Most important community health issue: water

The Anoka County Community Health Board has determined that water quality and sustainable drinking water is a most important community health issue. Addressing water involves the participation of community leaders, organizations, residents and businesses.

Residents need safe drinking water. Businesses need an adequate and sustained supply of good quality water. Communities need natural resources that are managed well. The source of Anoka County’s drinking water is found within its communities through the use of public and private water wells (ground water).  *The exception is Columbia Heights and Hilltop that are supplied by  the Mississippi River.

Over the past five years, Minnesota statutes, rules and programs have been modified to address water resources. The focus has been to ensure that the use of groundwater is sustainable and does not impact aquifer levels, surface water features (lakes, streams and wetlands) or water quality. Water issues are often local issues that call for community-based solutions.

Middle and northern Anoka County communities have an impressive amount of land available for growth and development. Water use – to supply growing demand – must be balanced to ensure that natural features (lakes, streams and wetlands) are not harmed.  And the amount of water used must not impact water resources needed to supply future generations. However, the amount and availability of groundwater is not as well understood as the land over it.

N&E Metro GWMA (Mar. 5, 2014)

North & East Metro Groundwater Management Area

Southern and southeastern Anoka County communities are fully, or near fully, developed. Water use (demand) is not expected to change significantly. However the amount of water used has become a concern for the sustainability of local water features. These communities have been included in the North and East Metro Groundwater Management Area to find solutions to declining lake and groundwater levels.

The Anoka County Water Task Force brings together residents and businesses with representatives of local agencies and organizations to determine the most important water issues within Anoka County communities. The Task Force advises the Anoka County Human Services Committee and communities for the benefit and health of our residents, our economic vitality, and our natural resources that we depend on for sustainable and safe drinking water. The Know The Flow website ( provides information about opportunities to keep our local water resources safe to drink and sustainable for the next generation.

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