Center for Changing Landscapes leads effort to understand Minnesotans’ views on state water quality spending

In 2018, the UMN Center for Changing Landscapes, in partnership with the IonE Natural Capitol Project, conducted the first-ever statewide survey of Minnesotans on water values.  The survey was created by co-PIs Mae Davenport (FR, WRS faculty) and Bonnie Keeler. The mail survey asked residents about their values, beliefs, and behaviors associated with the state’s waters, and their priorities for water quality spending from the Clean Water Legacy Funds (CWF). Nearly 1500 people across the state responded to the survey. Some key findings are shown in the “Minnesota Water Values” fact sheet. The survey findings have been shared with the Clean Water Council, which advises the State Legislature on its water quality spending decisions.
The Water Values survey is part of a larger project aimed to help the Clean Water Council assess which CWF programs and investments are most likely to yield a high return on investment. UMN researchers will also be collecting data to evaluate water quality spending impacts – including CWF-funded project costs, acres impacted, avoided treatment costs, changes in recreational access or quality, potential health or related risks, and equity impacts of different investments, among other metrics. Results from all components of this study will be shared with the public in 2019.
Project funding was provided by Minnesota Clean Water Legacy Funds and the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund. For more information about the study, contact Mae Davenport at mdaven@umn.eduMNwatervaluepage2