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 develop a watershed approach plan, including impaired waters allocations, for the Mustinka Watershed, located at the headwaters of the Red River of the North, in western Minnesota, lying partly in Grant, Stevens, Ottertail, Big Stone, and Traverse counties. The watershed approach plan will set water quality goals for the watershed, recommend allocations for achieving total maximum daily loads where waters do not meet state standards and are listed as impaired.
This project will continue to develop, and calibrate/validate the hydrology of an Hydrological Simulation Program FORTRAN (HSPF) watershed model for the Buffalo River watershed. The consultant will add representation of point source discharges to the model. The consultant will compile flow data for the purposes of calibration and validation. An initial hydrologic calibration will be performed and submitted for approval.
This project will complete a comprehensive and sustainable Major Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategies report for the Chippewa River, its tributary streams, and the many lakes in the Chippewa River watershed that is understandable and adoptable by local units of government and residents.
The DNR works with the Minnesota Geological Survey (MGS) to develop County Geologic Atlases to convey geologic and hydrogeologic (groundwater) information and interpretations to government units at all levels, but particularly to local governments, as well as private organizations and citizens. The MGS focuses on geology (Part A reports) and DNR focuses on groundwater (Part B reports).These studies provide information about the region’s geology and groundwater’s presence, direction of flow, natural quality, age, and pollution sensitivity.
This project will develop a TMDL for all impaired lakes within the Crow Wing Watershed by furthering data collection in the watershed, analysis of data, allocation calculations, and introducing outreach and stakeholder participation activities.
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 initiate project coordination among project partners. It will enhance civic engagement and outreach endeavors activities to support Phase 2 of TMDL project. It will also support field activities associated with stressor ID work.
The Buffalo River Watershed Pilot Project is one of two pilots in Minnesota designed to develop a watershed approach for managing Minnesota’s surface waters. The goal of this project is to develop a plan that will guide surface water quality management throughout the watershed.
This project will develop and execute three point source related scenarios for the Chippewa River watershed using an existing HSPF watershed model. This project will also support the review of the HSPF Modeling Guidance Document.
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.
This project will set water quality goals for the Minnesota portions of the watershed, recommend allocations for achieving total maximum daily loads where waters do not meet Minnesota state standards and are listed as impaired, and recommend management strategies for those Minnesota waters meeting state standards. This project also recognizes that as monitoring continues in the watershed, additional impairments may be identified.
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.
The Minnesota DNR and the Minnesota Forest Resources Council work with forest landowners, managers and loggers to implement a set of voluntary sustainable forest management guidelines that include water quality best management practices (BMPs) to ensure sustainable habitat, clean water, and productive forest soils, all contributing to healthy watersheds. This project will monitor the implementation of these forest management guidelines and BMPs on forested watersheds in MN.
This project will maximize the utility and usefulness of three HSPF models that have been constructed and calibrated for hydrology. The contractor will identify and reduce parameterization errors in the following three HSPF models: 1) Buffalo River Watershed, 2 ) Thief River Watershed, 3) Bois de Sioux-Mustinka Watersheds. This will result, not only in a better hydrology calibration, but will also improve each of the models’ ability to more accurately estimate sediment and pollutant loads and concentrations.
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.
The Index of Biological Integrity (IBI) is a tool that can identify water pollution problems based on how the type and abundance of certain species in a biological community vary from expected conditions. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency currently uses IBIs for fish and macroinvertebrates (stream-dwelling insects and other critters) to help determine whether streams and rivers are impacted by water pollution.
Phase 4 of the Lake Winona Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) project will finalize the draft Lake Winona TMDL, dated November 2009, by completing additional data analysis, lake quality modeling, updating the TMDL report, and supporting the public involvement process.
This project will gather watershed data to support the development of a Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy with parameter-specific targets that will maintain or improve water quality for the Long Prairie River Watershed. This project will also provide an important framework for civic and citizen engagement and communication, contributing to long-term public participation in surface water protection and restoration activities throughout the watershed.
This project will finalize the Hydrologic Simulation Program FORTRAN (HSPF) watershed model construction and complete the calibration/validation process. The consultant will produce an HSPF watershed model that can readily be used to provide information to support conventional parameter TMDLs. The consultant will clearly demonstrate that this model generates predicted output timeseries for hydrology, sediment, nutrients, and dissolved oxygen which are consistent with available sets of observed data.
This project will establish a web-based permitting system to capture essential water appropriation information. The system will include an online permit application process for water use and other permits. The online system will streamline the permitting process for applicants and significantly reduce staff time correcting and managing permit applications and water use reports that are incomplete or have incorrectly calculated permit fees. The use of technology in the application and reporting process will also eliminate staff time needed to enter data and scan and route documents.
This project will determine the condition of the water bodies in the Otter Tail River watershed, initiate public participation in the Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) development process, begin identification of potential stressors and priority management areas within the watershed, and begin development of initial drafts of the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) study and WRAPS report.
Certain stretches of the Pomme de Terre River have been identified as impaired. This project will quantify the reductions in pollutant loading that would be necessary to bring water quality in the impaired stretches to an acceptable level. It will also identify strategies that would improve water quality in these impaired stretches. Some funds will support public input activities into the Pomme de Terre River watershed management plan.
Arsenic occurs naturally in soil and minerals and is commonly found in groundwater throughout much of Minnesota. The occurrence and distribution of arsenic in groundwater is difficult to predict. Research is steadily increasing our understanding of the mechanisms and geologic conditions that determine arsenic occurrence in groundwater. The arsenic concentration in a new well, measured at the time of construction, is sometimes higher or lower, compared to subsequent sampling results.
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 purpose of this project is to improve understanding of primary productivity in the Red River and the diversity and population structure of the algal communities occurring along the river system. This will be accomplished through taxonomic identification of periphyton and phytoplankton assemblages necessary for characterizing responses to nutrient gradients along the Red River of the North.
State law (M.L. 2011, First Special Session, Ch. 6) directs restoration evaluations to be conducted on habitat restoration projects completed with funds from the Parks and Trails Fund (M.S. 85.53). The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is responsible for convening a Restoration Evaluation Panel containing at least five technical experts who will evaluate a sample of up to 10 habitat restoration projects annually. The Panel will evaluate the restorations relative to the law, current science, stated goals and standards in the restoration plans, and applicable guidelines.
Stream flow information is essential for understanding the state of Minnesota's waters. Clean water funding has allowed the DNR to expand a network of stream gages that support planning and implementation for clean water protection and restoration. These gages are also used as part of the interagency Flood Forecasting/Warning System.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) each collect similar information on streams in Minnesota such as water quality, fish species presence, or the quality of fish habitat. For example, the DNR might sample stream fish to assess whether the agency’s management activities such as fishing regulations or stocking are creating good angling opportunities for the public, while MPCA might sample fish to assess whether a stream meets regulatory standards for a healthy fish community.
This project will provide the monitoring of reaches where there are data gaps, incorporate new data and analyze relevant data, identify pollutant sources, hold a stakeholder meeting, and gather information towards the future development of a Draft Restoration (TMDL) and Protection Plan.
This project will provide MPCA staff, local partners and citizen volunteers with a framework for building local capacity to design civic engagement and communication/outreach efforts that will contribute to meaningful and sustained public participation in surface water protection and restoration activities throughout the watershed.
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 WHAF website strives to make complex issues easier to visualize. An interactive map delivers 27 health scores organized by the five components.
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.