A city, working with another unit of government such as a watershed district (or Watershed Management Organization), can take direct actions to improve the water quality of lakes, streams and wetlands within its boundaries. Implementing an existing TMDL implementation plan is one example. In addition, a number of other action options are found in other GreenStep best practices, for example, in the Stormwater Management best practice. And a number of actions to improve water quality are required through Minnesota's regulatory agencies.
In some cities and for some water bodies, however, the actions of shoreland owners and nearby farmers will be the most effective means toward water quality improvement, which bolsters property values and property tax receipts for the city. This best practice focuses on building community capacity for public involvement in watershed projects, where the city supports actions taken by local lake or river associations, farmers, city residents and other businesses.