The Nobles Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) and Nobles County Environmental Services will complete Level III feedlot inventories with manure management plan reviews through portions of the Rock River Watershed located within Nobles County. There are 133 registered feedlots in the Rock River Watershed portion of Nobles County including 62 open lots and 7 within shoreland. Rock County has completed level III feedlot inventories through the Rock River Watershed within Rock County borders.
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.
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.
This project will support a civic engagement cohort that will be offered in southwest Minnesota to foster partnering and build capacity of local government, organizations, and residents for effective civic engagement in water protection and restoration. This project will also build networks and the skill set of local resource professionals to do effective civic engagement work for water restoration and protection. The cohort will be administered through the Minnesota River Board (MRB), established in 1995 with a goal of focusing water management efforts on the local level.
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.
Currently, there are approximately 5,050 feedlots with fewer than 300 animal units that need to come into compliance with State feedlot rules. Clean Water Feedlot Water Quality Management Grant funds are being used to provide financial assistance to landowners with feedlot operations less than 300 animal units in size and located in a riparian area or impaired watershed.
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 goal of this project is to construct, calibrate, and validate a watershed model using HSPF. RESPEC will produce a HSPF model that can readily be used to provide information to support conventional parameter TMDLs.
Jackson SWCD will collect water chemistry data at three sites; West Fork Little Sioux River, Little Sioux River, and the Loon Lake Outlet. A full suite of lab and field parameters will be collected May - September in 2011 and 2012 at all three sites.
In September of 2009 and January of 2010, the Federal Government allocated $300,000 worth of Federal Funds to the Kanaranzi-Little Rock Watershed District through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The Funds were to be utilized as cost-share assistance for conservation practices such as terraces, waterways and water and sediment control basins. All practices are designed to reduce erosion and also help mitigate flood damages. The program received more requests for funds than what was available.
In September of 2009 and January of 2010, the Federal Government allocated $300,000 worth of Federal Funds to the Kanaranzi-Little Rock Watershed District through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The Funds were to be utilized as cost-share assistance for conservation practices such as terraces, waterways and water and sediment control basins. All practices are designed to reduce erosion and also help mitigate flood damages.
The Lake Ocheda Shoreline Improvement Project will restore and provide long term protection of 1,600 feet of lake shoreline resulting in improved drinking water supplies, improved water quality for fishery and upland habitat and historical preservation. A large portion of this shoreline currently has a 10 to 20 foot vertical wall of shoreline that has been sloughing for the past 50 to 100 years.
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 purpose of this project is to complete Intensive Hydraulic Conditioning on the remaining 60% of the watershed to be able to utilize the Prioritize, Target, and Measure application (PTMApp). The basin has 1.1 million acres of drainage with approximately 630,000 acres remaining to be hydro conditioned. With the advancement in targeting pollution sources within the watershed and state, the partners intend to be able to more accurately target conservation practices with the hydraulic conditioning completed.
The goal of this project is to develop Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) allocations and complete a final draft TMDL report for the 29 stream impairments listed in the Missouri River Basin. The project will produce completed models and pollutant source assessments for each impairment parameter, and a draft TMDL report that summarizes results of these analyses and TMDL allocations for each stream.
This project will support the sampling of six stream sites: two reaches of the Little Rock River, two Locations on the Kanaranzi Creek, one location on the East Branch of the Kanaranzi Creek as well as one location on the Ocheyedan River.
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.
Over the last 5 years, Nobles County has identified and targeted waters that have impairments for excess sediment. This project continues this effort by implementing projects that have been identified by the Nobles Soil and Water Conservation District as having the highest benefit for sediment reduction to these impaired waters in the county. The inventory and identification of projects as well as their ranking was based on sediment load reductions. Utilizing a ranking method developed by the Nobles County Local Work Group, sixty-nine projects have been ranked and eighteen selected.
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.
Lake Okabena does not meet state water quality standards due to high phosphorus levels. The Total Daily Maximum Load Study identified a 70% reduction in phosphorus from the watershed is needed to meet water quality standards. The City of Worthington owns the recently closed Prairie View Golf Course. Okabena Creek flows through the golf course and some small ponds. This project will modify these three ponds to increase storage and removal efficiency, and add an iron-enhanced filter bench to enhance soluble phosphorus removal.
This program is a part of a comprehensive clean water strategy to prevent sediment and nutrients from entering our lakes, rivers, and streams; enhance fish and wildlife habitat; protect groundwater and wetlands. Specifically the Riparian Buffer Easement Program targets creating buffers on riparian lands adjacent to public waters, except wetlands. Through the Reinvest in Minnesota Program (RIM) and in partnership with Soil and Water Conservation Districts and private landowners, permanent conservation easements are purchased and buffers established.
Provide information meeting about incentive to encourage agriculture producers to reduce nitrate. Establish incentive for agriculture producers to use best management practices to reduce nitrate in drinking water system.
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.
The Nobles Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) will test waters needing data for impairment listing in the Rock River and Little Sioux watersheds. Two reaches of the Little Rock River and the Ocheyedan River need stream water assessments. Iowa Lake needs sampling completed for impairment identification. The project will obtain adequate stream and lake data to either list the tested stream reaches and lake on the 303(d) list as impaired, or provide evidence that the stream reaches and lake is not impaired.