Minnesota Conservation Water Rates Information
October 2014: MnDNR sent out letter to PWSs regarding demand reduction measure law.
Dear Public Water Supplier,
Our records indicate that your water system serves a population of more than 1,000 residents. This letter is to remind you of a law that may affect your community.
In the spring of 2011, the State Legislature amended Minnesota Statutes 103G.291 to require public water suppliers serving more than 1,000 residents to encourage water conservation by adopting demand reduction measures, including a water conservation rate or a uniform rate with a conservation program by January 1, 2015.
Public Water Suppliers that are currently planning to request an increase in authorized volume from the DNR, or are currently planning to seek permission to drill a new well from the Department of Health, are required to adopt demand reduction measures, including a conservation rate or a uniform rate with a conservation program, before requesting the increased volume or new well.
Demand reduction measures are those measures that reduce water demand, water losses, peak water demands, and nonessential water uses. These were to have been addressed in your current water supply plan. Water supply plans must be updated every ten years. In 2015 we will be sending communication to all public water suppliers about the need to update their water supply plans, including the incorporation and implementation of water conservation rates and demand reduction measures. This communication will also include information about when the next round of plan updates will be due.
If you have any further questions on the demand reduction measure law, please contact your local DNR staff person.
Princesa VanBuren Hansen
Department of Natural Resources
Division of Ecological and Water Resources
500 Lafayette Road North
Saint Paul, Minnesota 55155
April 3, 2012: Minnesota Water Conservation Law Changes
The revision of the Water Conservation Law was signed today by Governor Dayton as part of a broader bill related to environmental permitting and review reform. MRWA worked with the our members, the League of Minnesota Cities, other associations and agencies to draft language to give water systems flexibility in their water conservation initiatives. The deadline for compliance has also been pushed back to January 1, 2015. A special thank you to all that participated in this process.
(c) Public water suppliers serving more than 1,000 people must employ encourage water conservation by employing water use demand reduction measures, including a conservation rate structure, as defined in subdivision 4, paragraph (a), unless exempted under subdivision 4, paragraph (c), before requesting approval from the commissioner of health under section 144.383, paragraph (a), to construct a public water supply well or requesting an increase in the authorized volume of appropriation. Demand reduction measures must include evaluation of conservation rate structures and a public education program that may include a toilet and showerhead retrofit program. The commissioner of natural resources and the water supplier shall use a collaborative process to achieve demand reduction measures as a part of a water supply plan review process. (d) Public water suppliers serving more than 1,000 people must submit records that indicate the number of connections and amount of use by customer category and volume of water unaccounted for with the annual report of water use required under section 103G.281, subdivision 3.(e) For the purposes of this section, “public water supplier” means an entity that owns, manages, or operates a public water supply, as defined in section 144.382, subdivision 4 .
Sec. 3. Minnesota Statutes 2010, section 103G.291, subdivision 4, is amended to read: Subd. 4. Conservation rate structure required Demand reduction measures. (a) For the purposes of this section, “demand reduction measures” means measures that reduce water demand, water losses, peak water demands, and nonessential water uses. Demand reduction measures must include a conservation rate structure, or a uniform rate structure with a conservation program that achieves demand reduction. A “conservation rate structure” means a rate structure that encourages conservation and may include increasing block rates, seasonal rates, time of use rates, individualized goal rates, or excess use rates. If a conservation rate is applied to multifamily dwellings, the rate structure must consider each residential unit as an individual user in multiple-family dwellings. (b) To encourage conservation, a public water supplier serving more than 1,000 people in the metropolitan area, as defined in section 473.121, subdivision 2, shall use a conservation rate structure by January 1, 2010. All remaining public water suppliers serving more than 1,000 people shall use a conservation rate structure must implement demand reduction measures by January 1, 2013 2015. (c) A public water supplier without the proper measuring equipment to track the amount of water used by its users, as of July 1, 2008, is exempt from this subdivision and the conservation rate structure requirement under subdivision 3, paragraph (c).
- Conservation rate as required by Minn. Stat. § 103G.291, subd. 4. “…a public water supplier serving more than 1,000 people in the metropolitan area, as defined in section 473.121, subdivision 2, shall use a conservation rate structure by January 1, 2010. All remaining public water suppliers serving more than 1,000 people shall use a conservation rate structure by January 1, 2013.” https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/?id=103g.291