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Clean Water Fund

Clean Water Fund dollars come from the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment that Minnesotans passed in 2008. The funds are used for water management activities such as monitoring, planning, and on-the-ground restoration and protection activities.

MPCA-funded activities for FY 2014-2015

For fiscal years 2014-2015, the Legislature appropriated $194.98 million to water activities. The MPCA will receive approximately $56.55 million. The MPCA will use these funds to meet the requirements of the federal Clean Water Act (CWA) and the state 2006 Clean Water Legacy Act (CWLA) which focuses on existing restoration and protection programs.

More information is available in the following fact sheet: PDF Document Constitutional Legacy Funding for clean water activities (FY2012-2013) (ld-2sy11)



Water quality monitoring: $15.2 million.

  • Continue monitoring & assessment efforts to meet the 10-year cycle: Statewide monitoring and assessment work is on track to meet the 10-year schedule, at a rate of about 10 percent of the watersheds each year. Intensive watershed monitoring includes biological, chemical, and habitat monitoring in watersheds to assess the water conditions. Assessments determine if waters are impaired and serve as a basis for further analysis of watershed problems, protection options, and overall watershed planning efforts.- $14,000,000
  • Expanded contaminants of emerging concern effort in monitoring and assessment work - $1,000,000
  • Red River Watch (Red River Watershed Board)- $200,000

Watershed restoration and protection strategies and applied research and tool development: $24.44 million.

  • Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategies (TMDL development): In 2008, the MPCA launched a watershed approach to systematically and comprehensively conduct the state’s water-quality monitoring, and restoration and protection planning needs on a 10-year cycle. Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategies (WRAPs), previously known as TMDLs, are developed with local partners to set strategies for impaired waters and unimpaired waters by setting reduction and protection goals, milestones and measures to guide state and local government implementation efforts. $18,800,000
  • Watershed research and database development: Incrementally connect data management systems to develop a Watershed Portal (Watershed Data Integration Project or WDIP) that will interface existing systems and provide staff and the public a central location for reporting, analysis, and data management of the watershed data. $2,300,000
  • Interagency water portal development: An interagency team has begun planning for a statewide water data portal. The portal would allow users to access data from multiple agencies from one webpage, rather than searching multiple agencies’ websites. The project scope represents the ~30 highest priority data sources, a very large undertaking. $2,000,000
  • Wastewater Treatment System Design & Technical Assistance: Identify and pilot options for implementing standards, not to develop new standards. The MPCA to work with regulated parties to identify new or more efficient ways of meeting standards at wastewater treatment facilities (municipal and industrial.). $750,000
  • Stormwater Research, Guidance & BMPs. $550,000

Protection and restoration: $6.3 million.

  • Great Lakes restoration project: Great Lakes restoration projects in the St. Louis River area of concern with local and federal partners. Requires at least a 65:35 non-state local match for every CWF dollar. $1,500,000
  • Clean Water Partnership: Provides grants to study and implement solutions that protect basins and watersheds of Minnesota before water quality standards are exceeded. $3,000
  • NPDES wastewater/stormwater TMDL implementation: implementation efforts. $1,800,000

Groundwater assessment and SSTS: $10.65 million.

  • Groundwater assessment: Monitor and enhance ambient groundwater well network to collect critical water quality data needed for drinking water protection and surface water impact analysis, including modeling to support TMDL stressor identification and contaminants of emerging concern in a subset of monitoring wells. $2,250,000
  • Enhanced County inspections/Subsurface Sewage Treatment Systems corrective actions: Support technical assistance and County implementation of SSTS program requirements (M.S. 115.55) including issuing permits, conducting inspections, identifying and resolving non-compliant SSTS, and revising and maintaining SSTS ordinances.$6,900,000
  • National Park Water Quality Protection Grant. $1,500,000
PDF Document Clean Water Fund appropriations for FY12-13 (ld-12sy11)

Apply for Clean Water Funding

Local governments and others can apply through a competitive process administered by the MPCA for the following activities over the 2012-2013 biennium:

  • Clean Water Partnership: $2M. Funding will be used to provide grants to protect and improve the basins and watersheds of the state and provide financial and technical assistance to study waters with nonpoint source pollution problems. Priority shall be given to projects preventing impairments and degradation of lakes, rivers, streams, and groundwater in accordance with Minnesota Statutes, section 114D.20, subdivision 2, clause (4). MPCA project manager: Pete Fastner 651-757-2349. CWP Program Web site.
  • Surface Water Assessment Grants (SWAG): $1M. Funding will be used to complete the monitoring needed to meet assessment requirements on Minnesota lakes and streams. Requests for proposal are open annually in October to provide local organizations and citizen volunteers with monitoring funds. MPCA project manager: Kelly O'Hara, 651-757-2622. SWAG Program website.

Background on the Clean Water Fund

On November 4, 2008, Minnesota voters approved the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment to the constitution to protect drinking water sources; to protect, enhance, and restore wetlands, prairies, forests, and fish, game, and wildlife habitat; to preserve arts and cultural heritage; to support parks and trails; and to protect, enhance, and restore lakes, rivers, streams, and groundwater.

The amendment increased the sales and use tax rate by three-eighths of one percent on taxable sales, starting July 1, 2009, continuing through 2034. Of those funds, approximately 33% will be dedicated to a Clean Water Fund to protect, enhance, and restore water quality in lakes, rivers, streams, and groundwater, with at least 5% of the fund targeted to protect drinking water sources.

Seven Minnesota agencies collaborate and partner on Minnesota’s water resource management activities under the Clean Water Fund:

  • Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
  • Department of Natural Resources
  • Department of Agriculture
  • Department of Health
  • Board of Water and Soil Resources
  • Public Facilities Authority
  • Metropolitan Council

To review the entire Legacy bill, please see Special Session Chapter 6.

For more information

Assistant Water Commissioner, Rebecca Flood, 651-757-2022 or

Clean Water Fund Coordinator, Denise Leezer, 651-757-2523 or

Legacy Logo


Last modified on October 12, 2015 12:55

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