The City of Thief River Falls drinking water is taken from a 135 acre reservoir that is supplied by the Thief River and Red Lake River. Sedimentation and erosion have significant impacts to the waters in Pennington County. The reservoir is filling with sediment faster than expected. Buffers and side water inlets will help reduce sediment and improve water quality for these types of erosion. Buffers would also reduce nutrients polluting the waters in Pennington County and have a beneficial impact to the dissolved oxygen impairment on both the Red Lake and Thief River.
The goal of this project is to engage citizens in local watershed monitoring, work with regional partners to promote understanding and protection of watersheds, and organize and facilitate gathering of scientific data for the benefit of water quality in the Red River Basin.
As part of the FY 2012 funding cycle, the Board of Water and Soil Resources granted funds for development of the Water Quality Decision Support Application (WQDSA). The WQDSA will provide land and water managers with geospatial data and online tools to prioritize, market, and implement actions on the landscape to achieve water quality objectives identified in local and state water plans and to ensure that public funding decisions are strategic and defensible.
This project will develop an effective transferable model to engage and educate watershed residents, stakeholders and others to better understand and protect watershed ecostystems through environmental monitoring, training, and formal and informal education programs in their local watershed. The project will build on the foundation of the existing Red River Basin River Watch program by strengthening three main activity areas: 1) curriculum integration and teacher training, 2) youth leadership and civic engagement, and 3) applied research collaboration and watershed science skills building.
International Water Institute (IWI) staff will monitor 24 sites in the Bois de Sioux, Mustinka (2 sites), Buffalo (8 sites), Red Lake (4 sites), Sandhill (3 sites), Thief (2 sites), and Tamarac River (3 sites) Watersheds intensively over a 2 year period in an attempt to collect 25 samples per year at each site. If conditions allow for the collection of all planned samples, 1200 stream samples will be collected over the time period. Monitoring will include field measurements, observations, and at least three photographs during each site visit.