VRWJPO joins Groundwater-Source Water Protection Collaborative

Environmental Resources staff coordinated and hosted the first meeting of the Dakota County Groundwater-Source Water Protection Collaborative (Collaborative) on Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021.

During the development of the 2020-2030 Dakota County Groundwater Plan, city water suppliers and other stakeholders expressed strong support for a forum for sharing resources and ideas for protecting drinking water. As a result, the adopted Groundwater Plan identifies establishment of the Collaborative as a priority (tactic 4A1B), to help facilitate benchmarking, data- and idea-sharing, and collaboration between drinking water stakeholders in the county.

The first meeting was focused on forming the group; identifying interests; and developing purpose, goals, and objectives of the Collaborative to ensure beneficial meetings going forward. Twenty-eight people attended, including representatives from the cities of Apple Valley, Burnsville, Farmington, Lakeville, Northfield, South St. Paul, and Sunfish Lake; Empire Township; the Vermillion River Watershed Joint Powers Organization; Dakota County Soil and Water Conservation District; the Minnesota Department of Agriculture; Minnesota Department of Health; Minnesota Pollution Control Agency; Metropolitan Council; and other county staff. Representatives from Anoka County and Washington County also attended and provided brief overviews of their County groundwater and drinking water protection programs as potential examples.

Based on direction from the October 13 meeting, County staff will develop a draft purpose statement and general guidelines for the Collaborative. The next Collaborative meeting will take place in Spring 2022.

Contact: Dakota County Groundwater Protection Unit Supervisor Valerie Neppl, valerie.neppl@co.dakota.mn.us, 952-891-7019