Surface water features and their interaction with the regional groundwater system

    • The location of groundwater level monitoring and aquifer testing

    • The presence of any regulatory and management areas

  • Include information about assessing and protecting private water supplies/water sources

 Get More Out of Your Plan:
  • As appropriate, incorporate the following into plans and programs, consistent with your organization's roles and responsibilities: 

  • Acknowledge potential water supply issues identified in your community’s water supply profile (Appendix 1 of the Master Water Supply Plan) and support partnerships to address them in local water plans and water appropriation permit applications.

  • Explore and support water demand (water conservation and efficiency) programs such as incentives, ordinances, education and outreach, rates and other approaches, the metropolitan Council’s Water Conservation Toolbox can support these efforts.

  • As appropriate, support collaborative efforts to evaluate the likelihood of significant declines in aquifer water levels before water appropriation permits are requested. The analysis may be determined in consultation with DNR.

  • Work with partners to evaluate relationships between aquifer withdrawals and surface water features. If a connection is likely, management plans should include aquifer testing, monitoring water levels and pumping rates and surface water flow, triggers and actions to protect aquifer levels, a schedule for periodic analysis of data to identify the need for action to mitigate impacts, and a schedule for periodic and timely reporting to DNR.

  • Collaborate with partners, including MDH and others, to support local actions that prevent spread of contamination.

  • Work with partners to identify opportunities for sharing information, reducing duplicate work, and partnering on projects that improve understanding about aquifer productivity and extent.

  • If a Groundwater Management Area has been designated in your area, partner with DNR and neighboring water users to use water in accordance with the approved plan.

  • Support collaborative efforts to periodically review local water supply risks and potential alternatives to mitigate those risks. Technical advances, regulatory adjustments and sub-regional developments can present new opportunities for local water suppliers to enhance the resiliency, sustainability, and affordability of their water suppliers.

  • Continue to work with local, state and federal agencies, as required.

 We Can Help!

 

 Minimum Requirements: 

  • Include the updated local water supply plan developed by the Public Water Supply System (PWS) that serves your community along with your local comprehensive plan update.

  • Collaborate with the owner of the PWS to ensure their local water supply plan reflects your water demand in a way that is consistent with your community’s population forecast.

 Get More Out of Your Plan:

  •  

 We Can Help!

The Twin Cities is growing and the demand for water continues to increase. There is enough water in the short-term, but long-term projections predict potentially significant impacts to aquifers if water continues to be consumed at current rates. The water forecast does not need to be doom and gloom. Residents, businesses, water suppliers, and elected officials can work together to save water.

 Minimum Requirements:

 Get More Out of Your Plan:

  • Integrate water conservation, water efficiency and reuse into local plans, and as appropriate, incorporate the following:

  • Identify opportunities in your community for behavioral or engineering changes that could be made to reduce water use by conducting an analysis of: where water is used in the community, the regulatory and cultural barriers to conservation and reuse in the community, and opportunities for conservation and reuse in the community.

  • Set achievable goals for reducing water use and engage water users in brainstorming opportunities to reduce use and reuse water. Ask the question “How can I help save water?”.

  • Explore and support water demand (water conservation and efficiency) programs such as incentives, ordinances, education and outreach, and other approaches. The Metropolitan Council’s Water Conservation Toolbox can support these efforts. 

‚Äč We Can Help!

Source water protection is a community effort to prevent water pollution before it can reach our kitchen faucets and other users. By stopping groundwater pollution near a well or surface water intake, we are protecting our drinking water from contamination. Much can be done to prevent pollution, such as the wise use of land and safe disposal of chemicals. Public health is protected and the expense of treating polluted water or building new infrastructure is avoided.

 Minimum Requirements: 

  • If the community has a municipal community public water supply system, complete all information in the DNR & Metropolitan Council water supply plan template. Information must be submitted in the template provided and submitted through the MnDNR Permit and Reporting System (MPARS).

  • If the community does not have a municipal community public water supply system, include information about water supply sources, by providing the following maps from your system statement:

    • Surface water features and their interaction with the regional groundwater system

    • The location of groundwater level monitoring and aquifer testing

    • The presence of any regulatory and management areas

  • If the community does not have a municipal community public water supply system, include information about assessing and protecting private water supplies/water sources.

 Get More Out of Your Plan:

  • As appropriate, incorporate the following into plans and programs, consistent with your organization’s roles and responsibilities:

  • Acknowledge potential water supply issues identified in your community’s water supply profile (Appendix 1 of the Master Water Supply Plan) and support partnerships to address them in local water supply plans and water appropriation permit applications.

  • Determine if available information is adequate to locally verify the issues identified in your community’s water supply profile. If so, provide references to local studies done to evaluate water supply issues.

  • As appropriate, support collaborative efforts to evaluate the likelihood of significant declines in aquifer water levels before water appropriation permits are requested. The analysis may be determined in consultation with DNR.

  • Work with partners to evaluate relationships between aquifer withdrawals and surface water features. If a connection is likely, management plans should include aquifer testing, monitoring water levels and pumping rates and surface water flow, triggers and actions to protect aquifer levels, a schedule for periodic analysis of data to identify the need for action to mitigate impacts, and a schedule for periodic and timely reporting to DNR.

  • Collaborate with partners, including MDH, to support local actions that prevent the spread of contamination.

  • Work with partners to identify opportunities for sharing information, reducing duplicate work, and partnering on projects that improve understanding about aquifer productivity and extent.

  • If a Groundwater Management Area has been designated in your area, partner with DNR and neighboring water users to use water in accordance with the approved plan.

  • Support collaborative efforts to periodically review local water supply risks and potential alternatives to mitigate those risks. Technical advances, regulatory adjustments and sub-regional developments can present new opportunities to enhance the resiliency, sustainability, and affordability of their water supplies.

  • Continue to work with local, state and federal agencies on water supply issues,  if required. 

 We Can Help!

Water supplies cross political boundaries and partnerships are needed to effectively manage diverse needs. Many work groups are forming across the region to share information and lessons learned.

 Minimum Requirements: 

 Get More Out of Your Plan:

  • Work with others to share information about water supply-related issues, so that community water supply planning needs are also supported by neighboring and overlapping plans (watershed plans, wellhead protection plans, local water supply plans, Groundwater Management Area plans, etc.).

 We Can Help! 


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