Map of the day: Residential Water Use Per Capita, 2005

WaterUsePerCapita2005The Metropolitan Council is now accepting comments on their Master Water Supply Plan. Above is a map you’ll be hard pressed to find in the document, but comes from data published at Data Finder. Numbers in parentheses are residential gallons per capita, per day. 2005 is the most recent year for which they say they have complete data from municipal systems. is a non-profit and is volunteer run. We rely on your support to keep the servers running. If you value what you read, please consider becoming a member.

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8 Responses to Map of the day: Residential Water Use Per Capita, 2005

  1. Joe July 20, 2015 at 8:49 am #

    Do you know how so many cities ended up under St. Paul’s water supply? It extends to over 10 other cities, as far as 8 miles from the actual borders of St. Paul. But it seems to work remarkably efficiently.

    • Sean Hayford Oleary
      Sean Hayford Oleary July 20, 2015 at 2:29 pm #

      Other cities are under Minneapolis’s water supply, too. I think they’re open to selling to anyone it’s practical to sell to — I think the rate is favorable to the city providing the water.

      The practice is much more environmentally responsible than pumping groundwater (which is what pretty much everyone else in the metro does). Unfortunately, local pride and a desire to keep water cheap (for now) seems to prevent others from going on the larger systems.

      • Monte Castleman July 20, 2015 at 3:33 pm #

        That and I think Bloomington’s water tastes a lot better than Minneapolis/

  2. Sean Hayford Oleary
    Sean Hayford Oleary July 20, 2015 at 9:18 am #

    Interesting. I’ve often admired those fluorescent green lawns in parts of Edina, but it’s clear they come at quite the price!

    Although if much of residential water use is outdoors, it would stand to reason that, in general, lower-density cities would have higher water use per capita.

    Minnetrista is surprisingly low. I wonder if that’s augmented with wells, or if people there tend to have more land that’s not actively maintained as lawns (woods or prairie space on lot).

    • Alex Cecchini
      Alex Cecchini July 20, 2015 at 9:26 am #

      On Minnetrista, maybe a combo of both. Growing up in Lakeville, I lived in an area that was built back in the 50s/60s. While we were on a lake, there are plenty of pocket neighborhoods or solo houses from that time period that pre-dated the newer subdivisions built in the late 70s and on, and most (if not all) of the older homes had private wells. Even when our street was paved and city utilities came in (1991) we were able to keep our well for our outdoor spigots, as long as the plumbing was completely separate from the rest of the house. I don’t know if the practice is still allowed, but I would bet it’s a contributing factor.

  3. David Markle
    David Markle July 20, 2015 at 10:28 am #

    Interesting that St. Paul per capita usage is relatively very low. A filtration expert tells me that the municipal water there is barely drinkable (Minneapolis, in contrast, excellent).

    • Joe July 20, 2015 at 11:28 am #

      I’m not a filtration expert, but I grew up drinking St. Paul water and I think it’s roughly on par with Minneapolis.

      • Joseph Totten
        Joseph Totten July 21, 2015 at 4:09 pm #

        When was this? Who is the “expert” and what are her/his credentials? Water treatment class at the U had a professor who nearly fawned over the St Paul system’s use of activated carbon.

        The Saint Paul system has one big “drawback” which is that instead of using several tanks for initial filtration and sedimentation from the Mississippi it is pumped through several lakes in the northern reach of their service area, allowing more to precipitate out naturally, dilute itself, and otherwise make it easier for the plant. This makes the system more efficient, but also means that in the spring algae blooms can make the water smell funny, but are entirely non-toxic (and has since been eliminated with the active carbon process).

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