The DNR is working with local communities and an interagency team to define, prioritize, and establish groundwater management areas in Minnesota. Groundwater management areas will have increased data collection and monitoring that allow the state and local communities to understand water supplies, uses, limitations, and threats to natural resources that depend on groundwater. This information will support detailed aquifer protection plans that ensure equitable and sustainable groundwater and drinking water use for the future.
This project will promulgate a nitrate water quality standard to address aquatic life toxicity, and gather information needed to support the development of total nitrogen (N) loading reduction strategies for Minnesota’s waters and also address Minnesota’s contribution to marine water hypoxia. Project will also develop a framework for a watershed nitrogen planning aid that can be used to optimize selection of Best Management Practice (BMP) systems for reducing nitrogen.
The DNR works with the Minnesota Geological Survey (MGS) to convey valuable geologic and groundwater information and interpretations to government units at all levels, but particularly to local governments, private organizations and citizens.
This first year of the project will collect available data relevant to the TMDL development, determine the data sets best suited for the TMDL development. Gain a better understanding of the watershed and impaired lakes, and assessment of all potential sources (internal and external) of the causes of lake impairment. EOR will also review the data produced by the MPCA for the impairment assessment for each of the lakes during year 1 of the project.
This project will construct three watershed framework models built using the Hydrologic Simulation Program FORTRAN. These executable models will simulate hydrology at the 12-digit HUC subbasin scale. An HSPF model will be built for each of the following 8-HUC watersheds: Red Lake River (09020303) and the Clearwater River (09020305).
This project covers activities necessary to complete the major watershed restoration and projection project. The major objectives this project covers include contract administration, watershed coordination, stressor ID activities, identifying priority management zones, engage watershed citizens, and the creation of watershed restoration and protection plans.
This project will finalize HSPF watershed model construction by incorporating internal phosphorus loading in modeled lakes, run a suite of implementation scenarios and generate a GenScn project containing model output. The consultant will produce HSPF watershed models that can readily be used to provide information to support conventional parameter TMDLs. The consultant will deliver all modeling files for baseline and implementation scenarios and provide a GenScn project containing model output.
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.
This project will determine the magnitude and frequency of contamination from endocrine active compounds (EAC's) and other contaminants of emerging concern in shallow groundwater in non-agricultural areas of Minnesota. EACs and other contaminants of emerging concern in this study include compounds typically found in waste water, including, pharmaceutical compounds, antibiotics, and hormones. This project supports the third phase, including laboratory analysis of samples for an additional 80 wells to be sampled by MPCA staff.
The DNR works with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and the Minnesota Department of Health to determine the level of contamination from mercury and other harmful chemicals in fish from Minnesota's lakes and rivers and to track the success of efforts to reduce mercury pollution. Clean Water Legacy funding is being used to significantly increase (more than double) the number of lakes and rivers that are assessed for mercury contamination on an annual basis. Fish are collected during DNR fishery surveys, processed for laboratory testing, and analyzed for contaminants.
This project will continue HSPF watershed model construction beyond the initial framework development. The consultant will add representation of point source discharges to the model. The consultant will also compile flow data for the purposes of calibration and validation. Finally, an initial hydrologic calibration will be performed and submitted for approval.
This project will complete a guidance document for the construction of Hydrologic Simulation Program FORTRAN (HSPF) watershed models which are intended to support MPCA Watershed programmatic activities. It will also customize and populate a national HSPF parameter database with values from Minnesota HSPF model applications. This enhanced database will expedite the future construction of HSPF models as well as increase the consistency among HSPF model applications in Minnesota.
USGS will make streamflow discharge measurements at lowflow measuring stations throughout the state. Measurements will be made during lowflow conditions. On average 100 measurements will be made during FY2012. Stream flow measurements will be entered into the USGS database and made available on the USGS Low Flow Data for Minnesota Streams website.
This project will support water quality monitoring and data analysis in the Red River Basin. The monitoring will assist in providing water chemistry data needed to calculate annual pollutant loads for the Major Watershed Load Monitoring Program (MWLMP) and provide short term data sets of select parameters to other MPCA programs.
This project will develop a reasonable statewide estimate of recharge using the Soil-Water-Balance (SWB) Code (Westenbroek and others, 2010), validate the simulation results, and conduct a parameter sensitivity analysis to identify the most sensitive model parameters. For the purposes of this application of the SWB application, comparing the simulation results will be conducted on selected watershed basins in the state against previously established recharge estimates.
This project supports monitoring and assessment activities by MPCA EAO staff and includes lab analysis, equipment, and fieldwork expenses associated with monitoring and assessment activities within the described priority watersheds.
Lake Monitoring: Lakes are monitored for nutrients, clarity and other information to provide the data needed to assess the aquatic recreation use support.
This project supports monitoring and assessment activities by MPCA EAO staff and includes lab analysis, equipment, and fieldwork expenses associated with monitoring and assessment activities.The ambient groundwater monitoring network describes the current condition and trends in Minnesota's groundwater quality.
MPCA technical assistance & guidance provided to Clean Water Partnership grant program which provides funding for grants that prevent impairments and degradation of lakes, rivers, streams and groundwater.
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) uses a watershed-oriented approach to assess surface water quality and define restoration and protection measures. Each of Minnesota’s 81 major watersheds is assessed intensively every 10 years, based on a staggered schedule that addresses, on average, eight watersheds per year. To increase the amount of data directly available to the public online, and to make internal operations more efficient, the MPCA started a multi-year Watershed Data Integration Project (WDIP).
This project will provide an interpretive assessment of nitrogen concentrations in Minnesota rivers and streams, including spatial and temporal trends based on historical data sets. The trends analyses will provide information useful for evaluating nitrogen reduction efforts in the past couple of decades.
This project will collect real-time parameter data for specific conductance, water temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, turbidity and stream flow at the United States geological Survey (USGS) gaging stations located at Fargo, ND and Grand Forks, ND on the Red River of the North; and publish the data both on the USGS NWIS website and in the USGS Annual Report.
International Water Institute (IWI) staff will monitor 24 sites in the Bois de Sioux, Mustinka (2 sites), Buffalo (8 sites), Red Lake (4 sites), Sandhill (3 sites), Thief (2 sites), and Tamarac River (3 sites) Watersheds intensively over a 2 year period in an attempt to collect 25 samples per year at each site. If conditions allow for the collection of all planned samples, 1200 stream samples will be collected over the time period. Monitoring will include field measurements, observations, and at least three photographs during each site visit.
MN Legislative Clean Water Fund funding to engage citizens in local watershed monitoring, work with regional partners to promote understanding and protection of watersheds, and organize and facilitate gathering of scientific data all for the benefit of water quality in the Red River Basin.
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture has partnered with the USDA National Agricultural Statistic Service (NASS) and University of Minnesota researchers to collect information about fertilizer use and farm management. Partners have pioneered a survey tool for characterizing fertilizer use and farm management on a regional and statewide scale. Surveys are conducted over the phone. NASS staff are highly skilled at obtaining critical information over the phone with minimal time and burden on the producer.
A partnership of local agencies and organizations will monitor water quality at eighteen carefully chosen sites within the Red Lake River and Grand Marais Creek watersheds. Fourteen monitoring sites have been chosen within the Red Lake River watershed. Four sites have been chosen in the Grand Marais Creek watershed. Each of these sites will provide a representative assessment of the water quality conditions within one or more minor subwatersheds at the 12-digit hydrologic unit code (HUC12) level.
This project will improve water management in the State of Minnesota. The result will be a water management tool that can be used by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) to determine low flow statistics when establishing permit discharge limits and by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) to help in water appropriations and permitting. This tool will also be used by watershed districts in understanding and quantifying the State's water budget, the Nature Conservancy in its Ecological Limits of Hydrologic Alteration (ELOHA) process, and the U.S.
The Watershed Health Assessment Framework is a web-based tool for resource managers and others interested in the ecological health of Minnesota’s watersheds. The framework uses five ecological components to organize and deliver information about watershed health conditions in Minnesota. The five components are: hydrology, connectivity, biology, geomorphology, and water quality.
The DNR provides technical support regarding the causes of and solutions to drainage impacts, actively engaging with other Minnesota modelers and scientists working on issues related to altered hydrology. We use state-of-the-art models to look at cumulative impacts of drainage and land-use practices and determine the benefits of site-specific best management practices. This involves collaboration with multiple partners and at multiple scales.
This project delineates and maps watersheds (drainage areas) of lakes, rivers, streams, and wetlands for the state of Minnesota and provides watershed maps in digital form for use in geographic information systems. These maps become the basis for clean water planning and implementation efforts.
The DNR's Regional Clean Water Specialists and Area Hydrologists work with other state agencies and local partners to help identify the causes of pollution problems and determine the best strategies for fixing them. A statewide coordinator works with the DNR and external partners to ensure funds are spent in the most effective and efficient manner to meet the State's clean water goals.
Project outcomes include results from hydroponics experiments, which will likely consist of information on the response of wild rice growth to a range of concentrations of sulfate, sulfide, and various cations. Results from these experiments will be used to help determine what additional research is needed in 2013. The MPCA will use this data to evaluate the current sulfate standard and the need, if any, for modifications to it.
Project outcomes include data that will ultimately allow the MPCA to quantitatively compare the environmental conditions (surface water and sedimentary geochemistry) at sites that successfully support wild rice growth to sites that do not support wild rice. These data, in particular the analysis of the porewater samples obtained under this project, will be compared to the results from a separate project that will assess the growth of wild rice using hydroponic methods.
The MDH Environmental Laboratory provides essential analyses of water for the MPCA Wild Rice Standards Study, which is gathering information about the effects of sulfate on the growth of wild rice. For this study, the lab developed a ultra-sensitive test for hydrogen sulfide, which greatly facilitated the research. For this large study, the lab staff analyzed several thousand water and sediment samples from lakes, wetlands, rivers, rice paddies, experimental mesocosms, and hydroponic experiments.