White Bear Lake

    DNR Sustainability Analysis

    A scientific analysis recently completed by the DNR shows that groundwater use in the White Bear Lake area meets Minnesota's sustainability standard. The analysis also shows that groundwater use in the area has contributed to lower water levels in White Bear Lake and that multi-year bans on residential irrigation will have a minimal effect on lake levels.


    Protective Elevation

    The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has established a protective elevation for White Bear Lake. The protective elevation is 922.0 feet above mean sea level.

    In establishing the protective elevation for the lake, the DNR has considered multiple factors, including:

    • Historic record of lake water levels.
    • Aquatic vegetation important for fish and wildlife habitat.
    • Water quality and clarity.
    • Recreational uses, including boat access, navigation, and swimming beaches.
    • Area and slope of the lakebed.



    White Bear Lake Augmentation

    March 2017

    The 2016 Minnesota Legislature directed the DNR to request three design-build proposals to augment water levels in White Bear Lake by piping Mississippi River water from Vadnais Lake. The legislation required that the designs ensure water quality in both lakes is not diminished. This includes not allowing invasive species to spread or phosphorus levels to increase.

    January 2016

    The 2015 Minnesota Legislature directed the DNR to prepare cost estimates for augmenting White Bear Lake with Mississippi River water taken from the Sucker Lake Chain of Lakes. The report was delivered to the Legislature on January 29, 2016.


    Water Levels