Research Summaries & Policy Recommendations

Groundwater Governance - Report Cover

Groundwater Governance, Well Cobbled? Ground water is a crucially important but often overlooked resource in the Great Lakes region. As a common-pool resource, the region's aquifers should have a well-structured set of governing principles to guide their sustainable and equitable use. We ask, “but do they?” Read the full report here.

Banking Groundwater: Managed Aquifer Recharge addresses the issue of the more than 75% of Minnesotans who rely on groundwater and may find it in short supply in the face of population, land-use, and climate change. Aquifer storage and recovery (ASR) is a technological approach to treat and inject clean water into an aquifer for temporary storage. This study examined four different kinds of aquifers across Minnesota with unique pressures to determine their suitability for ASR. Read an executive summary or the full report.

The Water Underground: Implications for Agriculture and Opportunities for Change covers sustainable use of groundwater through an agricultural lens. This third and final report in The Water Underground series makes recommendations for groundwater quantity and quality to manage shared resources. Download.

The Water Underground: Stretching Supplies focuses on three approaches to building groundwater resilience by stretching local supplies: reducing use, reusing water before discarding it, and recharging supplies. This second report in The Water Underground series makes recommendations focused on proven methods to manage supplies. Download.

The Water Underground: Reframing the Local Groundwater Picture is targeted at public water supply managers. The first in Freshwater's The Water Underground series, this report tackles head on which portions of the state and metropolitan area currently have long-term water supply issues. Download.


Minnesota’s Groundwater: Is our use sustainable?, a Freshwater special report on groundwater use, estimates of increased pumping over time, expert opinions on the sustainability of that pumping, and problems in agency enforcement of requirement. Download.

Farm To Stream: Recommendations for accelerating soil and water stewardship, a report on lessons learned from the Minnesota FarmWise program, which piloted a farmer-led approach to increasing participation in conservation farming practices. Download.

Lower Minnesota River Fact Sheet. Increased flows on the Minnesota river yield more sediment. Download.