Characterizing Groundwater and Surface Water Interaction in Northeast Metro Area Lakes, MN

Project Details by Fiscal Year
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$252,970
2016 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$247,604
Fund Source
Clean Water Fund
Recipient
Metropolitan Council/USGS
Recipient Type
Federal Government
Local/Regional Government
Status
Completed
Start Date
January 2014
End Date
September 2017
Activity Type
Research
Counties Affected
Anoka
Ramsey
Washington
Legal Citation / Subdivision
M.L. 2013, Chapter 137, Art. 2, Sec. 9, Subd. (b)
Appropriation Language

(b) $537,000 the first year is for an agreement with the United States Geological Survey to investigate groundwater and surface water interaction in and around White Bear Lake and surrounding northeast metropolitan lakes, including seepage rate determinations, water quality of groundwater and surface water, isotope analyses, lake level analyses, water balance determination, and creation of a calibrated groundwater flow model, including a comparison of water levels with lakes bordering the study area. The council shall use the results to prepare guidance for other areas to use in addressing groundwater and surface water interaction issues. This is a onetime appropriation and is available until June 30, 2016.

2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$252,970
Other Funds Leveraged
$175,000
Direct expenses
$252,970
Administration costs
$0
Number of full time equivalents funded
0
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

• Groundwater and surface water interaction in and around White Bear Lake and surrounding lakes is characterized• Guidance provided to address groundwater and surface water interaction issues• Land use and watershed planners will gain information to better manage activities that may impact aquifers, assisting with the protection of critical water supplies

Measurable Outcome(s)

Two U.S. Geological Survey publications document the work done. Both can be downloaded from https://pubs.er.usgs.gov/publication/sir20165139

Source of Additional Funds

This project received an additional $150,000 in USGS Cooperative Matching Funds and the MN Department of Health is providing laboratory analysis of some water samples (approximately $25,000).

Recipient Board Members
Susan Haigh (Chair), Roxanne Smith, Lona Schreiber, Jennifer Munt, Gary Van Eyll, Steve Elkins, James Brimeyer, Gary L. Cunningham, Adam Duininck, Edward Reynoso, John Doan, Sandy Rummel, Harry Melander, Richard Kramer, Jon Commers, Steven T. Chavez, Wendy Wulff
Legal Citation / Subdivision
M.L. 2013, Chapter 137, Art. 2, Sec. 9, Subd. (b)
Appropriation Language

$537,000 the first year is for an agreement with the United States Geological Survey to investigate groundwater and surface water
interaction in and around White Bear Lake and surrounding northeast metropolitan lakes, including seepage rate determinations,
water quality of groundwater and surface water, isotope analyses, lake level analyses, water balance determination, and creation
of a calibrated groundwater flow model, including a comparison of water levels with lakes bordering the study area. The council
shall use the results to prepare guidance for other areas to use in addressing groundwater and surface water interaction issues. This is
a onetime appropriation and is available until June 30, 2016.

2016 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$247,604
Direct expenses
$247,604
Administration costs
$0
Number of full time equivalents funded
0
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

See 2015 Fiscal Year Proposed Measureable Outcomes.

Measurable Outcome(s)

Final outcomes will be reported at project completion.

Recipient Board Members
Adam Duininck (Chair), Katie Rodriguez, Lona Schreiber, Jennifer Munt, Deb Barber, Steve Elkins, Gail Dorfman,
Gary L. Cunningham, Cara Letofsky, Edward Reynoso, Marie McCarthy, Sandy Rummel, Harry Melander,
Richard Kramer, Jon Commers, Steven T. Chávez and Wendy Wulff


Project Overview

A cooperative study was conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the Metropolitan Council, and the Minnesota Department of Health to assess groundwater and surface-water interactions in lakes in the northeast Twin Cities Metropolitan Area (TCMA), including White Bear Lake. An important product of the study was the creation of a groundwater-flow model focused on the northeast TCMA. The groundwater flow model is available for future use to assess the effects of groundwater withdrawals on lake levels as well as to describe other groundwater and surface-water interactions.
The study work generally included (1) statistical analysis of existing hydrologic information about lakes and surrounding groundwater systems, (2) stable isotope and age-dating analysis of groundwater, (3) lake-water outflow measurements at several locations in deep parts of White Bear Lake, (4) targeted groundwater-level monitoring, and (5) development of a groundwater flow model.
This effort builds on work published by the USGS in 2013 (http://pubs.usgs.gov/sir/2013/5044/), which indicated that some water from White Bear Lake was flowing to the underlying Prairie du Chien-Jordan aquifer and reaching wells that were open to the aquifer downgradient from the lake. That work also highlighted how little is known about the groundwater and surface-water interactions at many of the other northeast TCMA lakes that have low water levels and an unquantified amount of lake water flowing to underlying aquifers. The current study filled the knowledge gap by characterizing groundwater and surface-water interactions in northeast TCMA lakes, including White Bear Lake.
The work was supported by a combination of Minnesota’s Clean Water Fund appropriations and USGS Cooperative Matching Funds.

Project Manager
First Name
Lanya
Last Name
Ross
Organization Name
Metropolitan Council
Phone
(651) 602-1803
Email
lanya.ross@metc.state.mn.us