Water | Wastewater | Stormwater
Critical Initiatives
  • MN2050 will partner with the Minnesota Section of ASCE to create a Minnesota Infrastructure Assessment Report that includes a MN2050 implications analysis.
  • Working with the League of Minnesota Cities and Association of Minnesota Counties, MN2050 will create a Guide for Developing a Local Government Asset Management Policy that provides direction in managing, financing, operating current assets and planning for future assets and the delivery of services.
  • MN2050 will facilitate the enhanced funding of the Minnesota Public Facilities Authority (PFA) infrastructure programs and evaluate the inclusion of additional funding structures, similar to those proposed at the national level.
  • MN2050 will support the need for a State policy that requires funding infrastructure for all capital projects installed whether part of a PFA loan/grant, NPDES permit required, and/or other mandate.


Depending upon the local government in Minnesota, the infrastructure trend line worsens over time due to aging and inadequate replacement funding. Because of the demographics and the “ability to pay” over the next 20 – 30 years, infrastructure in certain cities, counties and neighborhoods will continue to degrade.

What can people expect if an adequate level of funding is not maintained?

Small infrastructure failures are followed by small fix-ups and a gradual loss of the benefits listed in the overview to the right. What is not known or can’t be predicted is whether the long-term lack of investment will cause a large catastrophic event at some point.

Screen shot LiquidAsse_opt1

“Liquid Assets: The Story of Our Water Infrastructure” was developed by Penn State Public Broadcasting in 2008.  The 90 – minute documentary deals with the crisis in our aging water, wastewater and stormwater systems.  Here’s the Trailer (http://liquidassets.psu.edu/).

Water/Wastewater/Stormwater – Recent Entries


BlueprintMN.com “Liquid Assets”

A Documentary Film Project About MN’s Critical Water Infrastructure. Link

This program explores concerns about Minnesota’s aging water infrastructure. Many drinking water systems, sanitary sewers and storm sewers throughout the state are rapidly approaching the end of their useful life, so communities of all sizes are trying to come up with ways to replace these vital utilities that are routinely taken for granted. The rural cities of Brandon, Hoffman, and Battle Lake are featured, in addition to the city of Duluth and communities within the Twin Cities area, to demonstrate how each of them are grappling with the task of maintaining a high quality standard of water in this time of tight budgets. Co-produced by tpt’s Minnesota Channel and Central States Water Environment Association-Minnesota Section.

Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Needs in Minnesota

Full Report: Valuation Technical Work Team Report | University of Minnesota Water Resources Center | January 2011

  • More than $6 billion will be needed to improve drinking water systems in Minnesota over the next 20 years.
  • Of the estimated 535,000 individual sewage treatment systems in Minnesota, about 39% are failing or pose an imminent threat to public health and safety.
  • More than $4.5 billion will be needed to improve public wastewater systems in Minnesota over the next 20 years.
  • More than $1.2 billion will be needed to upgrade and maintain individual wastewater systems over the next 20 years.

Water/Wastewater/Stormwater Overview

Minnesota’s water infrastructure consists of treatment plants, wells, pumps, storage facilities, pipes, hydrants, meters, buildings and grounds, land and facilities for waste disposal and source protection land and facilities.

The Benefits are:

  • safe and healthy drinking water
  • a reliable system
  • convenient service
  • fire protection
  • capacity for commercial/industrial and residential growth

Minnesota’s wastewater infrastructure consists of pipes, pumps, treatment plants, buildings and grounds, and land for disposal.

The Benefits are:

  • public health assurance
  • aquatic resources protection
  • reliable system
  • capacity for commercial/industrial and residential growth

Minnesota’s stormwater infrastructure consists of catch basins, drains, pipes, ditches, pumps, detention facilities, infiltration ‘features’ (e.g., bioretention, permeable pavements), proprietary treatment devices, rain leaders, cisterns and reuse systems.

The Benefits are:

  • safety to structures and transportation
  • water resources management
  • drainage
  • the recognition of stormwater as a resource rather than a waste