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.
This project will continue the offering of low-interest loans to citizens, some of whom may not be able to acquire funding otherwise, for upgrading 50 septic systems to ensure compliance with state rules. Grant funds will be used to administer the low-interest loan program.
Lac qui Parle-Yellow Bank Watershed District will collect water chemistry samples from the three lakes and twenty-nine stream sites in the Lac qui Parle and Minnesota Headwaters watersheds following the MPCA’s Intensive Watershed Monitoring (IWM) plan for lakes and streams. Eleven samples will be collected at each lake from May through September during 2015 and 2016. Eleven samples will be collected at each of the twenty-nine stream sites in 2015. In addition, sixteen samples at each stream site will be collected in 2015 and 2016 following the E.
Several important milestones will be completed during this Phase (Phase II) of the Mississippi River (Headwaters) Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) project. These milestones will include the completion of the Stressor ID & Watershed Monitoring and Assessment Reports, the completion of the Zonation Modeling watershed priority planning process (through the continuation of the Civic Engagement project component), and the development of the overall WRAPS report.
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.