This project will monitor six sites within the Minnesota River Basin: Hawk Creek near Maynard, Hawk Creek near Granite Falls, Beaver Creek near Beaver Falls, Yellow Medicine River near Granite Falls, Yellow Medicine River near Hanley Falls, and Spring Creek near Hanley Falls. The sites will be monitored according to MPCA’s Major Watershed Load Monitoring Standard Operating Procedure, which is the procedure being followed for sites currently monitored by the Hawk Creek Watershed Project (HCWP).
The goal of this project is to perform water quality monitoring and load calculation duties to accomplish MPCA's Watershed Pollutant Load Monitoring Network monitoring efforts at seven sites for the Redwood and Cottonwood River watersheds as well as the Minnesota River site near Morton.
Currently, over 235 miles of open ditch are under the jurisdiction of the Brown County Ditch Authority. A majority of Brown County public ditches drain into large, impaired rivers including the Minnesota River (Turbidity), Cottonwood River (Turbidity/Fecal Coliform), Little Cottonwood River (Turbidity/Fecal Coliform) and Watonwan River (Turbidity/Fecal Coliform). Thus far the Brown County Drainage Authority has been inventorying ditches as requested for repair by residents in the ditch system.
This project will establish a framework with County, Soil and Water Conservation District and watershed staff that will outline their involvement throughout the development of the Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) for the Cottonwood River and Redwood River watersheds.
The Cottonwood River watershed is one of the last remaining watersheds to complete Cycle I of the Watershed Restoration & Protections Strategies (WRAPS) process. The scope of this project upon completion is have two reports developed; a Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategies report and a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for the entire watershed.
This project will establish a framework and provide tools for local government and watershed projects to engage the public in a manner that will lead to water quality improvement through targeted and prioritized implementation of watershed management practices. The major components of the watershed approach that will be used for this project include; monitoring, gathering of watershed information, assessment of the data, develop of implementation strategies, and implementation of water quality protection and restoration activities.
This project approach will include monitoring and gathering of watershed information, assess the data, develop implementation strategies to meet standards and protect waters, implement water quality protection and restoration activities in the watershed. The goal of this project is to establish a framework, and to provide information and tools for local government and watershed organizations to engage the public in a manner that will lead to water quality improvement.
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.
This project will assess 4 lakes and 17 stream sites. The four lakes will be assessed for total phosphorus, chlorophyll-a, and secchi data by the HCWP staff. Staff will monitor East Twin, West Twin, West Solomon, and St. John’s Lakes for total phosphorus, chlorophyll-a, and Secchi disk readings. In order to obtain a sufficient dataset. Ten samples will be collected over 2 years. Water samples at 17 stream locations for chemical analyses, including intensive watershed monitoring sites and “non-target” sites.
The Greater Blue Earth River Basin Alliance (GBERBA) along with Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Counties, landowners, and drainage authorities in the ten member counties will install conservation drainage practices to improve water quality. 103E drainage systems with documented sediment or water quality issues are the focus with the goal of installing 52 practices such as improved side inlets (grade stabilization structures), alternative tile inlets, denitrifying bioreactors, saturated buffers, storage wetlands and others.
In 2017 and 2018, Redwood-Cottonwood Rivers Control Area (RCRCA) will collect water chemistry samples from the 10 lakes and 24 stream sites identified in the Redwood and Cottonwood River watersheds. Six samples will be collected at 10 lakes from May through September in 2017; five samples will be collected at 5 lakes in 2018 from May through September. Eleven samples will be collected at each of the 24 stream sites following the Basic Regime in 2017. Sixteen samples at each stream site will be collected in 2017 and 2018 following the E.coli monitoring regime.
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.
This project will allow monitoring to take place on nine stream sites and characterize their water quality and determine their impaired status for biological and chemical parameters. The physical and chemical measurements will include dissolved oxygen, pH, temperature, conductivity, transparency, total phosphorus, total Kjeldahl nitrogen, total suspended solids, total volatile solids, nitrite-nitrate nitrogen, chloride, sulfate, hardness and e-coli.
This project will further assess the water quality within Brown County by monitoring its rivers, streams, ditches and other waterbodies. This project will also be working in cooperation with individual volunteers to perform grab samples and visual assessments of seven waterbodies throughout Brown County.
The Yellow Medicine One Watershed One Plan has identified Protecting and Preserving Groundwater Quality and Quantity as one of the three priorities addressed in the Plan. Seven priority sub-watersheds have been identified as priority areas, as well as two townships that have been identified by the Department of Agriculture to have vulnerable groundwater areas. Our goal is to provide 50% cost share to seal 34 abandoned wells that are located in these priority areas.
Over the years, the landscape of the Yellow Medicine Watershed has changed through drainage and loss of wetland areas. The Soil and Water Conservation Districts of Lincoln, Lyon and Yellow Medicine counties work cooperatively with the Yellow Medicine River Watershed District to oversee implementation of conservation practices in this watershed. Based on previous Clean Water Partnership diagnostic studies, it is known the river is receiving an excessive loading of nutrients, phosphorus and suspended solids. These conditions have led to declining dissolved oxygen levels as a result.
The Yellow Medicine River Watershed District will contract with the Water Resource Center at the Minnesota State University - Mankato to complete a Geographic Information System (GIS) terrain analysis for the watershed using recently completed LIDAR data in southern Minnesota. Analysis will concentrate on the impaired reaches of the Yellow Medicine River Watershed and its tributaries. This inventory will utilize the State of Minnesota LiDAR elevation datasets to create many datasets through the analysis of this elevation data.