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Minnesota is home to more than 10,000 lakes as well as thousands of rivers, streams, and wetlands. These treasured waters are not only powerful symbols of our state but they also provide drinking water, recreational and tourism opportunities, wildlife habitat, water for agriculture and industrial uses, and much more.

Clean water is a hallmark of a thriving Minnesota. Our role at the MPCA is to lead in protecting water and in restoring waters in degraded conditions from urban and rural runoff, agricultural drainage, and erosion caused by removing vegetation from shorelines. We also provide education for residents and businesses so that we all work together to protect the unique natural resources we have in this great state.

Water quality monitoring

Protecting our waters begins with consistent monitoring for pollutants. Monitoring efforts drive our comprehensive strategy to protect and improve our waters. Learn more about the agency's overall approach to water monitoring:

Water quality standards

Water quality standards form the basis for assessing water quality in Minnesota and regulating activities that affect it. Learn more:

Water quality regulations

To protect the environment and the health of Minnesotans, the MPCA is charged with limiting and regulating pollution from businesses, organizations, and individuals. Because cleaning up pollution in our waters is difficult and costly, we focus on pollution prevention as the most cost-effective method of environmental protection.

Global: Surface water search
Dock extending into calm lake in the autumn.

Surface water data

Search for water quality information on specific lakes, rivers, and streams.