Minnesota - 2012 State Policy Information Minnesota State Flag 

Below are results for Minnesota from the 2011/2012 Water Efficiency and Conservation State Scorecard survey.

Use the links below to jump to a specific question:

Q1. State Agencies Q8. Water Loss Q15. Implementation Requirements
Q2. Toilet Regulations   Q9. Permitting    Q16. State Funding for Conservation
Q3. Showerhead Regulations Q10. Drought Plans Q17. Technical Assistance
Q4. Urinal Regulations Q11. Conservation Plans Q18. Volumetric Billing  
Q5. Clothes Washer Regulations Q12. Authority to Approve Plans Q19. Metered Connections 
Q6. PRSV Regulations Q13. Plan Update Frequency Q20. ET Microclimate Information  
Q7. Building or Plumbing Codes Q14. Planning Framework Additional Information

 

 

 

 

 

 


  1. What state agency or agencies are in charge of drinking water conservation/efficiency?

    Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MNDNR)

  2. Does the state have a water consumption regulation for toilets that is more stringent than the federal standard?  

    No

  3. Does the state have a water consumption regulation for showerheads that is more stringent than the federal standard? 

    No
     
  4. Does the state have a water consumption regulation for urinals that is more stringent than the federal standard?

    No
      
  5. Does the state have a water consumption regulation for clothes washers that is more stringent than the federal standard? 

    No

  6. Does the state have a water consumption regulation for pre-rinse spray valves that is more stringent than the federal standard?  

    No

  7. Does the state have mandatory building or plumbing codes requiring water efficient products that exceed the federal standard? 

    No
     
  8. Does the state have any regulations or policies for water utilities regarding water loss in the utility distribution system?  

    Yes.

    MINN. STAT. § 103G.291(3)(d):

    “Public water suppliers serving more than 1,000 people must submit records that indicate the number of connections and amount of use by customer category and volume of water unaccounted for with the annual report of water use required under section 103G.281, subdivision 3.”

    MINN. STAT. § 103G.291(3)(a):

    “Every public water supplier serving more than 1,000 people must submit a water supply plan to the commissioner for approval by January 1, 1996… Public water suppliers must update their plan and, upon notification, submit it to the commissioner for approval every ten years.”

    MNDNR Water Supply Plans and Water Appropriation Permit Approvals Document

    “Water Supply Plan (WS Plan) approvals may also include approval for increased water volumes and/or new wells that are planned over the ten year life of the plan… To qualify for the ten year permit approval certain benchmarks or conservation measures are required… Unaccounted Water (water withdrawals minus sales) Less than 10%... If over 10%, a plan is required that addresses reduction of unaccounted water through universal metering and accounting of water use, routine meter testing and repair, and distribution system leak detection and repair.” 

    MINN. STAT. § 103G.291 Text

    MNDNR Water Supply Plans and Water Appropriation Permit Approvals Document Text

  9. Does the state require conservation activities as part of its water permitting process or water right permit?

    Yes.

    MINN. STAT. § 103G.271(4a)(a):

    “The commissioner may not issue new water use permits that will appropriate water from the Mt. Simon-Hinckley aquifer in a metropolitan county, as defined in section 473.121, subdivision 4, unless the appropriation is for potable water use, there are no feasible or practical alternatives to this source, and a water conservation plan is incorporated with the permit.”  

    MINN. STAT. § 103G.291(1)-(2):

    “(a) If the governor determines and declares by executive order that there is a critical water deficiency, public water supply authorities appropriating water must adopt and enforce water conservation restrictions within their jurisdiction that are consistent with rules adopted by the commissioner. (b) The restrictions must limit lawn sprinkling, vehicle washing, golf course and park irrigation, and other nonessential uses, and have appropriate penalties for failure to comply with the restrictions.  ...Disregard of critical water deficiency orders, even though total appropriation remains less than that permitted, is adequate grounds for immediate modification of a public water supply authority's water use permit.”

    MINN. STAT. § 103G.271 Text

    MINN. STAT. § 103G.291 Text
     
     
  10. Does the state require preparation of drought emergency plans by water utilities or cities on any prescribed schedule?  

    Yes. 

    MINN. STAT. § 103G.291(3)(a):

    "Every public water supplier serving more than 1,000 people must submit a water supply plan to the commissioner for approval by January 1, 1996. In accordance with guidelines developed by the commissioner, the plan must address . . . natural resource impacts or limitations, [and] emergency preparedness . . . . Public water suppliers must update their plan and, upon notification, submit it to the commissioner for approval every ten years."  

    MINN. STAT. § 103G.293: "The commissioner shall establish a plan to respond to drought-related emergencies and to prepare a statewide framework for drought response. The plan must consider metropolitan water supply plans of the Metropolitan Council prepared under section 473.1565. The plan must provide a framework for implementing drought response actions in a staged approach related to decreasing levels of flows. Permits issued under section 103G.271 must provide conditions on water appropriation consistent with the drought response plan established by this section."
     
    MINN. STAT. § 103G.291 Text

    MINN. STAT. § 103G.293 Text

  11. Does the state have a mandatory planning requirement for potable water conservation/efficiency separate from drought emergency plans?   

    Yes.

    MINN. STAT. § 103G.291(3)(a):

    "Every public water supplier serving more than 1,000 people must submit a water supply plan to the commissioner for approval by January 1, 1996. In accordance with guidelines developed by the commissioner, the plan must address projected demands, adequacy of the water supply system and planned improvements, existing and future water sources, natural resource impacts or limitations, . . . water conservation, supply and demand reduction measures, and allocation priorities that are consistent with section 103G.261." 

    MINN. STAT. § 103G.291 Text

  12. Does the state have the authority to approve or reject the conservation plans? 

    Yes.

    MINN. STAT. § 103G.291(3)(a):

    "Every public water supplier serving more than 1,000 people must submit a water supply plan to the commissioner for approval . . . ."

    MINN. STAT. § 103G.291 Text

  13. How often does the state require the water utilities to submit a potable water conservation plan (not part of a drought emergency plan)? 

    Every 10 years.

    MINN. STAT. § 103G.291(3)(a):

    "Public water suppliers must update their plan and, upon notification, submit it to the commissioner for approval every ten years."

    MINN. STAT. § 103G.291 Text

  14. If the state has a mandatory planning requirement for potable water conservation separate from drought emergency plans, is there a framework or prescribed methodology?

    N/A
     
     
  15. Does the state require water utilities to implement conservation measures, beyond just the preparation and submittal of plans? 

    Yes.

    MINN. STAT. § 103G.291(3) [Updated April 2012]*

    "(c) Public water suppliers serving more than 1,000 people must encourage water conservation by employing water use demand reduction measures, as defined in subdivision 4, paragraph (a), before requesting approval from the commissioner of health under section 144.383, paragraph (a), to construct a public water supply well or requesting an increase in the authorized volume of appropriation. The commissioner of natural resources and the water supplier shall use a collaborative process to achieve demand reduction measures as a part of a water supply plan review process." 

    MINN. STAT. § 103G.291(4) [Updated April 2012]*

    "(b) To encourage conservation, a public water supplier serving more than 1,000 people must implement demand reduction measures by January 1, 2015."

    *This language was amended in April 2012.  As of this writing the new language is not posted on MN's statute website.  However, the changes to the language can be viewed on page 2 of the following document:

    Minnesota Slip Laws Enacted at the 87th Legislative Session

  16. Does the state offer financial assistance to utilities, cities, or counties for urban water conservation programs such as a revolving loan fund? Grants?  Bonds?  Appropriations?

    Nothing beyond the DWSRF and CWSRF.
     
  17. Does the state offer technical assistance for urban water conservation programs? 

    Yes, via the Minnesota Rural Water Association and the Metropolitan Council.
     
  18. Does the state require volumetric billing?

    Yes.

    MINN. STAT. § 103G.291(4) [Updated April 2012]*

    "(a) For the purposes of this section, "demand reduction measures" means measures that reduce water demand, water losses, peak water demands, and nonessential water uses. Demand reduction measures must include a conservation rate structure, or a uniform rate structure with a conservation program that achieves demand reduction. A "conservation rate structure" means a rate structure that encourages conservation and may include increasing block rates, seasonal rates, time of use rates, individualized goal rates, or excess use rates. If a conservation rate is applied to multifamily dwellings, the rate structure must consider each residential unit as an individual user. (b) To encourage conservation, a public water supplier serving more than 1,000 people must implement demand reduction measures by January 1, 2015." 

    *This language was amended in April 2012.  As of this writing the new language is not posted on MN's statute website.  However, the changes to the language can be viewed on page 2 of the following document:  

    Minnesota Slip Laws Enacted at the 87th Legislative Session
      
     
  19. What percentage or number of publicly supplied water connections (residential and nonresidential) are metered in your state?
     
  20. Does the state provide statewide ET microclimate information for urban landscapes?  

    No

Additional Information: 

Minnesota Statutes - Pertinent Statutes Chapter 103G (Waters of the State) 

Minnesota Administrative Rules - Pertinent Rules Chapter 6115 (Public Water Resources) 

Minnesota Drought Response Plan 

Minnesota Great Lakes Compact Implementation  

Water Year Data Summary   

Metropolitan Area Master Water Supply Plan

Water Conservation Toolbox: Programs for Water Suppliers