The Metropolitan Council was awarded $500,000 from Minnesota Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment funds for a Water Efficiency Grant Program during the 2015 - 2017 biennium. A second award of $750,000 has been made for the 2019 - 2022 period.
Grants are awarded on a competitive basis to metro area communities that manage municipal water systems. Council grants cover 75% of the program cost; each participating municipality provides the remaining 25% as a match.
Communities use the funds to lower the cost of purchase and installation of products that reduce water use, including EPA WaterSense-labeled low-flow toilets, Energy Star-labeled washing machines, and WaterSense-labeled irrigation controllers, and WaterSense Partner-certified irrigation system audits.
Nineteen communities participated in the 2015 - 2017 program, including Brooklyn Park, Chanhassen, Circle Pines, Cottage Grove, Eagan, Eden Prairie, Forest Lake, Fridley, Hugo, Mahtomedi, New Brighton, Newport, Plymouth, Shakopee, Victoria, White Bear Lake, White Bear Township, and Woodbury.
Forty communities are participating in the 2019 - 2022 program, including Apple Valley, Bayport, Bloomington, Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, Burnsville, Chanhassen, Chaska, Cottage Grove, Dayton, Eagan, Eden Prairie, Farmington, Forest Lake, Fridley, Hopkins, Hugo, Lake Elmo, Lakeville, Mahtomedi, Minnetonka, New Brighton, North St. Paul, Oakdale, Plymouth, Prior Lake, Ramsey, Robbinsdale, Rosemount, Roseville, Savage, the Shakopee Public Utilities Commission, Shoreview, Shorewood, St. Anthony, St. Louis Park, Victoria, White Bear Lake, White Bear Township, and Woodbury.
OUTCOMES OF THE 2015 - 2017 PROGRAM
Metropolitan Council Water Efficiency Grant Program Executive Summary (PDF)
4,514 devices were replaced, including 2,380 toilets, 1,190 irrigation controllers, 940 clothes washers, and 4 irrigation system audits.
Approximately 52,000,000 gallons per year will be saved each year by these replacements. This includes 29,800,000 gallons per year from toilets, 18,000,000 gallons per year from irrigation controllers, 4,200,000 gallons per year from clothes washers, and 59,000 gallons per year from irrigation system audits.
The average amount of water saved annually per device is approximately 12,200 gallons per year from toilets, 15,000 gallons per year from irrigation controllers, 4,300 gallons per year from clothes washers, and 14,800 gallons per year from irrigation system audits.