Water Supply Planning

Met Council leads regional planning

Who we are

Population growth and expanding development are increasing demand on our water supplies in the region. Coordinated planning by local communities, the Metropolitan Council, and state partners will help meet our future water supply needs.

The Water Supply Planning Unit of the Metropolitan Council was created in 2005 from a request of the Minnesota Legislature to support water supply planning in the state (2013 MN Stat. 103G.291) to ensure a sustainable water supply for current and future generations. Our intent is not to take over water supply. We support local control and responsibility of water systems and will continue to work in partnership with local water suppliers. Our group consists of scientists, engineers, and planners with technical expertise and skills to address the region's pressing water supply concerns.

The role of the Metropolitan Council in water supply planning is to:

  • Work with regional partners to develop a regional plan
  • Maintain a database of technical information
  • Assistance communities to develop their local water supply plans
  • Identify approaches for emerging issues

Per the legislative mandate to support water supply planning in the state, the Water Supply Planning unit reports back to the legislature every five years with a status of water supply findings, recommendations, and planning activities. The latest report was submitted in 2020 and highlights the work over the past five years.

2005-2020 Water Supply Planning in the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area (PDF, 44 pages)‚Äč
2005-2020 Water Supply Planning in the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area - Summary (PDF, 4 pages)

What we do

The Water Supply Planning Unit works with the Clean Water Fund, Department of Natural Resources, Department of Health, and local water suppliers and water utilities to building knowledge in the region of water supply. 

We are guided by the following principles: 

  • Water supply planning is an integral component of long-term regional and local comprehensive planning.
  • An understanding of the region’s long-term water supply availability and demand is necessary to identify a specific community’s or subregion’s water sources.
  • All hydrologic system components, natural occurring and human-built, must be carefully evaluated when making water infrastructure plans.
  • The quality of the region’s water is a critical component of water supply planning.
  • Interjurisdictional cooperation is a viable option for managing short-term water supply disruptions and for sustainably meeting long-term water supply needs.
  • Regional and local cost-sharing are considered when identifying water supply options.
  • Wise use of water supplies is critical to ensuring adequate supplies for future generations.