We are on a mission to inspire and empower people to value and preserve water.

Upriver: A Watershed Film

Join us for UPRIVER: A Watershed Film

Our next Moos Family Speaker Series presentation will feature a free screening December 5th at The Main Cinema in Minneapolis of UPRIVER, a documentary that explores one of the nation’s most active river conservation movements on Oregon’s Willamette River system. We hope this film inspires new thinking on watershed partnerships here in the Midwest – and how we might creatively share our conservation stories.

Please note: Tickets for this event are SOLD OUT.

Weatherguide Wall Calendar and Engagement Calendar

Order your 2024 Weatherguide!

Produced in partnership with KARE 11 and Minnesota Public Radio, the Minnesota Weatherguide Environment Calendar and Almanac is your source for year-round weather and astronomical information, phenology, nature facts, stunning regional photography and much more!

Order by December 8 to receive your Weatherguide in time for the holidays, and enter the code WEATHERGIFT at checkout to save $1 on each calendar you buy!

One Water Summit delegation

Freshwater leads state delegation to One Water Summit

In order to build new partnerships and identify shared goals, Freshwater led a Minnesota delegation to this year’s One Water Summit in Tucson, Arizona, held November 14-16. Organized by the US Water Alliance, the Summit is an opportunity for stakeholders across sectors to come together to learn and strategize about pressing challenges and emerging opportunities in sustainable water management.

Our delegation had 24 attendees from the Environmental Justice Coordinating Council, Honor the Earth, Metropolitan Council, Saint Paul Regional Water Services, Freshwater and Ducks Unlimited.

White-tailed deer

Photo submissions open for 2025 Weatherguide

We're on the lookout for outstanding regional photography to feature in the 2025 Minnesota Weatherguide Environment Calendar and Almanac!

Photos will be accepted through January 12, 2024, and you may submit up to 10 photos for consideration. Visit our photo submission page to learn more, and thanks for sharing your talents to support our work for water.

Managed aquifer recharge illustration

New study will map potential to recharge aquifers

With groundwater shortages becoming a concern in some areas of the state, researchers at the University of Minnesota and Freshwater will be poised to assist by deploying a first-of-its-kind GIS mapping tool that could help pave the way for managed aquifer recharge in Minnesota.

Also known as water banking, managed aquifer recharge usually involves injecting water into the ground through wells, or constructing infiltration basins, to essentially “bank” water underground for later use.

Lake Hiawatha video

Watch: Video on Lake Hiawatha trash boom capture system

Freshwater teamed up with River Network, Friends of Lake Hiawatha, Osprey Initiative, the City of Minneapolis, and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board to install a litter capture device designed to help clean up Lake Hiawatha. As trash enters the lake through a storm drain outfall, it is captured by a series of floating booms where it can be collected, sorted and analyzed. This collaborative project will help to raise community awareness around clean water and to protect the diverse ecosystem of this beloved lake. Learn more in this video produced by Quasimodo Advertising.

Corn irrigation

New York Times taps Freshwater expertise for groundwater series

The New York Times recently launched a far-reaching investigative series about the state of groundwater in the United States. By interviewing numerous experts and compiling a national database of groundwater measurements, the Times has documented the concerning trend of declining aquifers across much of the country. Freshwater's Carrie Jennings and Chris O'Brien provided background information to co-author Dionne Searcey for an article in the series about how row crop irrigation in north-central Minnesota is testing the limits of groundwater governance and permit enforcement.

tribal and land use mapFreshwater continues groundwater governance work

Freshwater has begun a second phase of work to build capacity for groundwater governance in the Great Lakes region funded by the Joyce Foundation. The team will be following recommendations summarized in the report, Groundwater Governance, Well Cobbled?, which assessed the technical, legal and structural capacity of the six Great Lakes states and 35 federally recognized tribes in EPA Region 5.

The initial Phase 1 study showed that groundwater governance in the Great Lakes Region is in different stages of development and in need of better alignment to thoughtfully and sustainably manage aquifers and groundwater-surface water connections. In addition, there is an important need to amplify tribal government perspectives and advance indigenous leadership in groundwater governance.

Freshwater to lead Great Lakes Protection Fund project in Minnesota and Michigan watersheds

Sunset paddle on Lake SuperiorFreshwater has been awarded $1.5 million from the Great Lakes Protection Fund for a 5-year effort to improve water quality in the Maumee, St. Louis and Saginaw River watersheds. The project team will use cause marketing to raise funds for permanently converting marginal cropland to perennial vegetation, thereby enhancing carbon storage and curbing nutrient runoff.

Working with local land trusts and watershed modeling experts, the team will identify croplands that would provide the greatest water quality benefits. This approach will be used to carefully select parcels, helping the land trusts build capacity and expertise in the process.

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rocky island on Lake Superior
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Be sure to follow Freshwater on Instagram for water news and some fantastic photos! Photo credit for this image: Jon Wood

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Our Work

Our program and policy work empowers individuals and communities to take actions that protect and preserve water.

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Conferences, Lectures, Symposiums

We host events that educate and engage industry professionals, public officials and community members on a variety of water issues.

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We publish and share reports, newsletters and a blog with information on water policy, projects and governance throughout the Great Lakes region.


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Freshwater Society has raised the bar on community and professional dialogue around water.

— Watershed district administrator