The AgBMP Loan Program provides needed funding for local implementation of clean water practices at an extremely low cost, is unique in its structure, and is not duplicated by any other source of funding. The AgBMP loan program provides 3% loans through local lenders to farmers, rural landowners, and agriculture supply businesses. Funds are used for proven practices that prevent non-point source water pollution or solve existing water quality problems.
The Cottonwood River watershed is one of the last remaining watersheds to complete Cycle I of the Watershed Restoration & Protections Strategies (WRAPS) process. The scope of this project upon completion is have two reports developed; a Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategies report and a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for the entire watershed.
This project will conduct a 2017 revision of the South Fork Crow River, North Fork Crow River and Sauk River Watershed Hydrological Simulation Program FORTRAN (HSPF) models and review of the Pine River Watershed HSPF model.
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. This program began by defining opportunities for water conservation for three businesses through the dedicated resources of three MnTAP interns. The interns analyzed water conservation opportunities through full time work on site over the summers of 2014 and 2015.
The goal of this project is to establish load reduction requirements for impaired waters and to develop restoration strategies to improve water quality for impaired waters and protection strategies to maintain the quality of water for water bodies meeting standards.
The consultant LimnoTech will support response to Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) comments the peer review process, United States Environmental Protection Agency and public notice. They will then revise the TMDL document as needed and attend internal and external project meetings.
The goal of this project is to finalize the draft Lake Pepin Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Report, issue it for public comment, address comments, and finalize the report. Lake Pepin is impaired by high levels of nutrients that cause excessive growth of algae. High levels of sediment, carried in by major river systems, also affect the lake. The sediment is filling in the lake at a much faster rate than before Minnesota was settled and intensely farmed. Nutrients and sediment are distinct yet inter-related pollutants, and are being addressed in separate TMDL reports.
The purpose of this monitoring project is to maintain water quality data collection, build upon existing data for Phase II of the Intensive Watershed Monitoring approach, and develop a better understanding of what impacts the rivers located in central Minnesota specifically in the North Fork Crow Watershed.
The Nitrogen Rate Study on Coarse-Textured Soil (N Rate Study) was done in 2015-2018 by the University of Minnesota (U of M) and Central Lakes College (CLC) at CLC’s farm in Staples, MN. The study examined nitrogen fertilizer rates for corn on sandy soil—with and without irrigation. The study specifically considered potential nitrogen loss from dryland corn versus irrigated corn and was established after the U of M released new nitrogen rate guidelines in early 2015.
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.
In 2017 and 2018, Redwood-Cottonwood Rivers Control Area (RCRCA) will collect water chemistry samples from the 10 lakes and 24 stream sites identified in the Redwood and Cottonwood River watersheds. Six samples will be collected at 10 lakes from May through September in 2017; five samples will be collected at 5 lakes in 2018 from May through September. Eleven samples will be collected at each of the 24 stream sites following the Basic Regime in 2017. Sixteen samples at each stream site will be collected in 2017 and 2018 following the E.coli monitoring regime.
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is working with partners at the Rosholt Farm in Westport, Minnesota to provide a better understanding of nitrogen fertilizer management and the associated water quality impacts on irrigated, sandy soils.
A contractor with knowledge of Site Specific Standard development will respond to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) questions and concerns regarding attainability of standards based on the BATHTUB model data. In addition, they will review technical memorandums developed by Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) on aquatic life and aquatic recreational standard attainability.
RESPEC is a contractor with knowledge of site-specific standard development and will respond to United States Environmental Protection Agency questions and concerns regarding attainability of standards. The response will be based on bathtub model data and also a review of technical memorandums developed by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency on aquatic life and aquatic recreational standard attainability.
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has designed a Township Testing Program to determine current nitrate-nitrogen concentrations in private wells on a township scale. The MDA has identified townships throughout the state that are vulnerable to groundwater contamination (because of local geology or shallow groundwater) and have significant row crop production. These are the counties that will be prioritized for Township Testing.