As part of the FY 2012 funding cycle, the Board of Water and Soil Resources granted funds for development of the Water Quality Decision Support Application (WQDSA). The WQDSA will provide land and water managers with geospatial data and online tools to prioritize, market, and implement actions on the landscape to achieve water quality objectives identified in local and state water plans and to ensure that public funding decisions are strategic and defensible.
The lack of sewage treatment in many small communities in Southeast Minnesota is causing surface water and groundwater pollution. Ten of these small communities will be the target of the technical assistance provided by this project. These communities have community or individual straight pipes which are discharging raw sewage directly into the environment, surfacing sewage, or have sewage contaminating groundwater.
The Le Sueur Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), who acts as County Ditch Inspectors, will partner with the Le Sueur County GIS Coordinator to accomplish the inventory and inspection of drainage ditches. A database will be established for all 250 miles of Le Sueur County Drainage Authority ditches. The inventory will be conducted using Lidar, 2010 and 2013 Pictometry and onsite technical review. Sites that have potential water quality issues will be identified from worst to most stable for side inlets, buffers and retention storage.
The Cannon River is a designated Wild and Scenic River that originates in Rice County and joins the Mississippi River 120 miles downstream near Red Wing. The Upper Cannon, which encompasses 29% of the entire watershed, has been identified as a priority subwatershed.