Future of Minnesota Drinking Water

Project Staff: 
  • Jeffrey Peterson, Ph.D., Ann Lewandowski, M.A., Lucy Levers, Ph.D., (UMN Water Resources Center)

  • Peter Calow, Ph.D., and Steve Kelley, J.D. (UMN Humphrey School of Public Affairs)

  • Research Associates: Eileen Kirby, M.S.; Menard Loth Ntouko Siewe


Minnesota Department of Health

Project Duration: 

June 2018 - May 2020


The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) requested research and development of an action plan to address threats to safe drinking water. This work includes the identification of the regulatory, technological, behavioral, and cost barriers that need to be addressed to develop public health policies and actions to address emerging threats to Minnesota drinking water supplied by municipal systems and private wells. Specific areas of focus are:
1) analysis of the scope of potential lead exposure from drinking water in Minnesota;
2) development of recommendations for a risk management and implementation framework for potential drinking water contaminants;
3) creation of suggestions for how to engage Minnesotans around the future of Minnesota drinking water; and
4) development of recommendations of how to go beyond federal drinking water standard requirements to further protect Minnesota public health into the future.

This research builds on previous work by the University of Minnesota related to MDH’s process for evaluating contaminants of emerging concern and the project is intended to meet the requirements as outlined in 2017 Minnesota Session Law as recommended by the Clean Water Council.

Reports and Publications: 

Interim Report 
This interim report was written to facilitate conversation within the project team and Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) for the purpose of strategic development of phase 2. The content is not a comprehensive account of current MDH activities, and the "Actions for Consideration" are not recommendations, but topics for further exploration.

A final report is expected in early 2020.