Metropolitan Region Water Supply Planning Atlas

Our water supply planning atlas is intended to facilitate sustainable water planning and policy discussions and serve as an outreach and education tool.

Regional water supply

While water supplies are managed locally by communities, the region’s shared water sources do not follow political or property boundaries. One community’s water supply challenges influence neighboring communities and the region.

By building a shared understanding of regional water supply challenges and identifying collaborative approaches that address water source and supply system sustainability, the Met Council and local communities can ensure that the water supply needs of current and future generations are met.

Atlas supports water supply planning

The atlas compiles water supply data and information for the region. It also organizes information by subregions — groups of neighboring communities connected by a combination of shared water challenges, hydrogeologic landscapes, and organically developed community water supply planning groups from previous planning cycles.

View the full Water Supply Planning Atlas for the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area (PDF, 123 MB).

Each subregional atlas contains the regional overview information. The description for each region is in the list below.

Map of the Twin Cities with 7 regions shown in different colors. Names and descriptions of the regions are in the Subregions section below.

Data in the water supply planning atlas

The atlas brings together publicly available data from Minnesota Geospatial Commons, communities, state agencies, water organizations, and a variety of other sources to provide a summary of water supply information for the region.

Because water supply information is always changing, with new challenges arising, the atlas will be a living document that is updated as new data becomes available and continually informed by community needs and local expertise.

Water Supply Planning Atlas for the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area (PDF, 123 MB)

Subregions

The Central subregion includes the cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul, the communities served by those municipal systems, and other surrounding communities. These communities are in the urban center of the region. This is the most highly developed part of the metro and the most densely populated.

Page 39 in the linked document shows a map of this subregion.

Central Subregion: Water Supply Planning Atlas for the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area (PDF, 43 MB)

The Northeast subregion stretches east from Saint Paul to the St. Croix River, north to the Chisago County border, and west into Anoka County. Communities in this part of the metro consist of older suburban developments, newer growing suburbs, rural areas, and smaller communities within more rural areas to the north and along the St. Croix River. Older developed areas close to Saint Paul or Stillwater are the most densely populated areas.

Page 39 in the linked document shows a map of this subregion.

Northeast Subregion: Water Supply Planning Atlas for the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area (PDF, 37MB)

The East subregion consists of communities east of Saint Paul in Washington County, stretching to the St. Croix River and the Wisconsin border, to the areas east of White Bear Lake in the north and the Mississippi River and Dakota County border to the south. Communities in this area range from older and newer suburban developments, growing suburban edge communities, rural townships, and small rural town centers. Density is generally higher closer to the city of Saint Paul to the west and near the older community of Stillwater. Growing suburban communities are gaining people, businesses, and seeing an associated increase in density.

Page 39 in the linked document shows a map of this subregion.

East Subregion: Water Supply Planning Atlas for the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area (PDF, 41 MB)

The Southeast subregion spans communities in Dakota County. Dakota County is a large area covering about 587 square miles and is the 3rd most populated county in MN. The county is bordered by Rice and Goodhue Counties to the south, Scott County to the west, the Minnesota River and the City of Saint Paul to the north, and the Mississippi River to the east. Communities range from highly developed older suburbs to newer suburbs that have experienced significant growth over the past 30 years to rural agricultural communities dotted with smaller town centers. Generally as you move from north to south across the county, the landscape becomes more agricultural and rural. Density follows a similar pattern, with the densest areas being concentrated in the northern portion of the County.

Page 39 in the linked document shows a map of this subregion.

Southeast Subregion: Water Supply Planning Atlas for the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area (PDF, 36 MB)

The Southwest subregion spans Scott County, bounded by Dakota County in the east and the Minnesota River to the north and west. This area includes the Shakopee Mdewankanton Sioux Community and includes growing suburban and rural communities. Water sustainability, as well as the increasing costs and demand pressures of ever-increasing growth, are challenges here as they are in many communities across the metro. Density in this part of the metro generally follows development and growth patterns, with most people being located around in the north and east part of the county.

Page 39 in the linked document shows a map of this subregion.

Southwest Subregion: Water Supply Planning Atlas for the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area (PDF, 36 MB)

The West subregion spans a large area of the region, stretching from the near western suburbs bordering Minneapolis and the communities around Lake Minnetonka to the more rural areas of western Hennepin and Carver Counties. Density in this part of the metro generally follows growth and development patterns, with the densest areas being older suburban areas near Minneapolis and areas further west that have seen consistent growth over the past few decades.

Page 39 in the linked document shows a map of this subregion.

West Subregion: Water Supply Planning Atlas for the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area (PDF, 36 MB)

The Northwest subregion borders the urban centers of Minneapolis and Saint Paul and covers the area from eastern Anoka County to the northern and western edge of the metro region, in Anoka and Hennepin counties. Density in this subregion is concentrated in suburban areas that are more developed near and along the interstate 94 corridor. Many communities in this area have experienced significant growth over the past few decades.

Page 39 in the linked document shows a map of this subregion.

Northwest Subregion: Water Supply Planning Atlas for the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area (PDF, 38 MB)

John Clark
651-602-1452
johnd.clark@metc.state.mn.us
Henry McCarthy
651-602-1946
henry.mccarthy@metc.state.mn.us