State of Water Conference

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Thanks to our sponsors:

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Conference exhibitors:

For Love of a River: The Minnesota

“I have been inspired every time I come.”
– Community member

“I attend several similar conferences each year. There is something different about how Freshwater approaches this conference. Somehow, it's more grounded and creates a better atmosphere for connectedness. I'm leaving with more ideas and information I can act on and with more contacts.”
– Private sector staff person

“I’m set up to better meet people where they are, based on their concerns.”
– State agency staff person

2020 State of Water Conference:
Clear action for clean water

Connect, Inspire, Empower

April 30-May 1, 2020
Mille Lacs Grand Casino


Public health notice: We are carefully monitoring the Coronavirus outbreak and the recommendations of state and federal health officials. At this point plans are on hold for the conference. This page will be regularly updated with any schedule changes and contingency plans, including a cancellation policy for participants and sponsors. These are difficult times for everyone. Thank you for your patience and your support of Freshwater.


$195 Regular Registration
$155 Freshwater Member Rate
$69/night special attendee room rate

All around us there are inspiring and empowering stories of people coming together to work for Minnesota’s waters. For nearly 20 years, Minnesotans from across the state have gathered at the biennial State of Water Conference to connect, learn from others, contribute their stories and ideas, and equip to protect Minnesota’s waters.

Community members have always been on the front lines of advancing state and local action, and that remains true today. Collaborations that involve grassroots community members, local governments, and state agencies can lead to powerful and durable changes as we work together for Minnesota’s waters.

The 2020 State of Water Conference brings these different voices and perspectives together to support and further our shared goals. Set on the shores of Lake Mille Lacs, a place rich with history, culture, and natural beauty, the conference will take place Thursday-Friday, April 30-May 1, at Mille Lacs Grand Casino.

Agenda Overview

Thursday (9:00AM to 9:00PM – breakfast, lunch, and heavy hors d’oeuvres)
•    Sessions on accessing funds for community projects and building community involvement
•    Experiences directly tied to the Mille Lacs community with statewide application, focusing on wild rice restoration and dam removal, traditional activities of Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe members throughout the seasons as they relate to water and the environment, and a look into the challenges of small and aging water infrastructure systems.
•    Opportunity to circle up, debrief, and integrate these experiences
•    Networking and resource fairs and receptions

Friday (8:15AM to 2:30PM – breakfast and lunch)
•    Sessions on agriculture and water, collaborating with community, planning for resilience, and nature-based solutions
•    Closing plenary highlighting selected stories with table responses
•    Action lab – Putting the State of Water experience to work!

Lodging: We have a block of rooms reserved at a special rate of $69/night. To reserve your room, call the hotel at 1-800-468-3517, press 1 for Mille Lacs Hotels and central reservations and mention the group name "State of Water Conference" or group code SWC0429. To ensure a room and take advantage of this price, make your reservation early.

Interested in sponsorship or purchasing an exhibit booth?
Check out our sponsorship levels or contact Mary Salisbury at
msalisbury@freshwater.org or 651-313-5817. 

This event is hosted by Freshwater and Conservation Minnesota.

View presentations from the 2018 conference hereLearn more about the 2018 exhibitors.

Check out the event's Facebook page and the photo gallery from 2018.
Follow the story: #StateofWater