The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has identified streamflow alteration as a key stressor on aquatic life, but the characteristics of streamflow alteration acting as stressors have not been identified in the MPCA Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) process. Without indices that characterize streamflow alteration, the MPCA cannot quantitatively associate metrics of aquatic life condition to streamflow alteration. The lack of quantifiable indices limits the ability of the MPCA to assess environmental streamflow needs for streams and rivers throughout Minnesota.
This project will determine the magnitude and frequency of contamination from endocrine active compounds (EAC's) and other contaminants of emerging concern in shallow groundwater in non-agricultural areas of Minnesota. EACs and other contaminants of emerging concern in this study include compounds typically found in waste water, including, pharmaceutical compounds, antibiotics, and hormones. This project supports the third phase, including laboratory analysis of samples for an additional 80 wells to be sampled by MPCA staff.
US Geological Survey-MN Water Science Center will complete laboratory analysis of groundwater samples for endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) and other emerging contaminants of interest, including organic waste water compounds, pharmaceuticals, and endrocrine active compounds, and report results. MPCA staff will complete sample collection tasks. The USGS National Water Quality Laboratory and the Kansas Water Science Center Laboratory will perform the laboratory analyses.
Groundwater sample collection and analysis will be conducted for contaminants of emerging concern (CEC) at large subsurface treatment systems (LSTS) and rapid infiltration basins (RIB), using an enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) methodology. Results from the ELISA analysis will be reported to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) and used to conduct follow-up investigations at a select number of these sites.
USGS will make streamflow discharge measurements at lowflow measuring stations throughout the state. Measurements will be made during lowflow conditions. On average 100 measurements will be made during FY2012. Stream flow measurements will be entered into the USGS database and made available on the USGS Low Flow Data for Minnesota Streams website.
This project will develop a reasonable statewide estimate of recharge using the Soil-Water-Balance (SWB) Code (Westenbroek and others, 2010), validate the simulation results, and conduct a parameter sensitivity analysis to identify the most sensitive model parameters. For the purposes of this application of the SWB application, comparing the simulation results will be conducted on selected watershed basins in the state against previously established recharge estimates.
This project will use the Spatially Referenced Regression On Watersheds (SPARROW) model as a means of assessing and characterizing the nitrogen loading situation in Minnesota. These results will be used along with other nitrogen loading characterization efforts conducted by others, so that a more complete characterization can be conducted. The results of this effort will be useful as Minnesota works to establish state-specific goals and strategies to address its contribution to Gulf of Mexico hypoxia.
This project will provide an interpretive assessment of nitrogen concentrations in Minnesota rivers and streams, including spatial and temporal trends based on historical data sets. The trends analyses will provide information useful for evaluating nitrogen reduction efforts in the past couple of decades.
The groundwater contained in confined glacial aquifers provides clean drinking water to many Minnesota residents. An important factor affecting the long-term sustainability of these aquifers is how water infiltrates through clayey deposits of overlying glacial till, which act as barriers to contaminants but also limit water flow and aquifer recharge. Very little is actually known about the properties and infiltration of water through till, which hinders the ability to accurately define the sustainability of these aquifers.
The USGS and the MPCA will determine the relative contributions of endocrine active chemicals (EACs) and pharmaceuticals from WWTP effluent to aquatic ecosystems. The primary objective is to measure the concentrations of EACs and pharmaceuticals in water samples collected from the effluents from 20 WWTPs and at sites upstream and downstream of WWTP effluent discharge in Minnesota during 2009-2011.
This project will conduct on-going sampling and lab analysis for suspended sediment concentration at select sites. It will also develop real-time continuous suspended sediment concentration measurements using turbidity and Acoustic Doppler Velocity Meter sensors, data analysis and draft United States Geological Survey (USGS) Scientific Investigations Report, and comparison of sampling and laboratory methods for total suspended solids and suspended sediment concentrations.
This project will improve water management in the State of Minnesota. The result will be a water management tool that can be used by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) to determine low flow statistics when establishing permit discharge limits and by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) to help in water appropriations and permitting. This tool will also be used by watershed districts in understanding and quantifying the State's water budget, the Nature Conservancy in its Ecological Limits of Hydrologic Alteration (ELOHA) process, and the U.S.
Zebra mussels are an aquatic species that are invasive in Minnesota and severely threaten native fish and other aquatic species by disrupting food webs and damaging spawning habitat. Their range continues to expand within Minnesota lakes and rivers, where they are spread through the transporting of water, vegetation, or equipment from an infested water body. Once established zebra mussels are very difficult to control and there is an immediate need for safe and effective control measures to reduce their impacts in the state.