Current Research


Research done by Freshwater staff, including work on surface water and groundwater.

Nonylphenol & Sedimentation History in Riverine Lakes, Twin Cities Metropolitan Area, Minnesota: July 2021

This study was designed to investigate the occurrence in the environment of a class of compounds, Nonylphenol and many nonylphenol ethoxylates that have been used since the 1940s as detergents and surfactants, among other things. They are known endocrine disruptors and can be produced in wastewater treatment plants. The goal was to document the current concentrations of NP and NPEs within the Twin Cities’ metropolitan watershed and assess how they have changed over time. Read the full report.

Hennepin County Bedrock Collapse Project: July 2021
Hennepin County Emergency Management contracted Freshwater and Midwest Geological Consultants to identify areas where bedrock collapse could lead to sinkholes and will use results of this investigation to highlight risk to the public, similar to their landslide atlas, allowing stakeholders to take action to mitigate that risk. Read the full report.

Banking Groundwater: Managed Aquifer Recharge (December 2020) 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.

Hennepin County Interactive Landslide Map and Hazard Atlas: December 2020

The Twin Cities has experienced an increase in landslide activity over the past decade as a result of increased precipitation. This interactive map of landslides and atlas report can help watershed districts and cities manage surface water to reduce the risk of landslides.

Sediment Accumulation in the Floodplain of Lower Minnesota River Watershed (June 2019) provides a direct assessment of sediment accumulation in the floodplain of Lower Minnesota River Watershed to better document how sedimentation in this reach has changed as a result of changes in flow in the post-settlement period. Download.