Great Lakes Compact

sunset over the lake on the Split Rock Lightouse

The Great Lakes Compact is an agreement between the states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin and the provinces of Ontario and Quebec to act together to protect, conserve, restore, improve, and effectively manage the waters and water-dependent natural resources of the Great Lakes Basin.

In adopting the Compact, Minnesota committed to implement a water management program. To ensure Minnesota continues to fulfill our commitment, the DNR submits to the Great Lakes Water Resources Council a Water Conservation and Efficiency Report annually and a Water Management Program Report every five years. Staff also participate in regular council meetings and evaluate proposed water diversions.

Questions: [email protected], 651-259-5034

Lake Superior Watershed

Click to enlarge

Map showing the Lake Superior Watershed covering the southern halves of Cook, Lake, and St. Louis counties, the eastern half of Carlton County, the northeastern corner of Pine County, and dipping a little into the eastern edges of Itasca and Aitkin counties.
Regional, national and binational information
Minnesota implementation
  • Minnesota enacted the Great Lakes Compact into law (Minnesota Statutes, section 103G.801). This law includes the water conservation goals in Compact Section 4.2.1. The law also provides that new diversions of water from the Great Lakes Basin are prohibited with limited exemptions. The Lake Superior-North, Lake Superior-South, Cloquet River, St. Louis River, and Nemadji River watersheds in Minnesota are within the Great Lakes Basin 
  • The Compact Council and Regional Body have found that Minnesota's Water Conservation and Efficiency Program and Water Management Program meet or exceed the current requirements of the Agreement and Compact (Joint Declaration of Finding, December 2015).
Water management program
Water conservation and reports

Back to top