More than 90 percent of Dakota County residents rely on groundwater for their drinking water. Unfortunately, groundwater is not a never-ending resource, even in a “water rich" state like Minnesota. With continued population growth, which results in increased water demands, the Metropolitan Council estimates that portions of Dakota County may have limited groundwater availability in the next 20 years.
Dakota County experienced extreme rainfalls the past few years, but that rainfall doesn't necessarily recharge the groundwater supply. Much of the rainfall runs off as stormwater into nearby lakes, rivers and wetlands.
Help conserve water
You can help make sure there is enough water for everyone in Dakota County by reducing your water usage — and you'll save money at the same time.
Indoor water saving tips:
- Replace older toilets with WaterSense-labeled, high-efficiency toilets (save up to 12,500 gallons per year)
- Replace faucets and showerheads with high-efficiency versions (save up to 1 gallon per minute)
- Select an Energy Star-approved washing machine (save up to 15–20 gallons per load)
- Wait until the dishwasher or washing machine is fully loaded before running it (save up to 1,000 gallons per month)
- Take shorter showers (save up to 2.5 gallons per minute)
Outdoor water saving tips:
- Let your lawn go dormant during drought conditions.
- Leave grass clippings when you mow to provide shade for the soil and help prevent evaporation.
- Plant a native garden that doesn't require watering. Learn how at a Landscaping for Clean Water workshop hosted by the Dakota County Soil and Water Conservation District
- Don't water in the heat of the day. Most cities have a watering ban that restricts hours and days of irrigation.
- Don't overwater your lawn. Lawns only need one inch of rain and irrigation combine per week
- Replace sprinkler heads with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) WaterSense-labeled heads and install smart irrigation controllers
- Position your sprinklers so the water lands on the lawn or garden, not on paved areas
Read more tips to grow a healthy lawn and save water and money on the Metropolitan Council or Minnesota Department of Natural Resources websites.
Water efficiency rebate programs
The Metropolitan Council awarded more than $120,000 to cities in Dakota County to assist with water conservation efforts. Property owners who purchase and install U.S. EPA WaterSense-certified toilets and irrigation controllers or Energy Star-rated washing machines may be eligible for a rebate or grant.
The Metropolitan Council allowed each city that received a grant to structure its own water efficiency program. Read the water efficiency rebate program details specific to your city: