North and East Metro Groundwater Management Area Update

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has designated an area in the north and east portions of the metro region as the North & East Metro Groundwater Management Area (GWMA), which includes Washington and Ramsey counties, along with portions of Anoka and Hennepin counties. The Anoka County communities in the GWMA are Blaine, Centerville, Circle Pines, Columbia Heights, Columbus, Fridley, Hilltop, Lexington, Lino Lakes, and Spring Lake Park.

The North & East Metro Groundwater Management Area advisory team was established to provide ongoing insights to the DNR as it implements a five-year plan, approved in 2015. The plan will continue to guide the DNR’s approach to groundwater management in the north and east metro and provide a framework within which the DNR will work with water users to ensure that groundwater supplies remain adequate to meet human needs, while protecting lakes, streams, and wetlands.

The advisory team met in an online format on June 11, 2021. The agenda included:

  • A brief update on the status of the five-year plan for management of groundwater in the north and east metro area.
  • A summary of recent court proceedings.
  • An update on groundwater modeling and analysis.
  • Information on water conservation and efficiency efforts around the area.

In the status update, DNR project manager Dan Miller stated “The plan isn’t going to expire. We’re going to continue meeting with all of you and the advisory team”, as the GWMA Plan provided a framework for DNR work on local groundwater issues through 2020. The plan will continue to guide the DNR’s approach to groundwater management in the face of issues including population growth, groundwater quality concerns, and groundwater-surface water interactions.

Randall Doneen (DNR) highlighted some water conservation and efficiency trends. Per capita water use has been declining, in terms of residential use, as well as total community use. The Anoka County community of Fridley was highlighted, as they saved 28 million gallons using leak detection to help conserve water and save money.

Click here to read the full update bulletin from the DNR.

The advisory team will likely next meet in the fall of 2021. Be sure to subscribe to email updates to ensure you receive additional meeting details. A notice will be posted on Know the Flow as well. For more information on the GWMA, click here to view it’s website.

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