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Taking Action for Minnesota's Water

Governor Mark Dayton has released a new report summarizing key findings from ten Water Quality Town Hall meetings held last year with Minnesotans across the state. The report, which summarizes more than 3,500 suggestions from more than 2,000 meeting attendees, recommends strategies to boost water quality education efforts, empower local action and collaboration, and increase investments in local clean water infrastructure, among other ideas.

About the Water Quality Town Hall Meetings

25by25 logoBetween July and October 2017, Governor Dayton and state agency leaders traveled throughout the state to hear from Minnesotans about their ideas to protect and improve water quality in Minnesota communities. At these Water Quality Town Hall Meetings, the Governor and members of his Administration talked with Minnesotans about the “25 by 25” Water Quality Goal and other ideas to ensure all Minnesotans have access to clean, reliable, affordable water, no matter where they live.
More than 2,000 people attended at least one of the ten meetings across the state, with 500 others participating online or via community meetings. Overall, 3,500 ideas were submitted for improving water quality in Minnesota, which are summarized in a new report. Read more about the top concerns and strategies for improving water quality that Minnesotans expressed at the meetings below:
Improving Education and Engagement – One of the major themes among comments received was improving education about water quality issues and solutions. This concern ranked at or near the top in every region of the state.
Reducing Water Runoff – Minnesotans across the state cited holding more water on the land by expanding water quality projects and practices as a top concern. A wide range of strategies were raised by the public, reflecting regional topographic differences and the idea that solutions need to be site-specific.
Improving Collaboration – A consistent theme in the feedback submitted was for all levels of government to work more effectively together, including through clearer communication about water quality issues, streamlining grant application processes, and better coordination among different levels of government.
Empowering Local Planning and Action –The need for locally-led action and planning was a top concern across the state. Minnesotans expressed the value of local decision making to build buy-in and secure the long-term commitment needed to make change.
Reducing Pollutants to Protect Drinking Water – Across the state, Minnesotans expressed a desire to reduce the amount of harmful pollutants that enter our water. These pollutants come from a variety of sources in different regions of the state.
Addressing Failing Wastewater Infrastructure – Reducing failing and inadequate clean water infrastructure systems was also a concern in comments submitted. Aging drinking and waste water infrastructure threaten the good water quality all Minnesotans expect and deserve.
Identifying Long-Term, Sustainable Funding – The need for long-term, sustainable funding for clean water projects and initiatives was a consistent theme at each of the town hall meetings across the state. 
To read the full Water Quality Town Hall Meetings Report, CLICK HERE.

New Grant Investments Needed for Local Water Infrastructure

This session, Governor Dayton has proposed a $167 million investment through his Public Works proposal, to improve local clean water infrastructure and ensure all Minnesota have access to clean, affordable water, no matter where they live.

This map shows where 2017 water infrastructure grant funding secured by Governor Dayton has gone to work across Minnesota, and where the need persists to ensure clean, affordable, accessible water for all Minnesota communities.

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