Multiple water courses in the Buffalo River - Red River Watershed District are impaired for turbidity. These waterways include the Red River of the North, Wolverton Creek, Deerhorn Creek, Stoney Creek, South Branch Buffalo River, and the main stem of the Buffalo River. This project will provide a means of prioritizing areas of the watershed to implement conservation practices to reduce overland runoff contaminant loadings contributing to water quality impairments.
The Otter Tail River serves as the main drinking water supply for the city of Fergus Falls. The community recognizes it as a valuable resource which needs to be protected. The lower reach of the Otter Tail River is listed as being impaired for turbidity(muddiness).
Lake Seven is located in Otter Tail County and is a waterbody of statewide significance, often leading the north central hardwoods forest ecoregion in water clarity. Lake Seven has also been identified by DNR Fisheries staff as one of 77 refuge lakes with the potential to maintain tulibee populations into the future given sufficent watershed protection and the only one in Otter Tail County.
This project is designed to reduce sediment in the Wild River River based on a state approved plan (TMDL). The estimated water quality benefits completed by this project are 12,980 (120 truckloads) tons of soil saved per year, which will assist in reducing turbidity impairments downstream on the LWRR.
This grant program provides community groups with the ability to make positive improvements, a venue to grow community and identify water quality opportunities. Engaging community members in the identification of water protection opportunities helps build connections and foster a stewardship ethic. Selecting projects requires community groups to collaboratively develop priorities among the range of water quality impacts. Implementing projects provides a unique active social enviroment that helps build connections and energy to motivate and grow the community into the next project.
The Pomme de Terre River watershed is located in west central Minnesota and occupies a portion of six counties. For many years surface water quality within the watershed has been a concern to local government. In 1982 the Pomme de Terre River Association Joint Powers Board was formed to begin addressing this issue. In 2002 the Pomme de Terre River was placed on the Impaired Waters list for turbidity. This project is a continuation of a 2011 Clean Water Fund project.
The Pomme de Terre River watershed is located in west central Minnesota and occupies a portion of six counties. For many years surface water quality within the watershed has been a concern to local government, and in 1982 the Counties and SWCDs within the watershed area formed the Pomme de Terre River Association Joint Powers Board to begin addressing this issue. In 2002 the Pomme de Terre River was placed on the Impaired Waters list for turbidity.The project partners are collaborating to improve surface water quality within the watershed with a grant from the Clean Water Fund.
The 400-mile stretch of the Mississippi River from its headwaters at Lake Itasca to Morrison County near Little Falls is the focus of this project. Working in cooperation with the eight member counties, this project will develop implementation plans and strategies geared specifically for the Mississippi River and incorporate them into the individual County Comprehensive Local Water Plans. These recommendations will be for specific strategies, often crossing county boundaries for implementation.
A large portion of Otter Tail County has been identified as being susceptible to groundwater contamination from nitrates and other water soluble contaminants. Agriculture is the predominant land use activity in this area. Irrigation in the county has increased in the last few years. With the vast majority of the residents getting their drinking water from groundwater sources, protecting ground is a priority for the county.
This project will provide land and water managers in the Red River Basin with data and online tools to prioritize actions on the landscape that achieve water quality objectives identified in local and state plans. This will help identify strategically important locations for implementing erosion control and water management practices. Standardized watershed-based data products will be integrated into a web-based planning tool which will be added to the Red River Basin Decision Information Network (RRBDIN) being developed as part of the Red River Watershed Feasibility Study.
The Greater Blue Earth River Basin is a large area within the Watonwan, Le Sueur, and Blue Earth River watersheds. Recent research by University of Minnesota, the National Center for Earth Dynamics, and others has found this basin to be the largest contributor of sediment to Lake Pepin.
The soil and water conservation districts within the watersheds for the Redwood and Cottonwood Rivers have been putting conservation practices on the ground for years in a long-running collaborative effort.
The Greater Blue Earth River Basin Alliance (GBERBA), a nine County/SWCD JPO has identified buffers as a basin priority. This initiative will work towards the goal of identifying all DNR protected shoreland in the GBERBA counties without a 50 foot vegetative buffer. Buffer strips protect surface and groundwater from a multitude of pollutants. During stormwater run off events buffers can remove between 50 and 100 percent of nutrients, pesticides, pathogens, and sediment. The estimated sediment reduction for this project is 756 tons per year prevented from entering our waters.
This program is a part of a comprehensive clean water strategy to prevent sediment and nutrients from entering our lakes, rivers, and streams; enhance fish and wildlife habitat; protect groundwater and wetlands. Specifically the Wellhead Protection Conservation Easement program is targeted to protect drinking water through the Reinvest in Minnesota Program (RIM).
Wolverton Creek is a 25 mile long tributary to the Red River of the North. Its watershed drains approximately 105 square miles located in Wilkin and western Clay Counties. Wolverton Creek is the outlet for numerous ditch systems and natural drainage in the area and is a significant contributor of sediment to the Red River. The City of Moorhead and other downstream communities obtain drinking water from the Red River. Since 85% of Moorhead's drinking water comes from the Red River, high turbidity results in
higher treatment costs for their drinking water system.