Clean Water Fund

Initiatives at the Minnesota Department of Health

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.

The Minnesota Department of Health’s (MDH) initiatives supported by the Clean Water Fund mostly focus on drinking water protection. These initiatives protect public health by:

  • Evaluating and communicating scientific information about the potential for health risks from exposures to newly identified health hazards in drinking water
  • Protecting the sources that supply drinking water to the public
  • Enhancing the primary source of information about drinking water wells for the state (Minnesota Well Index)
  • Sealing unused wells that could become a pathway for contaminants to enter drinking water sources
  • Studying newly constructed private wells to determine the best sampling and construction methods to reduce arsenic in drinking water
  • Monitoring concentrations of viruses in a group of community water systems and conducting a companion community illness study
  • 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
  • Determining a process for local implementation of groundwater restoration and protection strategies
  • Developing recommendations for practices and policies to ensure that water reuse can be safe and sustainable in Minnesota

Minnesota Department of Health’s Appropriation from the Clean Water Fund

The Minnesota legislation has appropriated $27,183,000 to MDH from the Clean Water Fund.

MDH CWF Appropriations for All Years

Initiative FY 10-11 FY 12-13 FY 14-15 FY 16-17 Total
Contaminants of Emerging Concern $1,335,000 $2,040,000 $2,300,000 $2,220,000 $7,875,000
Source Water Protection Planning and Grants $2,415,000 $2,830,000 $3,230,000 $3,800,000 $12,275,000
Sealing Unused Drinking Water Wells   $500,000 $500,000 $225,000 $1,225,000
County Well Index Enhancement (now Minnesota Well Index)   $668,000 $780,000 Completed $1,448,000
Private Well Protection Arsenic Study     $650,000 $650,000 $1,300,000
Groundwater Virus Monitoring Study     $1,600,000 $350,000 $1,950,000
Lake Superior Beach Monitoring     $210,000 $0 $210,000
Local Implementation of Groundwater Protection Strategies (GRAPS)     $300,000 $250,000 $550,000
Water Reuse       $350,000 $350,000
Total $3,750,000 $6,038,000 $9,570,000 $7,825,000 $27,183,000

State Agency Collaboration

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

Clean Water Fund: Keeping Minnesota Healthy

This report 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 Monday, March 28, 2016 at 09:11AM