Funds are to be used to protect, enhance and restore water quality in lakes, rivers and streams and to protect groundwater and drinking water. Activities include structural and vegetative practices to reduce runoff and retain water on the land, feedlot water quality projects, SSTS abatement grants for low income individuals, and stream bank, stream channel and shoreline protection projects. For the fiscal year 2012, BWSR awarded 12 local governments with funds.
Funds are to be used to protect, enhance and restore water quality in lakes, rivers and streams and to protect groundwater and drinking water. Activities include structural and vegetative practices to reduce runoff and retain water on the land, feedlot water quality projects, SSTS abatement grants for low income individuals, and stream bank, stream channel and shoreline protection projects. For the fiscal year 2012, BWSR awarded 13 local governments with funds to complete 143 projects. More information is available in the detail reports below.
The Thief River is impaired due to low Dissolved Oxygen and high Turbidity levels resulting from high sediment load. These impairments affect the drinking water supply of Thief River Falls in addition to fish spawning habitat and recreation. The Erosion, Sedimentation and Sediment Yield Report completed in 1996 found that 63% of the sediment originates from the streambank of the Thief River. The Pennington Soil and Water Conservation District is therefore targeting the major sediment sources along the river.
The Halvorson Streambank Stabilization site is located three miles north of the City of Thief River Falls on the Thief River. The Thief River is impaired for low dissolved oxygen and turbidity. A TMDL study began in 2010. These impairments affect fish spawning habitat, recreation and the drinking water supply of Thief River Falls. Studies show that 63% of the sediment in the Thief River is coming from the banks of the river itself. Stabilizing this bank will reduce the turbidity and low dissolved oxygen impairments.
The 14,080 acre watershed of JD#30 and JD#18 drains into the Thief River four miles upstream of Thief River Falls. The City of Thief River Falls draws their drinking water from the reservoir the Thief River supplies. This reservoir is filling with sediment faster than anticipated. It was first estimated that the reservoir would require dredging every 50 years. The last dredging was needed in only 35 years at a price tag of $1.1 million. Treatment of the water for drinking is a major expense to the City.
The 400-mile stretch of the Mississippi River from its headwaters at Lake Itasca to Morrison County near Little Falls is the focus of this project. Working in cooperation with the eight member counties, this project will develop implementation plans and strategies geared specifically for the Mississippi River and incorporate them into the individual County Comprehensive Local Water Plans. These recommendations will be for specific strategies, often crossing county boundaries for implementation.
The Ralph Engelstad Arena in Thief River Falls is the premier high school hockey arena in the State of Minnesota. The Arena fills two city blocks and is covered by 85-90% impervious (hard) surface. Rainfall events completely inundate roads and sidewalks, overloading the stormsewer system. Larger events cause water to stand high enough to reach the front steps to the Arena. Roof runoff produces large amounts of water running from the downspouts. Runoff has made sod establishment on the grounds difficult. Washouts have developed carrying sediment to the stormsewer.
This project will provide land and water managers in the Red River Basin with data and online tools to prioritize actions on the landscape that achieve water quality objectives identified in local and state plans. This will help identify strategically important locations for implementing erosion control and water management practices. Standardized watershed-based data products will be integrated into a web-based planning tool which will be added to the Red River Basin Decision Information Network (RRBDIN) being developed as part of the Red River Watershed Feasibility Study.
The Greater Blue Earth River Basin is a large area within the Watonwan, Le Sueur, and Blue Earth River watersheds. Recent research by University of Minnesota, the National Center for Earth Dynamics, and others has found this basin to be the largest contributor of sediment to Lake Pepin.
The Greater Blue Earth River Basin Alliance (GBERBA), a nine County/SWCD JPO has identified buffers as a basin priority. This initiative will work towards the goal of identifying all DNR protected shoreland in the GBERBA counties without a 50 foot vegetative buffer. Buffer strips protect surface and groundwater from a multitude of pollutants. During stormwater run off events buffers can remove between 50 and 100 percent of nutrients, pesticides, pathogens, and sediment. The estimated sediment reduction for this project is 756 tons per year prevented from entering our waters.