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  • Water Infrastructure Investments: Dangerously outdated infrastructure remains a huge threat to our lakes, rivers, streams and drinking water quality.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

Water

What's in your water?

We are discovering new chemicals in our water such as flame retardants, plasticizers, surfactants and others.

From We All Live Downstream

October 13, 2019

Polls consistently show that people consider drinking water one of the most important public health and environmental issues we face. But policies at the local, state, and federal level do not always reflect this. We think that should change and that we need to act like drinking water matters, we need to put drinking water first.  This approach is at the core of Clean Water Action’s programs and campaigns. 

Bioswales like this help control storm water bring the beauty of nature to Providence College’s urban campus. Photo By Dave Everett
September 25, 2019

In pursuit of creating a beautiful lawn and garden, many people unknowingly contaminate nearby lakes, rivers, and streams with fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides. As we prepare our lawns and gardens for winter, 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 affect the amount of pollution that ends up in our water.

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.