Welcome to the UMN Water Council!

In the land of over 10,000 lakes, water is a vital resource to residents and tribes. Not surprisingly, 'water' scholarship is a substantial endeavor across the University of Minnesota (UMN) System. Water so transcends campuses, colleges, departments, and centers that it can be difficult to fully grasp its scope. As an initiative of the Research & Innovation Office, the UMN Water Council serves to bring together resources from across the UMN to address the pressing concern of access to clean water for the 21st Century.

Schematic of urban, agricultural, and undeveloped land with a river, lakes, and lighthouse in the background.

Explore Water Scholarship at the U

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Explore Water Scholarship at the U

1. Global Water

Water drives our climate and sustains the world’s people and ecosystems. Our scientists study global water and design water solutions for every continent.

2. Rivers

Minnesota’s rivers flow from the Hudson Bay to the Gulf of Mexico. Our research helps protect Minnesota’s 92,000 miles of rivers from habitat loss, pollution, and bank erosion.

3. Urban Ecosystems

Our researchers are reimagining urban ecosystems to recycle water for increased economic productivity and healthier water systems.

4. Agriculture

University of Minnesota research is helping farmers manage irrigation, runoff and drainage waters to reduce pollutant loss; keeping our economy pumping and our waterways healthy.

5. Lakes and Shores

If you count all the lakes in Minnesota down to ¼ acre, we have 4.6 million, with shoreland that is worth $80 billion. Our scientists work to protect this strategic resource.

6. Forests and Wetlands

Minnesota is home to over 17,400,000 acres of forests, which help to provide clean water for the state. Our researchers are developing new tools for forest and wetland management.

7. Groundwater

Three out of four Minnesotans rely on groundwater for their drinking supply. Our scientists are researching the distribution and availability of groundwater to protect drinking water.

8. Mineral Development

Minnesota’s 130-year legacy of iron mining continues to support the growth of the nation. We research opportunities for economic mineral development while preventing impact on freshwater resources.

9. Large Lakes

Lake Superior is one of five lakes on earth that contain more than half of the planet's liquid surface freshwater. Through outreach, we share our expertise in large lake science with citizens across the state.