Water Supply Plan Resources

Resources for Water Supply Plan development

Demand reduction measures

Public water suppliers serving more than 1,000 people are required to incorporate demand reduction measures into their water supply plan. All communities, independent of size, can benefit by adopting conservation measures that save money and protect water resources for long-term economic growth.

The statutory language and time frame, as well as guidelines for demand reduction measures, are found in Minnesota Statues, section 103G.291 subdivisions 3 and 4. Suggestions and additional information can be found in Demand Reduction Measures for public water suppliers.

Demand reduction measures must be in use before requesting well construction approval from the Minnesota Department of Health or before requesting an increase in permitted volume for a water appropriation permit from the DNR. Having a DNR approved 2016-2018 Water Supply Plan fulfills the demand reduction requirement.



The third generation of Water Supply Plans now incorporates stronger conservation measures and the concept of sustainability. Sustainable water use is the use of water for the needs of society, now and in the future, without unacceptable social, economic, or environmental consequences. The potential impacts from water use must be considered when planning for development of new water sources or increased water withdrawals.

  • Groundwater Sustainability - General information about the Groundwater Thresholds Project.
  • Trout Streams - Minnesota Statutes (103G.285, Subd. 5) and Rules (6115.0670, Subp. 3 B) prohibit water withdrawals that impact designated trout streams. A list of designated trout streams is found in Minnesota Rules (6264.0050, Subpart 4).
  • Calcareous Fens - These are unique wetlands that require an upwelling of groundwater similar to a spring to survive and can be impacted by groundwater withdrawals. These wetlands are protected under Minnesota Statutes (103G.223) from being wholly or partially degraded. List of known calcareous fens and calcareous fen fact sheet.
  • Public Waters Inventory - Public waters wetlands include all type 3, type 4, and type 5 wetlands (as defined in U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Circular No. 39, 1971 edition) that are 10 acres or more in size in unincorporated areas or 2.5 acres or more in size in incorporated areas (see Minnesota Statutes Section 103G.005). The DNR utilizes county-scale maps to show the general location of the public waters and public waters wetlands (lakes, wetlands, and watercourses) under its regulatory jurisdiction. These maps are commonly known as Public Waters Inventory (PWI) maps.
  • Wetland Conservation Act - To retain the benefits of wetlands and reach the legislation's goal of no-net-loss of wetlands, the Wetland Conservation Act requires anyone proposing to drain, fill, or excavate a wetland first to try to avoid disturbing the wetland; second, to try to minimize any impact on the wetland; and, finally, to replace any lost wetland acres, functions, and values. See: Board of Water and Soil Resources Wetland Conservation Act information.
  • Mt. Simon-Hinckley Aquifer - The Mt. Simon-Hinckley aquifer is the deepest formation in the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area and is protected as a drinking water source. This aquifer can only be used as a potable water supply when there are no other alternatives and conservation measures are being implemented. Mt. Simon-Hinckley Aquifer Groundwater Monitoring Report and Guidance Paper.
  • Observation Wells - Observation wells may provide useful information on water level trends for aquifers in your area. Hydrographs, well descriptions and water level data are available for each well in the Groundwater Level Observation Database.
  • Climate Data - Climate data may provide useful insights into water level trends in your area. Find information on Minnesota's climate data with the Minnesota Climatology Working Group.
  • County Well Index - The County Well Index Online can be used to identify wells located near a project area and can help determine potential for well interference problems. Please be aware that the County Well Index is not a complete list of wells and additional survey efforts may be necessary to identify all potential water supplies within a specified radius of a proposed production well.


Water conservation funding sources


Additional water resources

Below are resources from water management partners in Minnesota and at the federal level. You will find excellent information on water quality, water conservation, wellhead protections, and other materials that are beneficial to water suppliers.



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