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

The Great Minnesota IcebreakerJust announced: The Great Minnesota Icebreaker!

Join us March 25th at Back Channel Brewing for The Great Minnesota Icebreaker, celebrating ice out season in the Land of 10,000 Lakes!

We welcome Freshwater members and all champions of water conservation to join us for an evening of camaraderie, food and drink, and learning about what could be a very early ice out for many lakes across the state. Admission includes hors d'oeuvres and a complimentary tap beer!

Minnesota State Capitol

View Freshwater's priorities for the state legislative session

The 2024 Minnesota legislative session is underway. Visit our Policy page to learn about Freshwater's priorities for the session, including response to nitrate contamination of drinking water and bonding for public water infrastructure projects.

Our policy team continues to meet with legislators, partner organizations and state agency leaders – and we will keep a close eye on water-related bills as they move through the legislative process.

Get your 2024 Weatherguide wall calendar at half price!

The 2024 Minnesota Weatherguide Environment Calendar and Almanac is now half price!

Produced in partnership with KARE 11 and Minnesota Public Radio, the Weatherguide is your source for year-round weather and astronomical information, phenology, nature facts, stunning regional photography and much more. Plus, your purchase supports Freshwater's conservation, research, policy and education work.

Please note: Engagement calendars are SOLD OUT. Wall calendars are available while supplies last.

2023 Impact Report

View our 2023 Impact Report

Take a look at some facts, figures and stories highlighting our work for water this past year in Freshwater's 2023 Impact Report. You'll also find a list of Freshwater donors, a recap of our program and fundraising efforts, and a financial summary of our latest fiscal year.

Thanks to the generous support of Freshwater members, donors and partners, we continue to make significant headway in our mission.

Water Reuse SymposiumJoin Freshwater at the 2024 WaterReuse Symposium in Denver

Freshwater is a sponsor for the 2024 WateReuse Symposium March 11-14 in Denver, Colorado. This is the premier conference on water recycling – attracting water professionals and water reuse practitioners globally for knowledge-sharing, networking and collaboration. The event is planned in collaboration with The Water Research Foundation and includes engaging sessions on the latest water reuse research on topics including agricultural, industrial and onsite reuse. Other activities include tours of innovative reuse projects in the region and a keynote address from photographer, adventurer and author Pete McBride.

Drinking water glass

Freshwater helps develop state drinking water plan

The Minnesota Department of Health is currently developing a 10-year drinking water plan to better manage drinking water in Minnesota, and Freshwater is playing a key role in engaging water professionals and the broader statewide community.

As part of this work, Freshwater conducted focus group discussions and contributed to a report, Lessons from Drinking Water Professionals: An Assessment of Drinking Water Governance in Minnesota. These insights will help guide future policies and programs designed to protect drinking water in the state.

St. Anthony cutoff wall study underway to assess structure beneath Mississippi River

Freshwater is working with the University of Minnesota on a 2-year study of the St. Anthony Falls cutoff wall, which was originally constructed in 1876 on the Mississippi River in downtown Minneapolis.

The project is divided into four activities: Uncovering the history of the cutoff wall construction; field surveys of present-day condition of the cutoff wall; physical modeling failure scenarios at St. Anthony Falls; and risk assessment of civil, life-safety, and economic impacts.

To learn more about this unique infrastructure assessment, visit the project website.

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.

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 leads 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.

Adopt a River

We want to support you in your efforts to keep Minnesota waters clean and healthy for all. Check out Adopt a River for resources and tips on organizing a volunteer shoreline cleanup!

Member hub
Explore our new page for members

Members, this is your one-stop shop for Freshwater news and happenings! Click through and check it out.

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Purchase your Weatherguide Environment Calendar and Almanac at a retailer near you!

rocky island on Lake Superior
Beautify your instagram feed

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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Publications

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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Community members like you are instrumental to protecting the lakes, streams and drinking water we value. Invest in the future of freshwater resources with a charitable gift today. Your support makes a meaningful difference for clean and safe water for Minnesotans—and communities downstream.

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

— Watershed district administrator