Creating a Web Based Drainage Management Tool in Faribault County
Nearly 700 miles of open water flow through Faribault County's borders. Over one-third of these miles are artificial drainage systems. Artificial drainage systems are necessary to remove excess precipitation and improve the productivity of agricultural land, however they also have a direct effect on the water quality and quantity of receiving waterbodies. With limited resources available to manage these systems, innovative and efficient management tools will play a critical role in targeting improvements for water quality.
Faribault County has taken the first step toward improved technology and information access by inventorying and mapping all drainage systems, and making this data GIS accessible. This project will take the next step by creating a web based tool which will also provide an inventory of drainage maintenance needs. This web based tool will replace existing procedures and will allow users to quickly review a history of completed projects and identified priorities. This will provide a means of implementing repairs and improvements and will benefit water quality by targeting conservation practices to where they will have the highest effectiveness.
The 20-member BWSR board consists of representatives of local and state government agencies and citizens. Members are appointed by the governor of the state of Minnesota consistent with Minnesota Statutes 103B.101. Board members at the time the grant was made were: County Commissioner Appointees: Quentin Fairbanks; Tom Loveall; Brian Napstad; Soil and Water Conservation District Appointees: Paul Langseth, Louise Smallidge and Bob Burandt; Watershed District or Watershed Management Organization Appointees: Gene Tiedemann, LuAnn Tolliver and Todd Foster; Citizen Appointees: Paul Brutlag ; Gerald Van Amburg; John Meyer; Cities & Townships: Sandy Hooker -Township; Christy Jo Fogarty -Metro City; Keith Mykleseth -Non-Metro City; Agency: Chris Elvrum - Minnesota Department of Health; Rebecca Flood - Pollution Control Agency; Tom Landwehr - Department of Natural Resources; Matt Wohlman - Minnesota Department of Agriculture; Faye Sleeper - Minnesota Extension Service;
Wayne Zellmer -BWSR Grants Coordinator; Matt Drewitz -BWSR South Region Clean Water Specialist; Art Persons -MDH Planning Supervisor Drinking Water Protection; Jeff Hrubes -BWSR North Region Clean Water Specialist; Marcey Westrick -BWSR Metro Clean Water Specialist; Julie Westerlund -DNR Clean Water Coordinator; Robert L. Sip -MDA Environmental Policy Specialist; Anna Kerr -MPCA -Stormwater / TMDL Coordinator; Nick Proulx -DNR Central Region Clean Water Legacy Specialist; Karen Evens - MPCA -Watershed Projects Manager; Joshua Stamper -MDA Research Scientist, Pesticide & Fertilizer Management; Norman R. Mofjeld -MDA Hydrologist P.G. Well Management Section;
(b) $3,000,000 the first year and $3,000,000 the second year are for targeted local resource protection and enhancement grants. The board shall give priority consideration to projects and practices that complement, supplement, or exceed current state standards for protection, enhancement, and restoration of water quality in lakes, rivers, and streams or that protect groundwater from degradation. Of this amount, at least $1,500,000 each year is for county SSTS implementation.
Organized database of information around service requests, system maintenance and inspections. Development of Web-based Application to manage drainage system requests, maintenance and inspections. Quality Control of streamed line process, training and project coordination.
Faribault County SWCD created Drainage DB. Drainage DB has the recipe for better data management and is a one stop web-based drainage management portal. Drainage DB allows the county to better manage information and be proactive on responding to drainage and water quality issues. Another advantage is that it allows county auditors and the Drainage Authority instant access to the data, providing more transparency and better-informed decision making. In addition to the Drainage DB, Faribault County SWCD also applied part of the CWF grant toward using advanced GIS techniques to develop a strategic plan for improving water quality through BMP implementation locations in a 117 square mile subwatershed of the East Branch Blue Earth River. Implementation of the project is in the beginning stages. Using targeting tools, combined with field inspection data, the SWCD is determining which areas of the watershed are priorities for improvement on a drainage system scale.