This project will accelerate production of County Geologic Atlases (part A). An atlas is a set of geologic maps and associated databases for a county that facilitate informed management of natural resources, especially water and minerals.
This project will identify and compile existing nitrate data from groundwaters and surface waters in the Lower Mississippi Basin (LMB) generally and focus on the Root River Watershed. The purpose is to investigate the quantity and quality of existing nitrate data, and to organize it for use in comprehensive watershed strategy development (including assessment, TMDL computation and identification and study of nitrate sources and delivery mechanisms).
This project will build network and the skill set of local resource professionals to do effective civic engagement work for water restoration and protection in Southeast Minnesota. The cohort will be administered through the Southeast Minnesota Water Resources Board (SE MN WRB) which is an area wide Joint Powers Board (JPB) established to help improve and protect the water resources of the area through coordinating local water planning efforts. This JPB has successfully administered water quality grants in the past that have positively impacted the water resources of this region.
On behalf of the Metropolitan Council, the Minnesota Geological Survey collected information and conducted an assessment of the hydraulic properties and chemistry of selected aquifers in the metro area. This project greatly improves the accessibility of existing data, which were previously available only in scattered paper reports. A robust database of groundwater age, aquifer hydraulic conductivity and groundwater chemistry data was developed to make the information easily accessible to water resource managers.
Funding supports an Irrigation Specialist to develop guidance and provide education on irrigation and nitrogen best management practices (BMPs). In this position, Dr. Vasu Sharma provides direct support to irrigators on issues of irrigation scheduling and soil water monitoring. She is collaborating on the development of new irrigation scheduling tools that help irrigators manage water and nitrogen resources more precisely. These tools help reduce nitrogen leaching losses in irrigated cropping systems.
This project will determine pre- and post-settlement nutrient trends from sediment chronology, fossil diatom assemblages, and from sediment profiles representing human history in the region (i.e., at least 150 years). Project activities include sample collection; sample preparation; diatom analysis; database creation and management; and data interpretation. Sample cores will be taken on the Lake of the Woods in five major bays (i.e., Four-mile, Muskeg, Sabaskong, Little Traverse, and Big Traverse) in the southern basin.
This project is to conduct water chemistry monitoring at two subwatershed sites and two major watershed sites in 2016 and 2017 based on flow conditions, targeting runoff events using protocols defined in the Watershed Pollutant Load Monitoring Network (WPLMN) Standard Operating Procedures and Guidance. The data collected will be submitted to Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) and used for calculating pollutant loads.
With a perceived increase in the frequency and intensity of cyanobacterial algal blooms in Lake of the Woods (LOW), there has been an increased effort to collect information about the nature of algal blooms, nutrient concentrations and sources of nutrients to the LOW.
On behalf of the Metropolitan Council, the Minnesota Geological Survey evaluated the vulnerability of glacial aquifers in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. The project improved upon previous vulnerability assessments by incorporating a substantial amount of new aquifer property information and blending methods previously used by the Minnesota Departments of Health and Natural Resources. The result is a consistent vulnerability assessment across the metropolitan area based on the most up-to-date information available.
The University of Minnesota will develop effective interview questions for community watershed assessments in the Rainy River basin and provide assistance in understanding the data collected through community interviews.
Approximately 70 percent of all Minnesotans rely on groundwater as their primary source of drinking water. Wells used for drinking water must be properly sealed when removed from service to protect both public health and Minnesota’s invaluable groundwater resources. The Minnesota Department of Health protects both public health and groundwater by assuring the proper sealing of unused wells.
Clean Water funds are being provided to well owners as a 50% cost-share assistance for sealing unused public water-supply wells.