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 Clay County Drainage Site is designed to evaluate the environmental impact of both surface and subsurface drainage from agricultural fields. This site includes six subsurface plots and one surface runoff plot, each approximately 24 acres in size. Monitoring stations are fully automated and each individual plot is monitored separately.The soils and topography across this demonstration site are virtually identical and represent field characteristics common in the most productive agricultural areas of the Red River Valley.
This project will consist of identifying the candidate causes of biological stress and to develop and implement a public and stakeholder participation process that encourages local ownership of water quality problems and solutions. The Stressor ID process will be done using existing data, identifying data gaps, gathering new data, developing load duration curves, and refinement of the candidate causes. The civic engagement work will include compiling and reviewing existing data on community capacity and assessing that information.
This project will build network and the skill set of local resource professionals to do effective civic engagement work for water restoration and protection in Southeast Minnesota. The cohort will be administered through the Southeast Minnesota Water Resources Board (SE MN WRB) which is an area wide Joint Powers Board (JPB) established to help improve and protect the water resources of the area through coordinating local water planning efforts. This JPB has successfully administered water quality grants in the past that have positively impacted the water resources of this region.
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.
This project will collect intermediate watershed load monitoring data on the Bigfork River which is critical to the identification of stressors and assist in defining areas of concern within the Bigfork Watershed and its greater Rainy River Watershed. Itasca County SWCD will closely collaborate with Koochiching SWCD and MPCA on this project.
This project involves the water quality monitoring of, and data analysis for four major watersheds (8-digit Hydrologic Unit Codes) in the Rainy River Basin. This monitoring will assist in providing the water chemistry data needed to calculate annual pollutant loads for the Major Watershed Pollutant Load Monitoring Network (MWPLMN) and provide short term data sets of select parameters to other Agency programs.
This monitoring effort will focus on collecting chemistry and field data information from six sample locations on Hay Creek, Wells Creek, Bullard Creek and Gilbert Creek in Goodhue County and Miller Creek in Wabasha County within the Mississippi River-Lake Pepin Watershed (MRLP). These streams are typically cold water streams which outlet directly to the Mississippi River or Lake Pepin. This monitoring effort is to assist with the 10-year watershed-monitoring schedule that the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has placed on major watersheds across the State.
The project goal is to assist the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) with meeting the objectives of the Watershed Pollutant Load Monitoring Network (WPLMN). This will be accomplished by providing assistance in 2016 through 2019 to collect water samples, field data, and observations for the Big Fork River near Bigfork at MN6 in Itasca County, and the Big Fork River near Craigsville at MN6 in Koochiching County.
The Koochiching County SWCD staff will collect water chemistry and field parameters at specific times to determine amount of contaminant load into each stream. These sites will coincide with locations where stream flow data is also being collected. This project will focus on watershed load monitoring in both the Big Fork and Little Fork River watersheds.
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 Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s (MPCA) Watershed Pollutant Load Monitoring Network (WPLMN) forms the core of a long-term program designed to measure and compare regional differences and trends in pollutant loadings from Minnesota’s mainstem rivers and the outlets of major watersheds and subwatersheds draining to these rivers.
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.
Regionally, nitrate nitrogen concentrations are continuing to increase in both surface water and ground water based on monitoring data. The increasing trends are thought to be attributable to over application of manure and commercial nutrients on row-cropped fields. In order for nitrate concentrations to decrease, nutrient management is needed throughout the basin. Two nutrient management specialists will assist landowners in the eleven-county Southeast Minnesota Area with writing nutrient management plans and implementing conservation practices for manure and fertilizer use.
This project seeks assistance from University of Minnesota in developing effective interview questions for community watershed assessments and will assist in understanding the data collected through community interviews.
The University of Minnesota will develop effective interview questions for community watershed assessments in the Rainy River basin and provide assistance in understanding the data collected through community interviews.
The goal of this project is to conduct water chemistry monitoring at four subwatershed sites and two basin sites in 2016 and 2017; and six subwatershed sites and three basin sites in 2018-2019 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.
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 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.
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 some small communities in Southeast Minnesota is causing surface water and groundwater pollution. Fourteen of these communities will be the target of the technical assistance provided by this project. These communities have community or individual straight pipes discharging raw sewage directly into the environment;surfacing sewage or have sewage contaminating groundwater.
This project will complete a chloride management plan which will lay out a strategy for addressing chloride impacts to our surface waters for the 7-county metropolitan area. This chloride management plan will satisfy EPA requirements for impaired waters, address waters not yet listed, and develop a strategy to protect waters that are currently meeting the water quality standards.