Protecting groundwater-sourced drinking water: An assessment of the needs and barriers faced by local water management professionals

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is charged with safeguarding the state's drinking water, which is done through a combination of pollution prevention, treatment, and monitoring strategies. Given the significant influence of land uses and management practices on water quality, prevention strategies necessarily include a major focus on promoting land uses and practices that minimize threats in wellhead protection areas. Consequently MDH recognizes the need to improve collaboration with SWCD and other local water management professionals in agricultural regions of the state who provide natural resource services and advice to landowners and communities. Protecting groundwater sources of drinking water entails a long-term investment in sound land use planning and management. This kind of work will rarely be urgent for local water resource professionals, and therein lies a pronounced dilemma. Successful groundwater protection hinges upon effectively guiding land management decisions. Groundwater protection requires prioritizing, targeting, and allocating resources for the essential work of educating landowners and their communities, providing technical assistance, monitoring resources, and planning long-term projects. This work is not urgent. It is methodical, but it is nonetheless critical. In this context, the MDH Source Water Protection unit seeks to understand how to improve their support for these key local staff, in order to help them prioritize, improve, and/or accelerate this work.
Date Issued
Number of Pages
Minnesota Department of Health (St. Paul, Minnesota)
Rights Holder
Minnesota Department of Health
Rights Management
Public Domain