The Red River is impaired for sediment. This project will install best management practices to repair severe gullies that are contributing massive sediment loads to the Red River. The City of Moorhead also draws water from the Red River for its drinking water supply downstream. The proposed practices will reduce water treatment costs upon installation. Grant funds will be used to install four grade stabilization structures. These structures will control concentrated runoff and reduce flow velocities.
The Accelerated Water Quality Project Implementation Program will increase the connection between landowners, local government units and the landscape to accelerate efforts addressing non-point source loading to surface waters throughout the Red River Valley Conservation Service Area.
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 address United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) comments on the preliminary draft Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) study and Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) comments on the pre-public notice draft TMDL study and Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) report, and produce the public notice draft TMDL study and the public notice draft WRAPS report ready for public review and comment. Conduct one public meeting for each watershed to present public notice drafts of the TMDL study and WRAPS report for each watershed.
Multiple water courses in the Buffalo River - Red River Watershed District are impaired for turbidity. These waterways include the Red River of the North, Wolverton Creek, Deerhorn Creek, Stoney Creek, South Branch Buffalo River, and the main stem of the Buffalo River. This project will provide a means of prioritizing areas of the watershed to implement conservation practices to reduce overland runoff contaminant loadings contributing to water quality impairments.
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.
The goal of this project is to address public comments on the public noticed draft Watershed Restoration & Protection Strategy (WRAPS) study and Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) report for the watershed, and to produce a final draft WRAPS study and TMDL report ready for final approval by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA).
Governor Mark Dayton's landmark buffer initiative was signed into law in 2015. The law establishes new perennial vegetation buffers of up to 50 feet along rivers, streams, and ditches that will help filter out phosphorus, nitrogen, and sediment. The new law provides flexibility and financial support for landowners to install and maintain buffers.The DNR's role in Minnesota's new buffer law is to produce a statewide map of public waters and public ditches that require permanent vegetation buffers. The DNR is scheduled to produce these maps by July 2016.
On behalf of the Metropolitan Council, Environmental Financial Group Inc. generated a matrix of water conservation programs with detailed information about the costs and benefits of the programs. Tools were also developed to allow users to calculate potential water savings, estimate program implementation costs, and test the effects of various water conservation programs and rate structures.
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.
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 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.
This is a legislatively mandated project. In order to receive $1,075,000 in water recreation account appropriations for enhancing public water access facilities in FY 2014 and FY 2015 respectively, the commissioner must develop design standards and best management practices specifically for improving water quality by avoiding shoreline erosion and runoff for water accesses.
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 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.
BWSR will administer funding to eligible County projects that provide funds and other assistance to low income property owners to upgrade or replace Noncompliant Septic Systems. BWSR will also manage annual reporting completed by each County.
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 complete the development of two watershed HSPF models for the Mustinka River and Bois de Sioux River watersheds. These calibrated and validated executable models will simulate hydrology at the 12-digit HUC subbasin scale.
This water quality improvement project involves the retrofit of county ditch #31 also known as Connelly Ditch. The capacity of the ditch is inadequate and there is a need to reduce sediment and peak flows to it.
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.
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.
The goal of this project is to analyze and document database architecture, platform, table structures, systems and data fields at six Minnesota agencies (Board of Soil and Water Resources, Department of Natural Resources, MN Department of Agriculture, MN Department of Health, Metropolitan Council, and MN Pollution Control Agency) for 30+ databases related to water.
The Mustinka River winds through five counties in west central Minnesota and empties into Lake Traverse, a border waters lake with excellent fishing and recreational opportunities. For several years, sections of the river have been impaired for turbidity due to too much soil/sediment eroding from the land and washing away into the water. Excess sediment degrades aquatic habitat
and feeds algae blooms.
The Mustinka River winds through five counties in west central Minnesota and empties into Lake Traverse, a border waters lake with excellent fishing and recreational opportunities. For several years, sections of the river have been negatively impacted from too much soil/sediment eroding from the land and washing away into the water. Excess sediment degrades aquatic habitat and feeds algae blooms.
This project continues a 2011 Clean Water Fund collaborative effort to develop a plan to reduce the amount of sediment washed into the river.
The Mustinka River winds through five counties in west central Minnesota and empties into Lake Traverse, a border waters lake with excellent fishing and recreational opportunities. For several years, sections of the river have been negatively impacted from too much soil/sediment eroding from the land and washing away into the water. Excess sediment degrades aquatic habitat and feeds algae blooms. This project continues a 2012 Clean Water Fund collaborative effort to develop a plan to reduce the amount of sediment washed into the river.
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 works with local partners that implement conservation project to provide learning opportunities, technical help, and grants that result in cleaner water through healthier watersheds and shorelands. The DNR's natural resource experts help prioritize conservation areas and target project locations so they improve water quality while providing habitat and other benefits. Stream experts provide designs for stream projects that provide long-term stability by using natural features.
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.
The Otter Tail River is located in west-central Minnesota. Its Lower Otter Tail River (LOTR) reach is impaired for sediment. The LOTR begins at the dam of Orwell Reservoir near Fergus Falls and ends 48 river miles downstream at the confluence with the Bois de Sioux River at Breckenridge. No point sources contribute directly to the LOTR. Consequently, the turbidity impairment must be addressed through non-point measures. Current stream instability and bank erosion is largely a result of an 18-mile channel straightening completed by the Army Corps of Engineers in the 1950s.
This restoration and protection project will reduce the loading of sediment to the Otter Tail River by 440 tons/year. This is about 6.5% of the total reduction needed to meet the goals of the Lower Otter Tail TMDL Implementation Plan. The Otter Tail River downstream of Orwell Dam is impaired due to sediment, with stream bank erosion being the primary contributor. This stream bank restoration will include the installation of woody toe debris benches and the installation of a vegetated slope along a 1,400 foot reach of the river.
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.
The goal of this project is to complete the construction, calibration, and validation of a Hydrological Simulation Program FORTRAN (HSPF) watershed model for the Otter Tail River watershed. The contractor will produce an HSPF model that can readily be used to provide information to support conventional parameter Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Studies. The model will generate predicted output for hydrology, sediment, nutrients, and dissolved oxygen that is consistent with observed data.
The Otter Tail River is impaired for turbidity. This project involves the installation of 45 side-inlet structures into Wilkin County Ditch 3-2 and 7-1 and 22 acres of buffer strips along the entire systems. Eleven miles of continuous berm will also be constructed along the ditch. When installed these water quality practices will become a permanent part of the ditch system and will be maintained by the ditch authority. These ditches outlet to the Otter Tail River just upstream from Breckenridge, MN. Together these water quality BMPs will reduce sediment loading by 1,375 tons/year.
This project will be the first of its kind Civic Engagement Cohort that focusses its efforts in an individual watershed. The Otter Tail River Watershed is scheduled to start a Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) in 2016 and as a component of that project, the cohort will provide the civic engagement requirement. The cohort will be comprised of 25-30 individuals located throughout the watershed who represent a broad spectrum of resource managers and citizens who are familiar with water quality and watershed management.
The goal of this project is to construct, calibrate, and validate a Hydrologic Simulation Program FORTRAN (HSPF) watershed model for the Otter Tail watershed. The contractor will produce a HSPF watershed model application(s) that can readily be used to provide information to support conventional parameter Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs). The contractor will clearly demonstrate that this model generates predicted output timeseries for hydrology, sediment, nutrients, and dissolved oxygen that are consistent with available sets of observed data.