Watonwan Watershed - Precision Targeting through Hydro-Conditioning
Accelerated Implementation Grant 2016: Laws of MN 2015 First Special Session Chapter 2, Article 7, Section 7
This project will result in Geographic Information System (GIS) terrain analysis in subwatersheds of the Watonwan River watershed.
LOCAL LEVERAGED FUNDS
With the completion of LiDAR data in southern Minnesota, it is imperative to use this data as effectively as possible. In order to do so, the Greater Blue Earth River Basin Alliance (GBERBA) will contract with a vendor to complete a Geographic Information System (GIS) terrain analysis in subsheds of the Watonwan River watershed. This inventory will utilize the State of Minnesota LiDAR elevation datasets to create many GIS datasets by spatially analyzing the elevation data. Secondary datasets to be created include Critical Source Area, Specific Catchment Areas, Stream Power Index, Compound Topographic Index and Environmental Benefit Index. Multiple watershed maps to be developed will show priority ranking of best management practices and areas to target based on environmental sensitivity variables, such as slope, soil type, land use, distance to surface water, overland flow potential, stream gradient, bluffs and ravines, and erosion potential through this GIS analysis. This analysis will provide valuable data for future planning and prioritizing of projects when partnering with staff from Watonwan, Jackson, Martin, Cottonwood, Brown and Blue Earth counties, along with NRCS, SWCD, DNR, MPCA, and BWSR, and other partners. It will reveal opportunity areas to target to effectively and efficiently address the water quality impairments as listed on the MPCA 303(d) Impaired Waters List. The water quality impairments include excess turbidity, nutrients and bacteria, along with low dissolved oxygen. The precision conservation strategies involving LiDAR based DEM terrain analysis will prove its worth in future planning with conservation efforts tailored to the specific landscapes in the placement of practices within the critical source areas.