The Met Council has a unique role as a planning agency, not as a regulator or water supplier.

The seven-county metro area is home to more than half (3.1 million) of Minnesota’s population. Securing residents’ safe and plentiful water — while protecting the region’s diverse water resources — requires coordinated, interdisciplinary, and ongoing effort.

Adequate water supplies are essential for our region’s growth, livability, and prosperity. Population growth and expanding development are increasing demand on our water supplies in the region. Coordinated planning by local communities, the Met Council, and state partners will help meet our future water supply needs.

The role of the Metropolitan Council

The Met Council is not a water supplier. Our intent is not to take over local water supply systems. The regional planning process has been designed and applied to ensure local water suppliers have control of and responsibility for their water supply systems.

The mission of our Environmental Services division is to provide wastewater services and integrated planning to ensure sustainable water quality and water supply for the region.

Our role in water supply planning is to:

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

Purpose of the regional water supply plan

The purpose of the region’s Metro Area Water Supply Plan, formerly referred to as the Master Water Supply Plan, is to provide communities in the region with planning assistance for water supply in a way that:

  • Recognizes local control and responsibility for owning, maintaining, and operating water supply systems
  • Is developed in cooperation and consultation with municipal water suppliers, regional stakeholders, and state agencies
  • Protects critical habitat and water resources over the long term
  • Meets regional needs for a reliable, secure water supply
  • Highlights the benefits of integrated planning for stormwater, wastewater, and water supply
  • Emphasizes and supports conservation and interjurisdictional cooperation
  • Provides clear guidance by identifying key challenges, issues, and considerations in the region and suggests available approaches without prescribing solutions
The Metro Area Water Supply Plan provides guidance so that communities can take the most proactive, cost-effective approach to long-term planning and permitting to ensure plentiful, safe, and affordable water that supports the prosperity and livability of the region for future generations.