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 commissioner shall develop a ten-year strategic state parks and trails plan considering traditional funding and the funding available under the Minnesota Constitution, article XI, section 15. The plan shall incorporate the 25-year framework developed by the University of Minnesota Center for Changing Landscapes. (HF 1231, Art 3, Sec 2)
This project will use the Spatially Referenced Regression On Watersheds (SPARROW) model as a means of assessing and characterizing the nitrogen loading situation in Minnesota. These results will be used along with other nitrogen loading characterization efforts conducted by others, so that a more complete characterization can be conducted. The results of this effort will be useful as Minnesota works to establish state-specific goals and strategies to address its contribution to Gulf of Mexico hypoxia.
This project will support the MPCA’s water quality monitoring and assessment program. Specifically, the MPCA is developing a refined use designation process known as tiered aquatic life uses (TALU) to account for situations in which stream habitat has been compromised through hydrological alteration (e.g. channelization and ditching). An accurate state-wide determination of altered stream segments based upon the current National Hydrography Dataset (NHD) linework will assist in the assignment of the correct beneficial use within this new TALU framework.
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.
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.
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.