In partnership with the Minnesota Department of Health and with support from the Citizens League, we are exploring needs and perspectives to inform the development of a state-level partnership to protect sources of drinking water in Minnesota.
The vision behind creating a collaborative is to ensure that public health and sustainable, equitable access to safe drinking water are used as a lens for land use decision making. A state-level collaborative will advance this vision by establishing goals, generating solutions, providing an ongoing mechanism for collaboration to use diverse skills and knowledge, and maintaining momentum for action on source water protection.
In this first phase of a two-phase process, we will be engaging champions outside of state government to begin developing a partnership for source water protection, including co-creating a process for developing a state-wide plan. This will include connecting with communities around the state and gathering perspectives related to barriers and opportunities to land use decision-making that protects drinking water sources.
State agencies do not have the authority or capacity to protect the sources of the water we drink and those responsible for safeguarding drinking water have limited channels through which to work. By taking the initial steps toward long-term collaboration across interests and capabilities and including those who impact water through their daily decisions, we hope to make a lasting impact toward protecting Minnesota’s source water.