The Minnesota State Legislature passed laws as early as 1937 to regulate use of Minnesota's ground water and surface water through a permit system. Several unsuccessful attempts were made to computerize water-use data reported to the State. The U.S. Geological Survey, through the National Water-Use Information Program, assisted the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the Minnesota State Planning Agency, Land Management Information Center, in developing MWUDS (Minnesota Water-Use Data System). The Minnesota Water-Use Data System stores data on the quantity of individual annual water withdrawals and discharges in relation to the water resources affected, provides descriptors for aggregation of data and trend analysis, and enables access to additional data contained in other data bases. MWUDS is stored on a computer at the Land Management Information Center, an agency associated with the State Planning Agency. Interactive menu-driven programs simplify data entry, update, and retrieval and are easy to use. Estimates of unreported water use supplement reported water use to completely describe the stress on the hydrologic system. Links or common elements developed in the MWUDS enable access to data available in other State water related data bases, forming a water-resource information system. Water-use information can be improved by developing methods for increasing accuracy of reported water use and refining methods for estimating unreported water use.
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Minnesota Water Research Digital Library