Once thought to have an essentially inexhaustible groundwater supply, Minnesotans are now realizing our rates of use are regionally unsustainable. Recent advanced modeling by the MN DNR and Metropolitan Council of aquifer supplies, in conjunction with predicted demand, indicate the major metropolitan area aquifers are currently subject to extraction rates that exceed recharge. Simply stated, we are mining our groundwater.
The Carver County Planning and Water Management Department (PWM) has an active well sealing cost share program. Following the adoption of the updated County Groundwater Plan in February of 2016, the Carver County Board of Commissioners moved to accelerate the program to encourage landowners to seal abandoned wells. Carver County is looking to supplement existing funds, as demand is expected to increase. With this additional funding, it is the goal of Carver County PWM to seal an additional 15 wells county wide.
This project focuses on preventing and reducing sediment related turbidity problems throughout the Crow River Watershed and contains three main tasks; Best Management Practices (BMP's) installation, public outreach and administration.
This project includes project planning, coordination, stream reconnaissance, and begins the effort towards civic engagement/outreach components of the South Fork Crow River Watershed project. Phase I will focus towards the development of project teams, identifying stakeholders, developing an initial civic engagement strategic plan and conducting limited lake and stream monitoring.
This project will support a civic engagement cohort that will be offered in southwest Minnesota to foster partnering and build capacity of local government, organizations, and residents for effective civic engagement in water protection and restoration. This project will also build networks and the skill set of local resource professionals to do effective civic engagement work for water restoration and protection. The cohort will be administered through the Minnesota River Board (MRB), established in 1995 with a goal of focusing water management efforts on the local level.
For several decades, community members, lake associations, county officials, and local natural resource professionals have targeted Lake Wakanda in Kandiyohi County to improve water quality. This community led team, is working to address conservation issues within the watershed and the deeply degraded waters caused by years of altered hydrology, increased urban stormwater runoff, and increased agricultural pressures. This grant application is a phase I approach to resolving these issues by focusing on watershed management in Kandi Creek, a tributary into Lake Wakanda.
McLeod County will create an inspection database for 103E ditches under their drainage authority. The County will acquire a database software solution to conduct field inspections and to track ditch maintenance projects. This software will be used to facilitate statutory compliance including developing a process for completing the annual inspection and reporting requirements. The project will lead to improving the County's data management capabilities and better identification of drainage system needs that could lead to helping improve water courses that are impaired for turbidity.
Ensuring natural resource practitioners are applying state-of-the-art approaches is the best way to achieve optimum Best Management Practice (BMP) selection, design, and placement in the landscape, thereby maximizing Clean Water Fund (CWF) benefits. To that end, it is critical to train new staff, create modeling protocols for new BMPs, refine and calibrate models, and test ever-advancing modeling applications.
This project will complete a Watershed Restoration and Protection (WRAP) Plan that includes a set of pollutant reduction and watershed management strategies to achieve water quality standards for the listed pollutants, and that are understood and adoptable by local units of government and other stakeholders. This project will also provide an important water quality 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.
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.
Phase I built the foundation for the South Fork Crow River Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) and created a civic engagement plan. Civic engagement strategies were identified to create greater communication and watershed activities. Phase II provided the analytical and strategic foundation essential to prescribing protection and restoration strategies. These strategies focus on both protecting current fully supporting and restoring impaired surface water resources to water quality standards in the South Fork watershed.
This project will enhance volunteer monitoring efforts and improve the methods used by area Lake Associations in sample collection, handling and data management. It will also assist these organizations in developing simple, straightforward lake management plans that will carry their efforts well beyond the scope of this project.
The Pioneer-Sarah Creek Watershed Assessment project will complete a condition assessment for all currently unassessed or partially assessed (i.e., incomplete datasets) lakes and streams throughout the Pioneer-Sarah Creek (PSC) watershed (South Fork of Crow River; Hennepin County).