Putting Drinking Water First in Minnesota

Putting Drinking Water First: Clean Water Action believes that everyone has a right to safe and affordable drinking water. We are making drinking water impacts a primary consideration when developing regulations and other programs involving upstream activities that can impact downstream drinking water sources.

  • Water Infrastructure Investments: Dangerously outdated infrastructure remains a huge threat to our lakes, rivers, streams and drinking water quality. From combined sewer overflows to old lead service lines, our water infrastructure needs to be updated to protect water resources for future generations.
  • Tracking Contaminants of Emerging Concern:  People and industry use tens of thousands of chemicals. A vast array of these chemicals has been found in the environment, where we consider them contaminants of emerging concern or CECs. Most of these CECs have not been fully evaluated for the risks they might pose to the environment— or to our health.
  • Reducing Lead Exposure- Lead is a highly poisonous metal and can affect almost every organ in the body and the nervous system. The wide spread contamination of drinking water in Flint, MI, has also raised many concerns about lead in our drinking water and in public places such as schools. We are working to enact policies that will reduce our exposure to lead and make Minnesota Lead Free.
  • Reducing Salt in our Water: In winter, salt is applied to roads and walkways to melt ice and snow — this is where most of the chloride in our water comes from. The salt dissolves, runs into storm drains, and most storm drains go directly into local waterways.
  • Protecting Groundwater: Nearly 75% of Minnesotans get their drinking water from groundwater sources. To protect groundwater the legislature passed the Groundwater Protection Act in 1989.
Corroded pipe with lead service fittings. Credit: Mike Thomas / Creative Commons

Minnesota Guide to Lead in Our Drinking Water and Lead Service Lines

Learn more about lead, what it is, how it gets into our homes, and what you can do about it below. 

Lake Erie Algal Bloom - August 2015. Photo Credit: NOAA Great Lakes CoastWatch

Water Infrastructure in the Great Lakes:

Turning the “Rust Belt” into the “Water Belt”

Beakers. Photo credit: Africa Studios / Shutterstock

Contaminants of Emerging Concern (CEC): An Early Warning Sign

People and industry use tens of thousands of chemicals.

Protecting Groundwater in Minnesota

Clean Water Action believes that everyone has a right to safe and affordable drinking water.

To make this a reality, it is vital to put drinking water first. To do that it is important that elected and appointed officials at every level of government make decisions with drinking water in mind. That means they consider the downstream impacts on drinking water sources of agricultural, industrial, and every day activities and that protecting  drinking water sources. 

From We All Live Downstream

Bioswales lhelp control storm water bring beauty of nature to urban campus. Photo By Dave Everett
September 21, 2021

It’s Fall!  Here are Some Tips for Healthy Fall Yard and Gardens While Protecting Our Water!

Minnesota Victories for our Health adn Environment!
July 1, 2021

The Minnesota legislative special session is concluded - and we're happy to announce several victories!

2020 Photo of Great Lakes Day attendees in front of the US Capitol
March 22, 2021

For decades, Clean Water Action has led the fight to protect and restore Lake Superior and the Great Lakes. Why? Because the Great Lakes contain 21% of the Earth’s available fresh surface water. They are the drinking water source for more than 40 million people. Tourism to the Lakes brings in more than 16 billion dollars each year to local economies.  And a less quantifiable reason: they are fun and enjoyable!