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.
The Chain of Lakes Targeted Reduction project will utilize Clean Water Funds to address bank erosion and install vegetated buffers along tributaries to the Eden Valley Chain of Lakes using the SRWD's incentivized Hayed Buffer Program. The Eden Valley Chain of Lakes (Vails Lake, Eden Lake and North Browns Lake) drain into the main segment of the Sauk River Chain of Lakes (SRCL) from the south. Impaired for excessive nutrients, this southern series of lakes is influenced by inflows from private ditches and perennial and intermittent streams.
The Discovery Farms program is a farmer-led effort to gather information on soil and nutrient loss on farms in different settings across Minnesota. The mission of Discovery Farms Minnesota is to gather water quality information under real-world conditions.
The Drinking Water Contaminants of Emerging Concern (CEC) program identifies environmental contaminants for which current health-based standards currently do not exist or need to be updated, investigate the potential for human exposure to these chemicals, and develop guidance values for drinking water. Contaminants evaluated by CEC staff include contaminants that have been released or detected in Minnesota waters (surface water and groundwater) or that have the potential to migrate to or be detected in Minnesota waters.
The Minnesota Ag Water Quality Certification Program (MAWQCP) is a voluntary opportunity for farmers and agricultural landowners to take the lead on implementing conservation practices that protect water quality. Those who implement and maintain approved conservation practices will be certified and in turn obtain regulatory certainty for a period of ten years. This program will help address concerns about changing regulatory requirements from multiple state and federal agencies.
This project proposes utilizing a precision conservation framework to assess two small impaired agricultural watersheds (HUC12) to determine optimal locations of best management practices and structures on the landscape that will address local water quality issues in a more strategic manner. The watershed assessment process will create GIS-generated maps that will be available to local SWCD staff that will inform decision-making for interested landowners.
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.
The purpose of this project is to improve understanding of primary productivity in the Red River and the diversity and population structure of the algal communities occurring along the river system. This will be accomplished through taxonomic identification of periphyton and phytoplankton assemblages necessary for characterizing responses to nutrient gradients along the Red River of the North.
The International Water Institute (IWI) will monitor 42 sites (3 basin, 12 major watershed, and 27 subwatershed) in the Red River and Upper Mississippi River Basins intensively during 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019. There will also be 5 sites in the Red River Basin where mercury samples will be collected in 2016 and 2017 and sent to Minnesota Department of Health for analysis. The IWI will collect water samples across the range of flow conditions targeting sample collection at times of moderate to high flow.
The project goal is to conduct water chemistry monitoring at one subwatershed site, one basin site, and one major watershed site in 2016 and 2017 based on flow conditions, targeting runoff events using protocols defined in the Watershed Pollutant Load Monitoring Network (WPLMN) Standard Operating Procedures and Guidance. The data collected will be submitted to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) and used in the FLUX32 model for calculating pollutant loads.
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.
The lack of sewage treatment in many small communities in Southeast Minnesota is causing surface water and groundwater pollution. Fourteen of these small communities will receive technical assistance provided by this project. These communities have community or individual straight pipes which are discharging raw sewage directly to the environment, surfacing sewage, or have sewage contaminating groundwater.
Stearns County Ditch 26 (CD 26) is a 20 mile channelized section of Getchell Creek, a primary tributary to the Sauk River that is impaired for turbidity, E.coli and aquatic macroinvertebrate bio-assessment. The Stearns County Ditch 26 Drainage Management Project will address the stormwater runoff concerns identified within this public drainage system. Alternative intake structures to manage nutrients and mitigative measures will be taken to retain water on the upland properties and minimize flow rate and velocity.
To be able to manage resources in the Blue Earth and Le Sueur Watersheds into the future and have a positive effect on water quality, resource managers need high quality accurate data to support decision making of best management practice (BMP) implementation. Digital elevation data is a valuable resource for modeling water flow, however in its current state it cannot represent water conveyance through features such as roadways. These flow barriers limit the accurate use of data for recently developed targeting tools identifying BMP suitability and effectiveness down to the field scale.
The proposed work will be the fifth septic inventory effort conducted by Todd County and will include eight lakes, 431 parcels, and 277 established addresses. Three of the lakes - Cedar, Long Higgens, and Pauley are located in the Sauk River Watershed District's Sauk Lake Management Unit which is a high priority for improvement. These are the last three lakes of any size to be completed in the Sauk River Watershed portion of Todd County. Nitrogen and phosphorus levels are an issue through the watershed and this management unit in particular.
The Bois de Sioux Watershed District intends to begin a program to repair the legal ditches it owns and maintains for the purpose of improving water quality within the watershed and downstream receiving waters. The intent of this effort is to complete a pilot project to a legal ditch system that is in disrepair and use it as an example to educate landowners along other legal ditches on the importance of water quality. This pilot project consists of the construction of berms and side inlet culverts for sediment control along Traverse County Ditch #17 (TCD 17) and its single branch (B1) .
This project will collect water samples at seventeen monitoring locations ranging in size from 23,173 acres (7 Mile Creek) to over 9 million acres (Minnesota River at St. Peter) as a part of the Watershed Pollutant Load Monitoring Network (WPLMN). The Minnesota State University - Water Resources Center (WRC) has been directly involved with the program and is familiar with the streams and hydrology of the region. In addition to monitoring, the WRC will review, manage and submit the data in formats provided by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA).