Little Rock Creek Irrigation Management Continuation
Accelerated Implementation Grant 2014
Funds will be used to hire a watershed technician, and soil water holding capacity testing will assist with irrigation scheduling. Proposed measurable outcomes include increased soil water holding capacity, with an estimated water use reduction of reduction of one acre-foot/year.
LOCAL LEVERAGED FUNDS
Little Rock Creek, a cold-water trout stream in central Minnesota, is impaired due to the lack of trout and other cold water fish. The trout are absent because of high water temperatures, low dissolved oxygen and high nitrate levels, stressors caused from a lack of base flow and overuse of groundwater. This project continues a 2011 initiative to assist irrigators in the Little Rock Creek groundwater recharge area with managing the timing and amount of irrigation applied to their crops. This will reduce overuse of groundwater, reduce potential nitrate leaching, and restore high quality cool base flow to the stream. This will be accomplished by evaluating the uniformity and function of the irrigation systems, providing one-on-one technical assistance with irrigation scheduling, collecting and reporting daily evapotranspiration rates for use by all irrigators, and conducting soil water holding capacity tests to assist with weekly soil moisture monitoring during the irrigation season. New irrigators will be targeted for this assistance. Irrigation scheduling assistance will be offered to irrigators for up to three years for each crop that is irrigated.