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 (County 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, and Monitoring 40 beaches along the north shore of Lake Superior to notify the public when swimming is not advised, work with partners to reduce contaminant sources, and evaluate a modeling tool that could be used across the state.
The Minnesota legislation has appropriated $19,358,000 to MDH from the Clean Water Fund.
|Initiative||FY 10-11||FY 12-13||FY 14-15||Total|
|Contaminants of Emerging Concern||$1,335,000||$2,040,000||$2,300,000||$5,675,000|
|Source Water Protection Planning and Grants||$2,415,000||$2,830,000||$3,230,000||$8,475,000|
|Sealing Unused Drinking Water Wells||$500,000||$500,000||$1,000,000|
|County Well Index Enhancement||$668,000||$780,000||$1,448,000|
|Private Well Protection Arsenic Study||$650,000||$650,000|
|Groundwater Virus Monitoring Study||$1,600,000||$1,600,000|
|Lake Superior Beach Monitoring||$210,000||$210,000|
|Local Implementation of Groundwater Protection Strategies||$300,000||$300,000|
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:
- Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
- Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
- Minnesota Department of Agriculture
- Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources
- Minnesota Public Facilities Authority
- Metropolitan Council: Progress Report on Water Supply Planning
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.