This project is the continuation of efforts to restore and protect watersheds and streams in Minnesota’s Lake Superior coastal region. The project provides the means to evaluate water quality impairments, complete pollutant source assessments, establish loading capacities and allocations for impairments, and to evaluate and recommend protection strategies for high quality water resources. It also leverages and encourages adoption of locally driven solutions to watershed management and protection.
This project will maximize the utility and usefulness of three HSPF models that have been constructed and calibrated for hydrology. The contractor will identify and reduce parameterization errors in the following three HSPF models: 1) Buffalo River Watershed, 2 ) Thief River Watershed, 3) Bois de Sioux-Mustinka Watersheds. This will result, not only in a better hydrology calibration, but will also improve each of the models’ ability to more accurately estimate sediment and pollutant loads and concentrations.
The goal of this project is to construct, calibrate, and validate three HSPF watershed models. The project will result in HSPF models that can readily be used to provide information to support conventional parameter TMDLs. The models are expected to generate predicted output timeseries for hydrology, sediment, nutrients, and dissolved oxygen which are consistent with available sets of observed data.
This project will complete the development of two watershed HSPF models for the Mustinka River and Bois de Sioux River watersheds. These calibrated and validated executable models will simulate hydrology at the 12-digit HUC subbasin scale.
The St. Louis River watershed is one of the largest watersheds in northern Minnesota and the largest single contributing watershed to Lake Superior. Surface waters are abundant with 353 lakes and 97 streams segments. Large areas of forest and wetlands help to sustain areas of exceptional water quality. However, land use changes have degraded many lakes, rivers, and streams. 21 stream reaches have aquatic life impairments, as identified by high turbidity (1 reach), poor quality aquatic macro-invertebrate community (16 reaches), and/or poor quality fish community (12 reaches).
This project will finalize the Hydrologic Simulation Program FORTRAN (HSPF) watershed model construction and complete the calibration/validation process. The consultant will produce an HSPF watershed model that can readily be used to provide information to support conventional parameter TMDLs. The consultant will clearly demonstrate that this model generates predicted output timeseries for hydrology, sediment, nutrients, and dissolved oxygen which are consistent with available sets of observed data.
This project will address United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) comments on the Preliminary Draft Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) study and Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) comments on the pre-public notice draft Watershed Restoration & Protection Strategy (WRAPS) report, and produce Public Notice Draft TMDL study and Public Notice Draft WRAPS report ready for public review and comment.
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.