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.
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 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 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.
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.