Trout Stream Springshed Mapping in Southeast Minnesota - Phase III - Part 1

Project Details by Fiscal Year
2012 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$110,000
2013 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$110,000
Fund Source
Environment & Natural Resources Trust Fund
Recipient
MN DNR
Recipient Type
State Government
Status
Completed
Start Date
July 2011
End Date
June 2014
Activity Type
Analysis/Interpretation
Inventory
Mapping
Monitoring
Counties Affected
Dakota
Fillmore
Goodhue
Houston
Olmsted
Wabasha
Winona
Legal Citation / Subdivision
M.L. 2011, First Special Session, Chp. 2, Art.3, Sec. 2, Subd. 05b1
Appropriation Language

$250,000 the first year and $250,000 the second year are from the trust fund to continue to identify and delineate water supply areas and springsheds for springs serving as cold water sources for trout streams and to assess the impacts from development and water appropriations. Of this appropriation, $140,000 each year is to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota and $110,000 each year is to the commissioner of natural resources.

2012 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$110,000
Direct expenses
$110,000
Number of full time equivalents funded
1.16
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

Click on "Final Report" under "Project Details".

Measurable Outcome(s)

Click on "Final Report" under "Project Details".

Legal Citation / Subdivision
M.L. 2011, First Special Session, Chp. 2, Art.3, Sec. 2, Subd. 05b1
Appropriation Language

$250,000 the first year and $250,000 the second year are from the trust fund to continue to identify and delineate water supply areas and springsheds for springs serving as cold water sources for trout streams and to assess the impacts from development and water appropriations. Of this appropriation, $140,000 each year is to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota and $110,000 each year is to the commissioner of natural resources.

2013 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$110,000
Direct expenses
$110,000
Number of full time equivalents funded
1.15
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

Click on "Final Report" under "Project Details".

Measurable Outcome(s)

Click on "Final Report" under "Project Details".

Project Overview

PROJECT OVERVIEW
Native trout require clean, cold water that usually originates from springs. However the groundwater springs feeding the 173 designated trout streams in southeastern Minnesota are under increasing pressure from current and expected changes in land use and increased groundwater withdrawals for domestic, agricultural, and industrial use. This joint effort by the University of Minnesota and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is working to identify and map the springs and the areas that feed them in order to understand how these springsheds might be affected by development and increased water use and determine what can be done to protect and restore their water quality.

OVERALL PROJECT OUTCOME AND RESULTS
Trout streams depend on a steady supply of clean, cold water which comes from groundwater springs. These trout springs are under increasing pressure from changing land use, climate change, and groundwater withdrawals for domestic use, mining, agriculture, and energy production. Delineation of the recharge areas or springsheds of trout springs using dye tracing is a necessary first step in the conservation and protection of the trout stream coldwater supplies. This project focused on delineating groundwater springsheds both in the Galena Group limestone karst areas of Fillmore and Olmsted counties, where this work has been done for over 30 years, and in the Cambrian St. Lawrence Formation and Tunnel City Group bedrock across southeast Minnesota. Prior to this project, no springsheds had been delineated in the St. Lawrence or Tunnel City bedrock units. We demonstrated that springs discharging from these units receive surface water recharge from sinking streams and that this recharge moves hundreds of feet per day through the bedrock. This has rewritten our understanding of the hydrology of southeast Minnesota and has demonstrated that these springs, which we formerly believed to be well-protected from land surface activities, are much more vulnerable than we previously realized. Overall, during this project we mapped 41 groundwater springsheds (delineated by dye tracing) and 54 surface water springsheds (surface watersheds sending water to a point where it sinks underground into a groundwater springshed). Twelve of the groundwater springsheds and sixteen of the surface water springsheds are in the St. Lawrence Formation and Tunnel City Group. The groundwater springshed delineated areas total 50,708 acres and the surface water delineated areas total 124,447 acres. Prior to this project there was a total of 54,091 acres of both springshed types delineated. Springsheds were delineated in Dakota, Dodge, Fillmore, Goodhue, Houston, Mower, Olmsted, Wabasha and Winona counties.

PROJECT RESULTS USE AND DISSEMINATION
Information from this project was widely disseminated. A map of the delineated springsheds and a document on Spring Assessment Protocols were produced and submitted to the LCCMR and will be published by the Minnesota Geological Survey. The springshed coverage is being used by state and local governments to target areas for conservation efforts and for Clean Water Fund project ranking. The springshed mapping will be used by the DNR for Silica Sand Mining Trout Stream Setback permitting and in Water Appropriation permit review.

Project information was presented to numerous groups including the SE MN Water Resources Board, Root River Technical Advisor Group, Fillmore County Local Water Planning committee, Southeast Minnesota County and State Feedlot officers, Midwest Federal Agency Senior Managers, and at Silica Sand mining forums in Red Wing, Lewiston, La Crescent, and Winona. On the ground information was presented during tours of the southeast; groups that went "on tour" include Minnesota Groundwater Association, MPCA/DNR field staff, SE Minnesota water advocacy groups, Geological Society of America, Minnesota Association of Professional Soil Scientists, and state and federal agency staff from Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin.

A paper on the St. Lawrence tracing work has been was published in the journal Carbonates and Evaporites. The springshed mapping work was the subject of two stories on Minnesota Public Radio. Project results were presented at numerous scientific meetings including the 11th and 12th Multidisciplinary Conference on Sinkholes and the Environmental and Engineering Aspects of Karst, the Minnesota Groundwater Association, the Midwest Groundwater Conference, the Geological Society of America, The Driftless area Symposium, and at a Winona State University Geology Department seminar.

Project Manager
First Name
Jeff
Last Name
Green
Organization Name
MN DNR
Street Address
2300 Silver Creek Rd NE
City
Rochester
State
MN
Zip Code
55906
Phone
(507) 206-2853
Email
jeff.green@state.mn.us