Municipalities and other water suppliers

interior of a large water supplier with a network of huge bright blue water pipes.A community policy of water conservation results in lasting and meaningful changes in water use. It sets water-use standards for residents and businesses, ensuring safe and sustainable water access. 

In Minnesota, all water suppliers serving over 1,000 people must have a DNR-approved water supply. 
In the seven-county metropolitan area, regardless of size, all cities must have a water supply plan as part of their Comprehensive Plan, which includes specific water conservation measures.

Water use planning

Minnesota law requires water suppliers to create a water supply plan for the community they serve. The benefits of completing a water supply plan include:

  • Increased drought response capabilities
  • Initial planning for water supply expansion where needed
  • Ensuring that source water is available for residents and businesses.

Communities with water suppliers that serve more than 1,000 people can find many resources to develop water use plans on these DNR web pages.

The Twin Cities Metropolitan Area Master Water Supply Plan provides a planning framework for communities in the metro area. See this Master Plan and resource link:

Water conservation planning

Incorporating water saving measures into community water supply practices ensures sustainable water use and reduces summer peak demand issues.

Minnesota requires public water suppliers serving more than 1,000 residents to encourage water conservation by adopting demand-reduction measures. 
In addition to water supply planning, the DNR provides guidance through the Water Conservation Reporting System.

Cities can contact their local energy provider. Many partner with cities to reduce hot water use in residential and business sectors.

The following resources help communities and water suppliers conserve water effectively, whether your community is rural or urban.

Water conservation communication

Water conservation practices must be communicated effectively to customers to achieve sustainable results.
Educating your community about water conservation isn’t just a good idea, it’s required as part of your water supply plan. There are many educational resources on the importance of water conservation.

  • The DNR Information Center provides cities with toilet leak detection kits. Call or email to request up to 200 free kits.
  • The Minnesota Rural Water Association has a series of conservation ads, posters, and bill stuffers on their website. Increase water conservation awareness by placing these ads (or ads like them) in publications or putting these posters up in public buildings.
  • The EPA WaterSense Program has resources to communicate the need for water conservation, such as fact sheets, information about efficient fixture upgrades, and more.