Partnering with Communities

A staff member speaking at a podium during a workshop.Water is an essential resource that transcends community and watershed boundaries. Our surface and groundwaters in the Twin Cities area move between cities, counties, and states. And some projects – from wastewater collection and treatment to regional water planning management activities – are too complex for most communities to handle alone. Environmental Services convenes, engages, collaborates, and builds solutions with our customers, stakeholders, and partners to solve those complex problems.

Farmers’ feedback to improve land application program

Last year, the Met Council worked closely with farmers to learn how to better meet their needs and improve the land application program. We reached out to home and business owners about the land application happening in their area and educated the public about the nature and benefits of biosolids. We also adjusted the method and frequency of land application to adjust to farmer feedback and avoid soil compaction.

Citizen volunteers help monitor water quality

The Met Council partners with resident volunteers to analyze water samples, review and analyze data, and assess and report on current lake conditions. In 2023, 107 volunteers participated in the Citizen-Assisted Monitoring Program (CAMP) to monitor the water quality across the region. Each volunteer monitors a specific site on a lake on a regular basis from mid-April through mid-October. Volunteers collect surface water samples, measure water temperature and clarity, and report weather and lake conditions. The primary goal of the program is to assess, protect, and improve water quality, and to quantify the impacts of point and nonpoint sources of pollution. 

U of M partnership helps increase water use efficiency

The Met Council and the University of Minnesota Turfgrass Science Program, with funding assistance from the Clean Water Fund, have been working to increase the efficiency of water use in home and business landscapes and lessen the stress on area water resources and supply systems. The multi-year Turfgrass Irrigation Efficiency project includes site assessments, research, and demonstration projects focused on smart irrigation practices.  

Local government partnership informs water management policies

The Met Council collaborated with the cities, counties, watershed organizations, and others to gather input from seven subregions in the metro area to inform the Metropolitan Area Master Water Supply Plan. It provides a framework for sustainable long-term water supply planning at the local and regional level.

MnTAP collaboration supports water conservation and efficiency

The Met Council has been a proud partner with the Minnesota Technical Assistance Program (MnTAP) for more than a decade. MnTAP’s intern program builds the skills of the next generation and has been of tremendous benefit to the metropolitan region. In 2023 MnTAP placed Met Council-funded student interns (PDF) at seven area businesses. The interns identified more than 68 million gallons of potential water savings per year, with an associated $2 million reduction in costs. MnTAP technical staff and interns worked to map water use, establish maintenance programs that avoid water loss, identify opportunities to use water efficiently, and modify process water use through cost-effective solutions.