Water Supply Plans

river bluff and water tower

All public water suppliers in Minnesota that operate a public water distribution system, serve more than 1,000 people and/or all cities in the seven-county metropolitan area, must have a water supply plan approved by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Water supply plans are updated every ten years and the next updates will be due between 2016 and 2018. DNR will notify communities of their due date.


Water Supply Plan Workshops

Public water suppliers are invited to join workshops around the state to discuss local water supply issues and water conservation strategies. If your city is not listed, you will be invited to a later workshop in 2016 or 2017.


Water Supply Plan Template

The easiest way to develop a water supply plan is to complete the DNR's provided template. This template was made in cooperation with Metropolitan Council, Minnesota Department of Health, and the Minnesota Rural Waters Association. No paper copies are needed.

Download the template

The water supply plan template is a form that can be completed electronically and submitted through the DNR Permitting and Reporting System (MPARS). After the template is downloaded, save the document with a file name using this naming convention: WSP_cityname_permitnumber_date.doc

If your community has one to three wells, please use the PDF version. If your community has four or more wells, please use the Microsoft Word version.

Complete the plan template

Use the water supply plan instructions and checklist as a reference guide to complete your plan. An emergency contact list and water level monitoring report must be included with your water supply plan. You may use your own documents or the DNR templates.

Submit the plan for review and approval

All water supply plans must be submitted to the DNR for review and approval. Hydrologists will review your plan and make recommendations, if needed. Directions for submitting your plan to MPARS can be found in the Water Supply Plan Instructions and Checklist. PDF

If your community is within the seven-county metropolitan area, the DNR will share your water supply plan with the Metropolitan Council for review.

Adopt a water supply plan in your community

After your water supply plan has been approved by the DNR (and Metropolitan Council, if needed), your community and utility boards must officially adopt the plan.


You'll find additional information to aid in completing your plan with the DNR's Water Supply Plan Resources and with the Metropolitan Council's Water Supply Information.This link leads to an external site.



Answers to commonly asked questions can be found in Questions and Answers about Minnesota Water Supply Plans. PDF If you have additional questions, please contact your area hydrologist. PDF

Minnesota DNR
Water Supply Plan

Metropolitan Council
Water Supply Plan



Benefits of completing a Water Supply Plan

Completing a Water Supply Plan that receives DNR approval fulfills a water supplier's statutory obligations under M.S. 13G.291. For water suppliers in the metropolitan area, the Water Supply Plan will help local governmental units fulfill their requirements under M.S. 473.859.

Additional benefits of completing a Water Supply Plan:

  • Help water suppliers prepare for droughts and water emergencies.
  • Create eligibility for funding requests to the Minnesota Department of Health for the Drinking Water Revolving Fund.
  • Allow water suppliers to submit requests for new wells or expanded capacity of existing wells.
  • Simplify the development of county comprehensive water plans and watershed plans.
  • Fulfill the contingency plan provisions required in the MDH wellhead protection and surface water protection plans.
  • Fulfill the demand reduction requirements of Minnesota Statues, section 103G.291 subd. 3 and 4.
  • Upon implementation, contribute to maintaining aquifer levels, reducing potential well interference and water use conflicts, and reducing the need to drill new wells or expand system capacity.