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
As 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.
- 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
- Contaminants of Emerging Concern: Evaluating and communicating scientific information about the potential for health risks from exposures to newly identified health hazards in drinking water
- Source Water Protection Planning and Grants: Protecting the sources that supply drinking water to the public
- Sealing Unused Wells: Sealing unused wells that could become a pathway for contaminants to enter drinking water sources
- Private Well Protection: Evaluating the occurrence and distribution of contaminants in private wells and developing additional education and outreach to protect private well users
- Virus Monitoring Study: Monitoring concentrations of viruses in a group of community water systems and conducting a companion community illness study
- Groundwater Protection Strategies (GRAPS): Determining a process for local implementation of groundwater restoration and protection strategies
- 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)
|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|
|Drinking Water Action Planning||-||-||-||-||300||300|
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:
- 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
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.