The Stearns County Soil and Water Conservation District will hire an Accelerated Water Quality Technician to focus on projects in the Middle Sauk area showing the greatest pollution reductions. After identifying and prioritizing targeted sites with the highest pollution potential, the Stearns County SWCD will begin surveys and designs and complete them in a timely fashion while current implementation funds are available. The accelerated survey and design in Stearns County will relieve our natural resources of the current strain put on them by the environment and land use.
The AgBMP Loan Program provides needed funding for local implementation of clean water practices at an extremely low cost, is unique in its structure and is not duplicated by any other source of funding.The AgBMP loan program provides 3% loans through local lenders to farmers, rural landowners, and agriculture supply businesses.
This project will conduct a 2017 revision of the South Fork Crow River, North Fork Crow River and Sauk River Watershed Hydrological Simulation Program FORTRAN (HSPF) models and review of the Pine River Watershed HSPF model.
The project goal is to conduct water chemistry monitoring at five subwatershed sites and two basin sites annually from 2016-2019, 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 in the FLUX32 model for calculating pollutant loads.
The Sauk River Watershed District (SRWD) is the drainage authority for Stearns and Pope Counties. The SRWD manages 12 public drainage systems totaling over 90 miles. The majority of the public systems provide drainage for agricultural land uses and were constructed in the early 1900s.
The purpose of this monitoring project is to maintain water quality data collection, build upon existing data for Phase II of the Intensive Watershed Monitoring approach, and develop a better understanding of what impacts the rivers located in central Minnesota specifically in the North Fork Crow Watershed.
The Minnesota Ag Water Quality Certification Program (MAWQCP) is a voluntary opportunity for farmers and agricultural landowners to take the lead on implementing conservation practices that protect water quality. Those who implement and maintain approved conservation practices will be certified and in turn obtain regulatory certainty for a period of ten years. This program will help address concerns about changing regulatory requirements from multiple state and federal agencies.
The North Fork Crow River Watershed District will develop an inventory and inspection database for 103E ditches under their drainage authority. The district will acquire a database software solution to conduct field inspections and to track ditch maintenance projects throughout the district. This software will be used to facilitate statutory compliance including developing a process for completing annual inspection and reporting requirements.
This contract will be to initiate the second cycle of the North Fork Crow River Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategies (WRAPS) development. The project will provide needed information and analysis to make sure that implementation strategies are well thought out and targeted. The result will be a framework for civic and citizen engagement and communication, which will contribute to long-term public participation in surface water protection and restoration activities throughout the watershed.
Rice Lake, in Stearns County, is an impaired water for nutrients that has a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Implementation plan developed. Rice Lake is one of the larger lakes in the county, offering major water recreation opportunities, economic benefits as well as fish and wildlife habitat. It is a priority for Stearns County to implement projects that have positive impacts on this resource.
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.