Beltrami County will be updating their water plan in 2017. This plan will be watershed protection oriented and will utilize all available data and maps in order to best protect our water resources. In 2012, Beltrami County completed screening on 19 of our large lakes with heavy land use development. What we found was that none of the lakes had enough chemical data for a trend analysis.
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.
The purpose of this project is to identify effective irrigation and nutrient management best management practices and technologies and the barriers that prevent irrigators, producers, and other agricultural partners from adopting them in Otter Tail County. The primary goal is to reduce nitrate in areas where groundwater is susceptible to contamination as mapped by The Minnesota Department of Health by identifying effective BMPs and addressing the barriers to their adoption.
Concern for Deer Yard and Poplar lakes centers on their current trends of decreasing water transparencies often associated with phosphorus or sediment increases. Although both lakes still meet nutrient goals, trends in Secchi depth may presage emerging issues with the state of the lakes. This has further led to questions whether the productivity of the lakes have changed over time, what the natural or historical condition of the lakes were, what the current trajectory of each lake is, and how to best set management goals.
This project will complete the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) study and Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategies (WRAPS) for the Lake Superior North watershed. Two segments of the Flute Reed River are impaired for aquatic life due to elevated turbidity and total suspended solids. The lower Poplar River is also listed as impaired but significant progress has occurred in the last 10 years. A TMDL and implementation plan have been completed for the lower Poplar River impairment. All other waters meet water quality standards and will be considered for protection measures.
This project will update sediment Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) for 60-64 impaired stream reaches and provide a final TMDL report. The report will address sediment and turbidity impaired streams in the Minnesota River Watershed. TMDLs will describe the impairment in each water body and water quality targets, and will include a discussion of pollutant sources, supporting report components that document assumptions and methodologies, and TMDL equations with completed load allocations, wasteload allocations, and margin of safety for each impairment.
Several important milestones will be completed during this phase of the Mississippi River (Headwaters) Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) project. These milestones will include the completion of the Stressor ID & Watershed Monitoring and Assessment Reports, the completion of the Zonation Modeling watershed priority planning process (through the continuation of the Civic Engagement project component), and the development of the overall WRAPS report.
Realizing the need for increased technical capacity in the field offices, the Becker, East Otter Tail and West Otter Tail Soil and Water Conservation Districts have developed an agreement that will increase technical capacity while minimizing costs to each district. The first step was taken in this agreement through the recent hire of a shared engineer. Currently, minimal survey grade equipment is owned by the districts. This grant will be used to purchase an integrated survey system.
The primary goal of this project is to examine the calibration and validation of recently extended Hydrological Simulation Program – FORTRAN (HSPF) watershed models for the Mississippi River-Headwaters, Mississippi River-Grand Rapids, Mississippi River-Brainerd, Mississippi River-Sartell, Mississippi River-St. Cloud, Leech Lake, Pine River, Crow Wing River, Long Prairie River, and Redeye River watersheds and revise the calibration.