This project Phase will collect data, background information, and watershed characteristics within the Red Lake River watershed. This information will be documented within the framework of early draft TMDL Reports (with background information, but no load calculations) for impaired reaches within this watershed and early draft protection plans for the areas in the watershed that are not currently impaired.
On behalf of the Metropolitan Council, Barr Engineering Company developed maps and supporting information to characterize the relationship between surface waters and groundwater, identifying surface waters most likely to be impacted by groundwater withdrawals in the region. This project also provided guidance on effective resource monitoring strategies and costs for each type of surface water feature.
This project will collect intermediate watershed load monitoring data on the Bigfork River which is critical to the identification of stressors and assist in defining areas of concern within the Bigfork Watershed and its greater Rainy River Watershed. Itasca County SWCD will closely collaborate with Koochiching SWCD and MPCA on this project.
OVERALL PROJECT OUTCOME AND RESULTS The impetus for this project was the need to better protect and manage functional lake ecosystems in Minnesota. There is widespread concern about the consequences of poorly planned development on water quality and fish and wildlife habitat. Given the increased demands for water and shoreland, continued habitat fragmentation and loss of species diversity, protection of sensitive lakeshores is critical.
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.
This project will build a working watershed SWAT model that can readily be used by the MPCA to provide information to support conventional parameter TMDLs and to identify critical areas for BMP installation/evaluation that can be supported by the efforts of the local Farmer Led Council as well as other land owners within the Mississippi River-Winona watershed.