Almost every life choice I have made has revolved around my desire to live exactly where I live, with a morning view of sunrise and mist over water.
— Brent Olson, Ortonville, MN

How do we relate to water?

Americans are increasingly asked to make important decisions about managing our collective water resources. To do so, we believe that people need both an understanding of key issues and a personal connection to water.



What We're Doing

The Water Main aims to bring people together to show appreciation for their personal bodies of water — the pond in their favorite park, the river they cross on the way to work or the lake they visit every summer. So whether it’s helping communities improve the health of their local creek through volunteer events or creating memories at a concert on a lakeshore, the Water Main is dedicated to being with you in your community.


How We Survive

Fancy maps, robots, big data and more…Our climate change collaboration with Marketplace Tech explores how tech can help us adapt to heat, heavy rains and rising seas.


Climate change’s impact on outdoor recreation

Minnesota’s outdoor traditions—from skiing to hunting to canoeing—are closely tied to the state’s climate. So what happens when that climate changes? Our panel discussion at the State Fair explored what climate change means for outdoor recreation in Minnesota. MPR Chief Meteorologist Paul Huttner moderated the discussion with polar explorer Ann Bancroft and Sea Grant extension educator Jesse Schomberg.


How Americans Relate to Water

The Water Main wanted to know: How do Americans relate to water? To shed light on that question, we partnered with the APM Research Lab and Wilder Research to conduct this national study that asked Americans just that. For this study, a total of 201 surveys were completed with respondents from 11 selected regions of the United States, for an overall response rate of 5.5%.



Water Detective Project

One thing we can all do to keep our water safe is get to know it better, so we teamed up with our friends at Brains On!® and Earth Echo International to help kids learn all about the water in the world around them. Learn more >>


Get your badge

Every water testing kit comes with tools for testing key quality indicators — pH, dissolved oxygen, temperature and turbidity… plus an exclusive Brains On Water Detective badge! Get a badge >>

Brains on! Episodes

Brains On!® is a science podcast for kids and curious adults. Listen to the special water episodes to learn more about what makes water weird, wonderful and worth protecting! Listen >>


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MPR Water Month

In April 2018, the Water Main partnered with the news and music services of Minnesota Public Radio to see what a company-wide push around water issues would look like.


MN’s Most-Loved Lake

In the land of 10,000 lakes, we wondered if it was possible for Minnesotans to agree on their most beloved lake.

Pop-Up Classical: Most-Loved Lake Edition

Lake Superior’s victory inspired a poetry contest, a series of Pop-Up Classical concerts, and a social media campaign.