Source Water Protection

square miles designated
for source water protection

Source water refers to drinking water from streams, rivers,
lakes, or underground aquifers that provide water for public water supplies and private wells. Source water protection is a community effort to prevent water pollution before it can reach our drinking water and become a public health problem.

Metro area drinking water sources

Drinking water source protection has been identified as a management goal for about 50% of the metro area. Of the region’s 186 communities, 149 contain a source water protection area. Water flowing through these areas is the source for over 90% of the region’s population (almost 3 million people).

Metro area land use

Since land use is so tied to drinking water quality, the state has found it important 1) to assess the likelihood that aquifers are subject to impacts from overlying land and water uses, and 2) to help entities manage these areas through wellhead protection plans.

Water Map
Drinking water supply management area for Minneapolis and St. Paul intakes on the Mississippi River
Drinking water supply management area for public wells

Our role

The Met Council plans and makes strategic, efficient public investments to support our region’s high quality of life and economic competitiveness. We work to achieve goals that are too big for one community but possible to accomplish as a region.

Our goals include having sustainable and plentiful high-quality water resources for future economic growth, high-quality of life, and recreational activities.

Drinking water source protection (PDF)

More source water protection resources

The Minnesota Department of Health and Minnesota Pollution Control Agency also are working to protect source water resources. More information about these agencies' work: