Clean Water Fund - EH: Minnesota Department of Health

Clean Water Fund
Initiatives at the Minnesota Department of Health

The Minnesota Department of Health uses Clean Water Fund dollars primarily for initiatives that protect drinking water, but also for others relating to water and public health.

2018 Clean Water Fund Performance Report

clean water fund performance reportAs Minnesota’s lead public health agency, MDH receives funding from the Clean Water Fund to enhance our existing drinking water protection efforts through a variety of initiatives, listed below.

Information about MDH’s current initiatives, as well as Clean Water Fund initiatives by other state agencies and our regional/local partners, to protect and improve Minnesota’s water resources are available in the newly released 2018 Clean Water Fund Performance Report.

In the 2018 Clean Water Fund Performance Report, you will see that Minnesota has increased investments in implementation activities and drinking water protection, invested funds in each of Minnesota’s watersheds, and leveraged 73 cents for every implementation dollar spent, increasing the reach and impact of Clean Water Fund work.

The report also tracks the activities and outcomes that we achieve with this dedicated funding. The Report Card (pages 6-7) will give you a quick glance of the status and trend for nearly thirty Clean Water Fund measures. You can read a profile for each measure to learn more about some of our recent successes, such as:

  • continued progress towards a 93 percent reduction in air emissions in mercury,
  • forty-six lakes and streams removed from Minnesota’s impaired waters list, and
  • increased source water protection efforts by public water suppliers.


New Initiatives

  • Drinking Water Strategic Action Advisory Group: Assessing threats and barriers to Minnesota’s safe drinking water system and translating emerging science into protective public health policy and action

Ongoing Initiatives

Completed Initiatives

  • County Well Index Enhancement: (now the Minnesota Well Index): Enhanced the primary source of information about drinking water wells for the state
  • Lake Superior Beach Monitoring: Monitoring beaches along Lake Superior to notify the public when swimming is not advised, working with partners to reduce contaminant sources, and evaluating a modeling tool
  • Water Reuse: Developed recommendations for practices and policies to ensure that water reuse can be safe and sustainable in Minnesota


Table 1. Minnesota Department of Health Appropriations by fiscal year biennium (in thousands of dollars)

Initiative 10-11 12-13 14-15 16-17 18-19 Total
Contaminants of Emerging Concern 1,335 2,040 2,300 2,200 2,200 10,075
Source Water Protection 2,415 2,830 3,230 3,800 5,494 17,769
Sealing Unused Wells - 500 500 225 500 1,725
County Well Index Enhancement - 668 780 - - 1,448
Private Well Protection - - 650 650 800 2,100
Virus Monitoring Study - - 1,600 350 200 2,150
Lake Superior Beach Monitoring - - 210 - - 210
Groundwater Protection Strategies (GRAPS) - - 300 250 400 950
Water Reuse - - - 350 - 350
Drinking Water Action Planning - - - - 300 300
Total 3,750 6,038 9,570 7,825 9,894 37,077  

Background on the Clean Water Fund

On November 4, 2008, Minnesota voters approved the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment (Minnesota Constitution, Article 11, Sec.15) to the constitution to protect drinking water sources; to protect, enhance, and restore wetlands, prairies, forests, and fish, game, and wildlife habitat; to preserve arts and cultural heritage; to support parks and trails; and to protect, enhance, and restore lakes, rivers, streams, and groundwater. The amendment specifies that at least 5 percent of the Clean Water Fund be dedicated to drinking water protection.

Seven state agencies, including the Minnesota Department of Health , collaborate and partner in Minnesota’s water resource management initiatives through the Clean Water Fund. Our partner agencies include:

A Minnesota Department of Health Five Year Progress Report 2010 - 2014 (PDF) describes the progress of Minnesota Department of Health’s Clean Water Fund initiatives for protecting Minnesota’s drinking water during the first five years.

Updated Tuesday, August 21, 2018 at 10:31AM