You are here

Watershed Protection

Why we need the Groundwater Protection Rule

About 75% of Minnesotans get their drinking water from public and private wells. Many of these wells are susceptible to nitrate contamination from cropland fertilizers, which can make the water unsafe to drink.

Today, at least 537 public water supply wells across the state have elevated nitrate levels. About 10% of private wells in vulnerable areas exceed the Health Risk Limit (HRL), including some townships where 30% to 40% or more of private wells are unsafe to drink from!

August 1

Minnesota Governor Candidate Forum

Meet the candidates who want to be your Governor and let them know you care about the water we drink, the air we breathe, the land we live on and enjoy, and the legacy we leave behind.

This event is free but capacity is limited and early registration is highly recommended. >>

It’s time to put our waters on a low-salt diet

Road salt truck

We use salt to manage snow and ice in Minnesota, but too much can irreparably harm our lakes and streams. It's time for Minnesota to go on a low-salt diet. (Photo Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.)

Just 1 teaspoon of salt is enough to permanently pollute 5 gallons of water. Chloride. (salt) pollution to Minnesota’s waters has made headlines for all the wrong reasons, and it's time for all of us to do our part. Here are some short term and long term long-term solutions to ponder and this winter approaches. >>

December 7

Neighboring suburbs helped dry up White Bear Lake

As reported by the Star Tribune, new state agency findings are helping us understand the relationship between unsustainable groundwater use and White Bear Lake, one of many lakes known for "shrinking" in Minnesota.

Combined with a recent related ruling, we hope the new report will push us towards real progress to protect the Land of 10,000 Lakes' vital water resources. >>

November 14

Oct. 18 get 20% off and learn about river-conscious shopping at Patagonia!

Come out to Patagonia’s St. Paul location and enjoy a special 20-percent discount extended to our valued FMR members. 

In addition to enjoying storewide savings, learn more about Patagonia’s emerging research, efforts and products to help reduce water pollution from tiny fibers, which often originate from synthetic textiles. Learn what you can do to reduce microplastics in our waterways and make eco-conscious decisions as we begin the holiday shopping season.

If you're not a member yet, you can contribute at any giving level to help protect, restore and enhance the Mississippi River and enjoy our member benefits throughout the year ahead. 

Proposed MN nitrate rule fails to protect drinking water

row crops and water tower

Annual crops planted in rows, like corn and soybeans, are treated with nitrate fertilizers that are increasingly ending up in Minnesotan's drinking water. (Photo by Weekly Grist, Joe Dempsey.)

We can all agree that clean, safe drinking water should be accessible and affordable for everyone regardless of geography or income. Sadly, that’s not the case for many Minnesotans.

Nitrate used in cropland fertilizer is a leading source of drinking water contamination in Minnesota. Although essential for plant growth and health, excess nitrate harms aquatic life and human health and drives the formation of the “Dead Zone” in the Gulf of Mexico. It's also extremely costly to Greater Minnesota communities.

That’s why FMR is working with our conservation allies to strengthen a new Nitrogen Fertilizer Rule – one of the few places in state law where regulators can require row-crop farming operations, the biggest source of nitrates, to reduce pollution to our waters. >>

October 6

Judge faults DNR for allowing overpumping of White Bear Lake’s aquifer

Water levels in White Bear Lake have fallen due to excessive pumping from the aquifer underneath the lake.

In a sweeping order, Ramsey County Judge Margaret Marrinan faulted the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for authorizing unsustainable groundwater pumping; depleting the aquifer and artificially lowering water levels in White Bear Lake. The ruling could have widespread implications for groundwater management in Minnesota.

September 8

Sigh... Environment bill signed. Legacy funds shifted.

We're pretty sure that when Minnesotans passed the Legacy Amendment, this isn't what they — what we — had in mind. Just signed by Gov. Mark Dayton, the environment bill shifts voter-mandated conservation funds to administrative costs. Thank you to all the River Guardians who tried to prevent this, we look forward to inviting you to happy hour soon to recap the session.

June 1

Pages