Water Conservation

Conservation Ads   *  Bill Stuffers   *  Water Supply Plans & Water Conservation   *  Septic Smart   * EPA WaterSense Partner   *   More Facts & Tools

Public education on the wise use of water resources should be a high priority for any municipality or water system. Public education for water conservation is a requirement of the Emergency and Water Conservation Plans from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources for municipalities over 1,000 population. The wise use of water resources and the ability to get funding for increased demand go “hand in hand”.

Minnesota Rural Water Association has created a series of ads below that you can download and use in your newsletters/publications as a public service announcement on water conservation. Contact us if you need to have these ads modified for your use.

Keep Drinking Water in the RefrigeratorUse a Broom Instead of a Hose
Only Run a Full Load of DishesDon’t Run the Faucet When Brushing Your Teeth

The Minnesota Rural Water Association has made it easy for you to develop a water conservation public education program. Posters and several bill stuffers have been designed for your convenience. Choose a different poster and bill stuffer for a quarterly mailing to your customers. Additional designs will be available in the future to continue your public education program. download and print the bill stuffers and posters of your choice below. Bill stuffers can be customized by calling MRWA at: 800-367-6792 or e-mail at: mrwa@mrwa.com. Communicate with your customers!

Use a Broom Instead of a HoseDoes Your Water Bill Seem High?Only Run a Full Load of Dishes
Don’t Run the Faucet When Brushing Your TeethLeakage Can Be CostlyDon’t Let Your Toilet Waste Water
Leaks…Just a Slow Drip Wastes Water Keep Our Waters Phosphorus Free 
Water Supply Plans and Water ConservationMinnesota Department of Natural Resources
Minnesota Law:  “All public water suppliers that operate a public water distribution system, serve more than 1,000 people, and/or all cities in the seven county metro area, must have a water supply plan approved by the DNR.”  Plan updates will be between 2016 and 2018.

*Download: Water Supply Plan Template  -AND-  * Water Supply Plan Instructions and Checklist

**SAMPLE TEMPLATE for populations under 1,000

*Sample TEMPLATE for populations over 1,000

Question and Answer Document Link from DNR on Water Supply Plans

DNR’s Water Supply Plan Web site:  http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/waters/watermgmt_section/appropriations/eandc_plan.html
Reminder: plans should be submitted to MnDNR electronically; no paper forms are required.
*NOTE: Submit electronically through  MPARS and you will be directed to a Water Use Reporting Screen. This page lists all of your water appropriation permits that have a report due for the current reporting year plus any outstanding reports and/or fees from previous years. Refer to the Report Due Date, Report Status, and Payment Status columns for details. 
Once approved, communities should complete a Certification of Adoption form, and send a copy to the DNR.
*Questions regarding water supply plans: call: 651-259-5034 or wateruse.dnr@state.mn.us
*Guidance and Planning Toolkit from Met Council
*MRWA Emergency Response Template: MRWA Tools
*MRWA Water Conservation Rates help
*AWWA – Best Practices in Water Loss Control: Improved Concepts for the 21st Century Water Management
*Alliance for Water Efficiency Guide for firms that specialize in specific water needs: www.allianceforwaterefficiency.org/BusGuide.aspx

*Critical Water Deficiency Ordinance :

  • League of Minnesota Cities Model Ordinance for Critical Water Deficiency   ***NOTE: that this model ordinance should also be reviewed by the city attorney.

*Metropolitan Council is funding this Water Efficiency Grants initiative: http://www.edenprairie.org/community/living-green/water-conservation-rebate-programs and 18 other similar programs in the Twin Cities metro area, with a 25% match from each of the 19 participating municipalities.
*Useful websites for demand reduction and water conservation:
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
Metropolitan Council
Minnesota GreenStep Cities
Great Lakes Commission

*Executive Summary of the Water Research Foundation’s 2016 Residential End Use Report; the report gives very encouraging results for water efficiency!



EPA Septic Smart: Educational MaterialsAcross the country, local environmental groups, health departments, and governments face challenges posed by improperly maintained and failing septic systems. EPA seeks to assist these local agencies in promoting homeowner education and awareness. Download materials at the link below or at: http://water.epa.gov/septicsmart

Septic Smart Mail Insert  |  Septic Smart Postcard  | Septic Smart Door Hanger  | Septic Smart Homeowner Guide
Septic Smart  Flyer  |  Septic Smart Landscaping Awareness


 EPA WaterSense Program

 MRWA is a EPA WaterSense Partner

Visit EPA’s WaterSense Program site


More Tools and Resources:

VertexOne:  Tapping into the Power of Behavioral Science – Insights and Opportunities for Water-Use Efficiency White Paper

Chase Down Those Leaks –  Leak Detection Checklist from EPA WaterSense

The white paper Minnesota’s Groundwater Education Gap–Preparing Students to Effectively Manage our Groundwater Resources in the Futureposted on the MGWA public Web page.

MRWA- Chart of Water Use Habits
MRWA Water Conservation Tips – Around the House
MRWA Water Conservation Facts
MRWA Water Conservation Daily Usage / Toilet Usage
MRWA Benefits of Water Meters

University of Minnesota Extension Auditing Irrigation Systems
University of Minnesota Extension Lawn Water Saving Strategies

Link: Water Drip Calculatoronline calculator to calculate lost water due to leaky faucets

EPA Link: Minnesota’s Drinking Water

DNR Link: Facts About Minnesota’s Waters

USGS Link: Water  Properties and Measurements

Link: Conservation Through Rainwater / Barrels

Rebate Program: Check out what the City of Rochester, Minnesota has for a rebate program: https://www.rpu.org/your-home/rebates-programs/conserve-and-save.html