Water Conservation by Industries with Private Wells

Assessing the opportunity & barriers for water conservation by private industrial water users


  • $100,000


  • Completed December 30, 2013


Beginning in 2011, the Metropolitan Council partnered with the University of Minnesota’s Minnesota Technical Assistance Program (MnTAP) to identify opportunities for industrial water users to reduce their water consumption.  Funding for this project was provided through the Clean Water Fund as appropriated by the 2011 Minnesota Legislature.  The project consisted of an online survey of 84 companies, seven one-day, on-site water use assessments, and three shared-cost summer internships.

Private industrial water users are defined as industries that use private wells for their water supply. This work investigated factors that encourage or create barriers for implementation of water conservation opportunities. The project included a survey of private industrial water users to assess general trends in water use and conservation activities; onsite assessments with MnTAP engineering staff to directly identify water conservation opportunities in selected facilities; and three in-depth water conservation investigations employing three MnTAP summer interns, who identified 44 million gallons per year of water savings at three companies.



  • Approximately 44 million gallons per year of water conservation savings were implemented, with cost savings of $360,000 annually to three industries in the Twin Cities metropolitan area
  • The feasibility of conserving water in local industry, as part of the effort to rebalance regional and sub-regional water use, is demonstrated