The Aitkin County Soil and Water Conservation District will partner with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and local volunteers to conduct water quality monitoring in high priority areas of the Upper Mississippi River (Brainerd) Watershed. Four lakes will be sampled, including Sheriff, Rabbit, French, and Section Twelve. Four stream/river sites will be monitored including the Rice River (2 sites), Ripple River, and Sissabagama Creek. Through this effort we will obtain information that will be useful in assessing the health of this watershed.
A cooperative study was conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the Metropolitan Council, and the Minnesota Department of Health to assess groundwater and surface-water interactions in lakes in the northeast Twin Cities Metropolitan Area (TCMA), including White Bear Lake. An important product of the study was the creation of a groundwater-flow model focused on the northeast TCMA. The groundwater flow model is available for future use to assess the effects of groundwater withdrawals on lake levels as well as to describe other groundwater and surface-water interactions.
The project will include lake monitoring on seventeen lakes found in the Mississippi River - Brainerd watershed in East Central Crow Wing County (CWC). The project will be conducted in an effort to gain data on these data-deficient lakes. One of the goals of the CWC Local Comprehensive Water Plan (CWP) is to establish a countywide Comprehensive Monitoring Plan (CMP). Surface water assessment monitoring will enable state 303(d) and 305(b) assessments and provide a better understanding of these lakes.
The Ramsey-Washington Metro Watershed District (RWMWD) is responsible for the protection and restoration of the water quality of 20 lakes and 5 creeks within its boundary. Permit and voluntary cost share programs serve to slowly redevelop the watershed to the benefit of these water bodies. However, additional projects are needed- not only to implement green infrastructure in areas that need extra restoration and protection, but also to foster new relationships between citizens and the RWMWD to rally together in a common goal to the benefit of their water resources.
The State Fiscal Year 2014-2015 Clean Water Fund appropriation identified the northeast metro as an area where potential solutions are needed to address emerging water supply issues. Three projects are underway to identify the advantages and disadvantages of combining water supply systems, using new water supply sources such as treated water from Saint Paul Regional Water Services or raw water from the Mississippi or St. Croix rivers, and optimizing groundwater pumping to protect water levels in White Bear Lake and other lakes across the northeast metro.
The Minnesota DNR and the Minnesota Forest Resources Council work with forest landowners, managers and loggers to implement a set of voluntary sustainable forest management guidelines that include water quality best management practices (BMPs) to ensure sustainable habitat, clean water, and productive forest soils, all contributing to healthy watersheds. This project will monitor the implementation of these forest management guidelines and BMPs on forested watersheds in MN.
Minnesota’s use of groundwater has increased over the last two decades. An increasing reliance on groundwater may not be a sustainable path for continued economic growth and development. The DNR is establishing three pilot groundwater management areas (GWMA) to help improve groundwater appropriation decisions and help groundwater users better understand and plan for future groundwater needs associated with economic development.
The goal of this project is to refine the segmentation, extend the simulation period, and recalibrate an existing Hydrologic Simulation Program FORTRAN (HSPF) watershed model for the Rum River Watershed.
The Metropolitan Council, in conjunction with the University of Minnesota Technical Assistance Program (MnTAP), are exploring opportunities for water conservation by businesses in the eleven county metropolitan area. Opportunities for water conservation will be defined for three businesses through the dedicated resources of three MnTAP interns. The interns will analyze water conservation opportunities through full time work on site over the summers of 2014 and 2015.
The University of Minnesota Technical Assistance Program (MnTAP) identified opportunities for industrial water users in the North and East Metro Groundwater Management Area (N&E Metro GWMA) to reduce their water consumption as part of the Department of Natural Resources strategies under the GWMA plan. The source of water in this delineated region is almost exclusively groundwater. Several approaches were used for this effort in order to reach, inform, and interact with a broad range of industrial users.
This project will establish a groundwater monitoring network in the 11 county metropolitan area. The network will provide information about aquifer characteristics and natural water trends by monitoring healthy aquifers (non-stressed systems). The project will also develop an automated system that captures groundwater level and water use data. This system will enhance evaluation of changes in aquifers that are stressed by pumping from existing wells.
This project will focus on creating a watershed identity, monitoring & assessment, stressor ID assistance, Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) report development, Watershed Restoration & Protection Strategy (WRAPS) report development, watershed prioritization and targeting, and the continuation of the Civic Engagement components of the project. Currently, this watershed has seven listed conventional impairments (Lake Eutrophication); however, it is possible that additional stream impairments (up to four) may be identified during the IWM process.
The project goal is to assist the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) with meeting the objectives of the Surface Water Assessment Grant (SWAG) to conduct field and water chemistry monitoring at MPCA specified lake sampling locations and stream locations. This will be accomplished by collecting water samples at seven lake sites and eight streams in the Kettle and Upper St. Croix Watersheds, as well as compiling and submitting the required data, information and reports.
The Metropolitan Council, in conjunction with the University of Minnesota, is evaluating outdoor water use in the Twin Cities metro region - a subject which has come under the spotlight recently due to concerns related to water quality and quantity issues. In the Twin Cities, 20% of all treated drinking water is used outdoors, with a majority of this being used on lawns and landscapes. The goal of this proposal is to reduce water use in the home landscape by conducting assessments, research, and demonstration around the smart use of irrigation.
The Metropolitan Council, in conjunction with HDR Engineering, Inc. consultants, will evaluate a variety of approaches to develop sustainable water supplies across the metro area. Subregional study areas are being selected where multiple communities face potential problems with the long-term sustainability of current water supplies, and where community stakeholders have expressed interest in learning more about sustainable water supply options.
As the Metropolitan Council updated the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area Master Water Supply Plan, stakeholders asked the Council to consider the sustainable limits of the region’s water sources. The Council’s most important analytical tool is a regional groundwater flow model (Metro Model 3), which can be used to quantify the long-term regional impacts caused by hundreds of independent groundwater appropriations.
This project will focus on Watershed Restoration and Protetion Strategy (WRAPS) and Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) report development for the Rum River Watershed, which includes Mille Lacs Lake (the second largest lake in Minnesota) and the Rum River of which Mille Lacs Lake is the headwaters. The project will produce a plan that partners and citizens will be able to implement, a framework for citizen engagement, and a set of watershed management activities that will achieve water quality standards for all impairments within the watershed.
This project will reduce phosphorus loading from the watershed tributary to Silver Lake. The project includes a combination of structural water quality improvements in the SLV-10 subwatershed north of the lake, retrofits (including iron enhanced sand filtration) to the Silver Lake bioretention basin, small scale best management practices (BMPs) throughout the watershed, and educational signage in Joy Park. The elements of this project will reduce phosphorus loading to Silver Lake by a combined 15 pounds per year or 40% of the current watershed load.
Wakefield Lake is in the Ramsey-Washington Metro Watershed District (RWMWD) and is impaired for excess phosphorus. Through the Wakefield Lake TMDL process, implementation activities have been identified which include partnerships with the City of Maplewood to install BMPs in the watershed to directly benefit Wakefield Lake. RWMWD has researched, monitored and field tested the use of spent lime for stormwater quality treatment.
The Metropolitan Council and City of Saint Paul cooperated on a rainwater harvesting and reuse system in downtown Saint Paul. Rainwater from the northern half (2 acres) of the roof at the new Metro Transit Green Line Operations and Maintenance Facility (OMF) is captured using a modified version of the existing OMF rainwater collection system. The existing collection system was re-designed to convey rainwater to the new Lowertown Ballpark, home of the Saint Paul Saints, where uses include ball field irrigation and toilet flushing.
In 2005, Metropolitan Council was directed to carry out regional water supply planning activities under Minnesota Statutes, section 473.1565. Working closely with the region's many water supply stakeholders and under the guidance of both policy and a technical water supply advisory committees, Metropolitan Council supports regional groundwater planning and analysis in order to respond to emerging regional water supply issues and achieve sustainable water supplies.
The goal of this project is to calibrate, and validate three watershed models using the Hydrological Simulation Program FORTRAN (HSPF) model. The contractor will produce HSPF watershed models that can be further developed to provide information to support conventional parameter TMDLs. The contractor will clearly demonstrate that the models generate predicted output timeseries for hydrology, sediment, nutrients, and dissolved oxygen which are consistent with available sets of observed data.
This project will extend the simulation period for the Hydrological Simulation Program - FORTRAN (HSPF) models for the Grand Rapids, Brainerd, Crow Wing, Redeye, Long Prairie, Sartell, Sauk, St. Cloud, and Crow watersheds, and review and comment on the calibration.
This project will extend, calibrate, and validate watershed models using the Hydrological Simulation Program - FORTRAN (HSPF) watershed model for the Mississippi Headwaters, Leech Lake, Pine, and South Fork Crow Watersheds.
The Metropolitan Council, in conjunction with CDM Smith consultants, undertook a project to collect and disseminate data regarding water costs and conservation programs in the seven-county metropolitan area, including:
• Evaluating all water rate structures of the communities in the seven-county metro area. The information on rates by community is correlated with community per capita values, peaking ratios, and other water use characteristics.
• Evaluating all water conservation programs in the communities in the seven-county metro area.
The Metropolitan Council (Council) implemented a water efficiency grant program effective September 30, 2015 to June 30, 2017. Grants were awarded on a competitive basis to municipalities that manage municipal water systems. The Council provided 75% of the program cost; the municipality provided the remaining 25%. Grants were made available in amounts with a minimum of $2,000 and a maximum of $50,000. Grantees were required to provide estimated water savings achieved through this program for Clean Water Land & Legacy Amendment reporting purposes.