Met Council awards $1.1 million in grants to reduce water use

Date: Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Illustration shows how irrigation controllers use either local weather data or in-ground sensors to determine if a lawn needs to be watered.The Metropolitan Council has awarded a total of $1.1 million in grants to 40 cities and 1 township in the seven-county metro region to support changes that reduce the amount of water being pumped from underground aquifers and surface waters as the region grows. 

“Minnesotans rely on water for our health, our economic prosperity, and for recreation—and we cannot take it for granted,” said Peter Lindstrom, chair of the Met Council’s Environment Committee. “These grants help residents do their part to protect our water, our health, and our outdoor traditions.” 

Cities provide rebates to residents for water-efficient devices 

Cities apply for funding to reduce costs for residents and some commercial and government properties that purchase and install replacement water-efficient products. Eligible purchases include toilets, washing machines, dishwashers, smart irrigation controllers, and more. Each city can design their own grant program and choose which products to help fund. 

This is the fourth round of Met Council water efficiency grants since the program began in 2015. As of the end of 2023, the grants have helped fund the replacement of 15,000 devices with WaterSense- and Energy Star-labeled devices, and audits of 174 irrigation systems. Participation grew from 37 municipalities in the 2022-2024 program to 41 for 2024-2026. 

The Minnesota Legislature allocated the grant funds through the Clean Water, Land & Legacy amendment. Cities are required to make a 20% match to funding they receive. Grant activities will begin on July 1. 

The Met Council also set aside $400,000 of the $1.5 million state allocation for a water equity grant program that it will codesign with interested cities later this year.  

More about the Water Efficiency Grant Program. 

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