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  • Water Infrastructure Investments: Dangerously outdated infrastructure remains a huge threat to our lakes, rivers, streams and drinking water quality.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.
Zebra mussels

Stopping invasive species in the Great Lakes

The Great Lakes are national treasures.

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. 

Minnesota Capitol Rotunda Inside Dome-evilfoo

Minnesota State Legislative Scorecard - 2017 and 2018 Sessions

Clean Water Action’s goal is to protect and restore our lakes, rivers and streams now and for future generations. We work to protect Minnesota’s health and water by making systemic change. We educate the public, develop grassroots  leaders and mobilize our members to get involved in policy decisions.

We also provide tools to help Minnesotans understand how their elected officials are voting. This scorecard covers the 2017 and 2018 Minnesota legislative sessions and scores every Minnesota state legislator on votes that impact clean, renewable energy, water quality, and toxics in our environment.

Green pennycress, one potential cover crop photo: flickr.com/50697352@N00 CC BY-SA 2.0

Greening the Farm Landscape

Cover crops are an essential tool in protecting water quality while simultaneously offering a host of benefits to farmers.

From We All Live Downstream

ReTHink Disposable_Reusable Mugs_Adobe Spark.jpg
May 9, 2019

The weather is getting warmer, which means it is time for picnics, parties, and BBQs. That also means we are likely to see more waste from single-use disposable products like paper plastics, plastic utensils, party cups, and more. Most of those items cannot be recycled, especially if they are soiled with food waste. This contributes to a very large waste stream – more than 40% of plastic is used just once before it becomes trash.

February 25, 2019

Everyone has a right to safe and affordable drinking water. Clean water is one of Minnesota’s most precious resources, and it’s time that we act like it.

Nearly 75% of Minnesotans gets their drinking water from groundwater. With almost 10,000 public water sources coming together to supply drinking water, we need robust protections in place to ensure the health and safety of all of our communities. That’s where Wellhead Protection Plans come in. A Wellhead Protection Plan is a strategy designed to protect public drinking water supplies.

A garden
May 2, 2018

It took awhile, but it seems spring is finally here!  In pursuit of creating a beautiful lawn and garden, many people unknowingly contaminate nearby lakes, rivers, and streams with fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides. Before you pull the lawn mower out of storage and get to work, you should know that what you do in your yard has a direct and indirect effect on the quality of our water. How long you cut your grass, how often you cut it, how much water and fertilizer you use and what you do with the grass clippings all impact the amount of pollution that ends up in our water.