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Dayton proposes major fee increase for water

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Chronic water issues in Minnesota have prompted a proposal by Gov. Mark Dayton that would double fees for water permit holders, according to a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources news release.

The increased revenue would fund research on the state's water sources and how they're being used.

The DNR says 75 percent of Minnesotans get their drinking water from groundwater, but extreme drought and drawn-down aquifers are putting water supplies at risk.

The increase raises the residential rate of water supplied by municipal, community or private water suppliers to $15 per million gallons from $7.50 per million gallons. Or, 0.00075 of a penny per gallon to 0.0015 of a penny per gallon.

The Pioneer Press says it's unclear how and if that increase would be passed along to homeowners.

In the past, the DNR admitted to having few resources when it comes to enforcing water regulations in the state, where many permit holders use more than their fair share, but suffer no consequence.

Over-pumping from aquifers has also contributed to White Bear Lakes's record low water levels.

The proposal is expected to be introduced in the Legislature early next week.

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