The Metropolitan Council is studying how to lessen pressure on the aquifer beneath White Bear Lake by switching some of the northeastern suburbs from groundwater to surface water. St. Paul's water system uses mostly surface water from the Mississippi River and has excess capacity.
The cities highlighted in blue on the map below are currently tapping into St. Paul's water supply. The cities in orange were listed in a U.S. Geological Survey study linking increased municipal pumping from the aquifer to dropping water levels in White Bear Lake.
The Met Council is studying whether it's feasible to pipe St. Paul's water to some of the northeastern suburbs -- or take some of the raw water St. Paul is pumping from the Mississippi and send it to a new regional treatment plant. Preliminary cost estimates are expected early next year.