Water Resources Division of the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with State agencies, obtains a large amount of data pertaining to the water resources of Minnesota each water year. These data, accumulated during many years, constitute a valuable data base for developing an improved understanding of the water resources of the State. To make these data readily available to interested parties outside the Geological Survey, the data are published annually in this report series entitled 'Water Resources Data - Minnesota'. Water resources data for the 1996 water year for Minnesota consist of records of stage, discharge, and water quality of streams; stage, contents, and water quality of lakes and reservoirs; and water levels and water quality of ground water. This volume contains discharge records for 100 stream-gaging stations; stage and contents for 14 lakes and reservoirs; water quality for 34 stream-gaging stations; and water levels for 15 observation wells. Also included are 87 high-flow partial-record stations and 1 precipitation water-quality station. These data represent a part of the National Water Data System collected by the U.S. Geological Survey and cooperating State and Federal agencies in Minnesota. This series of annual reports for Minnesota began with the 1961 water year with a report that contained only data relating to the quantities of surface water. For the 1964 water year, a similar report was introduced that contained only data relating to water quality. Beginning with the 1975 water year, the report was changed to present, in one volume, data on quantities of surface water, quality of surface and ground water, and ground-water levels. Prior to introduction of this series and for several water years concurrent with it, water-resources data for Minnesota were published in U.S. Geological Survey Water-Supply Papers. Data on stream discharge and stage and on lake or reservoir contents and stage, through September 1960, were published annually under the title "Surface-Water Supply of the United States, Parts 4, 5 and 6A." For the 1961 through 1970 water years, the data were published in two 5-year reports. Data on chemical quality, temperature, and suspended sediment for the 1941 through 1970 water years were published annually under the title "Quality of Surface Waters of the United States," and water levels for the 1935 through 1974 water years were published under the title "Ground-Water Levels in the United States." The above mentioned Water-Supply papers can be consulted in the libraries of the principal cities of the United States and may be purchased from the books and Open-File Reports Section, Federal Center, Box 25425, Denver, Colorado 80225. Publications similar to this report are published annually by the Geological Survey for all States. These official Survey reports have an identification number consisting of the two-letter State abbreviation, the last two digits of the water year, and volume number. For example, this volume is identified as the "U.S. Geological Survey Water-Data Report MN-96-1. For archiving and general distribution, the reports for 1971-1974 water years also are identified as water-data reports. These water-data reports are for sale in paper copy or in microfiche by the National Technical Information Service, U.S. Department of Commerce, Springfield, VA 22161. Additional information, including current prices, for ordering specific reports may be obtained from the district chief at the address given on the back of the title page or by telephone (612) 783-3100.