Connecting Americans to the value of water in our lives.

Our Work

Water. Simple. Almost free. Comes out of the tap when we turn it on. We think we know it. But really, we don’t. Water knows no boundaries. It touches every aspect of our lives, and all life depends on it.

At the Water Main we’re catalyzing conversation, community and action in support of clean, abundant, accessible water.


To make the value of water more visible for Americans, we focus on how water connects to tangible and visible aspects of people’s lives.

Water and…







Our Projects


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.


Water & Equity in North Minneapolis

The Water Main and MPR News are working with people, organizations, and media outlets in North Minneapolis to create conversations about water, community, and racial equity.


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, moderated by MPR Chief Meteorologist Paul Huttner explores that question with polar explorer Ann Bancroft and Sea Grant extension educator Jesse Schomberg.


Field Work

Field Work is a new podcast for commercial farmers to share their experiences with sustainable agriculture—what’s worked, what hasn’t, and why?


Just Eat It: Why Food Waste Matters

Growing food isn't easy. It takes land, labor, water, fertilizer, and more. So why does 40% of food in the U.S. go uneaten? In our radio special, host Jed Kim and the Water Main team dig into the issue of food waste and taste test some possible solutions.


Water Use and Pollution Survey

The major U.S. industries interact with water in diverse ways. Some use or pollute water more than others. Do Americans know how the pillars of our economy stack up when it comes to water? With the APM Research Lab, we fielded a nationally representative survey to learn how informed the public is on industrial water use and pollution.


Great Lakes Water Equity

In cities across the country, the cost of water has risen dramatically in recent years, forcing hundreds of thousands of people to endure weeks or even months without an essential resource. The crisis is especially acute in cities along the Great Lakes - the region of the country with the most abundant fresh water.


Year in Review

Read our 2018 Year in Review for a snapshot of what we accomplished our first year.


Road Salt

The Water Main put together a multi-platform project looking at the trade-offs of heavy road salt use in a snowy place like Minnesota and the alternatives to its use.


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, the research arm of American Public Media, and Wilder Research to conduct this national study that asked Americans just that.


Know Water, Know Beer

Crisp, funky, floral, bitter, hoppy, malty, sour. There is no shortage of words used to describe the many flavors of beer. Walk into any taproom and you’ll find brewers and beer drinkers discussing the specific combination of hops, grains and yeast that combine to create a great tasting beer. But to truly know beer, you must know water.


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.


Flyover: Down the Mississippi River

In July 2018, the Water Main partnered with Minnesota Public Radio® host Kerri Miller, MPR News, New Orleans Public Radio, and Iowa Public Radio to produce a special week of live call-in shows to give listeners a greater appreciation of how the Mississippi River influences the economy, culture and environment of the communities along its path.


Water Detective Series

Water is weird, wonderful and worth protecting! 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.



Stay Informed

Get the latest stories and event information from the Water Main team.