This project builds on the momentum and success of previous Clean Water Fund grants in making significant non-point source pollution reductions that address state-identified turbidity, excess nutrient and dissolved oxygen impairments of the Lower Minnesota River and points downstream. These water quality improvements will be achieved by constructing high-value, cost-effective conservation best management practices in Scott County directly tributary to the Minnesota River.
The AgBMP Loan Program provides needed funding for local implementation of clean water practices at an extremely low cost, is unique in its structure, and is not duplicated by any other source of funding. The AgBMP loan program provides 3% loans through local lenders to farmers, rural landowners, and agriculture supply businesses. Funds are used for proven practices that prevent non-point source water pollution or solve existing water quality problems.
This project will complete the installation of four nested wells to the Ambient Groundwater Monitoring Network and relocated one well in the City of Saint Paul. Braun Intertec will coordinate site access and oversee the well installation by a state drilling contractor.
The primary goal of this project is to analyze of dated sediment cores to reconstruct changes in the lake condition over the last 150 years. This will be done using multiple lines of evidence including biogeochemistry, sediment accumulation, and diatom and algal remains as biological indicators.
Bartlett Lake in Koochiching County is impaired for eutrophication and has already undergone a paleolimnological study. This project will utilize the data and results of paleolimnological study to develop in-lake management strategies that, if implemented, could significantly improve the water quality of Bartlett Lake.
The goal is to facilitate strategic networking, learning, and implementation in targeted groups to assess, build, and leverage community capacity (i.e. community resources and values) to increase best management practice (BMP) adoption to restore and protect water quality in the Blue Earth River watershed
The Blue Earth SWCD will be monitoring 7 stream sites located in the Le Sueur River Watershed. The stream sites will be monitored at the road crossing locations via bridge, culvert or shore. Onsite conditions will be recorded, water sample readings will be taken for Secchi tube, specific conductance, temperature, pH, DO, and photos taken.
A cooperative study was conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the Metropolitan Council, and the Minnesota Department of Health to assess groundwater and surface-water interactions in lakes in the northeast Twin Cities Metropolitan Area (TCMA), including White Bear Lake. An important product of the study was the creation of a groundwater-flow model focused on the northeast TCMA. The groundwater flow model is available for future use to assess the effects of groundwater withdrawals on lake levels as well as to describe other groundwater and surface-water interactions.
The Discovery Farms program is a farmer-led effort to gather field-scale water quality information on different types of farms across Minnesota. The three pillars of the program are farmer leadership, credible research, and communicating results.
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.
Minnesota’s use of groundwater has increased over the last two decades. An increasing reliance on groundwater may not be a sustainable path for continued economic growth and development. The DNR is establishing three pilot groundwater management areas (GWMA) to help improve groundwater appropriation decisions and help groundwater users better understand and plan for future groundwater needs associated with economic development.
The Metropolitan Council, in conjunction with the University of Minnesota Technical Assistance Program (MnTAP), are exploring opportunities for water conservation by businesses in the eleven county metropolitan area. This program began by defining opportunities for water conservation for three businesses through the dedicated resources of three MnTAP interns. The interns analyzed water conservation opportunities through full time work on site over the summers of 2014 and 2015.
Funding supports an Irrigation Specialist to develop guidance and provide education on irrigation and nitrogen best management practices (BMPs). In this position, Dr. Vasu Sharma provides direct support to irrigators on issues of irrigation scheduling and soil water monitoring. She is collaborating on the development of new irrigation scheduling tools that help irrigators manage water and nitrogen resources more precisely. These tools help reduce nitrogen leaching losses in irrigated cropping systems.
Itasca SWCD will work with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency as a collaborative effort to monitor the Big Fork River near Bigfork at State Highway 6 and Big Fork River near Craigsville at State Highway 6. Itasca Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) staff will strive to capture the peak, rising, and falling limbs of the hydrograph for spring run-off and significant storm events as well as base flow samples. Itasca SWCD staff will utilize local rain gauge readers, storm tracking weather services, and historical stage data to aid in making monitoring judgments.
The Rainy River - Rainy Lake, Rainy River - Baudette and Rapid River Watershed Assessments will include the waters of the Baudette River, Black River, Peppermint Creek, Rapid River, Rat Root River and Winter Road River in Koochiching and Lake of the Woods Counties. This assessment focuses on collection of water chemistry and field parameters at the 12 key sites identified and modified by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA). Five of the sites will have extra total phosphorus and chlorophyll analysis completed as identified by the MPCA for collecting river nutrients.
The goal of this project is to finalize the draft Lake Pepin Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Report, issue it for public comment, address comments, and finalize the report. Lake Pepin is impaired by high levels of nutrients that cause excessive growth of algae. High levels of sediment, carried in by major river systems, also affect the lake. The sediment is filling in the lake at a much faster rate than before Minnesota was settled and intensely farmed. Nutrients and sediment are distinct yet inter-related pollutants, and are being addressed in separate TMDL reports.
The consultant LimnoTech will support response to Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) comments the peer review process, United States Environmental Protection Agency and public notice. They will then revise the TMDL document as needed and attend internal and external project meetings.
The Little Fork River Watershed Assessment will include the waters of the Rice River, Little Fork River, Flint Creek, Nett Lake River, Beaver Brook, Valley River, Willow River, Sturgeon River, Bear River, Dark River, and the Lost River. This Assessment will also include Little Bear Lake, Bear Lake, Thistledew Lake, Little Moose Lake, Raddison Lake, Napoleon Lake, Owen Lake, Dark Lake, Clear Lake, Long (Main) Lake, Dewey Lake, and Long (North) Lake. These lakes and streams are found throughout the Little Fork River Watershed, which spans parts of Koochiching, St. Louis and Itasca Counties.
The purpose of this project is to re-calculate the Littlefork river sediment Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) utilizing the 15 mg/L Total Suspended Solids (TSS) standard and update the associated Littlefork Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategies (WRAPS) document.
Martin Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) is proposing to monitor six lakes sites and two stream sites in the Blue Earth River watershed. The lake sites will be monitored by kayak and the stream sites will be monitored from the shore. Sites will be analyzed for field conditions and water chemistry. Martin SWCD will subcontract with Faribault SWCD to monitor fourteen stream sites and with Blue Earth SWCD to monitor one lake site and three stream sites.
This project will establish a groundwater monitoring network in the 11 county metropolitan area. The network will provide information about aquifer characteristics and natural water trends by monitoring healthy aquifers (non-stressed systems). The project will also develop an automated system that captures groundwater level and water use data. This system will enhance evaluation of changes in aquifers that are stressed by pumping from existing wells.
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.
This project addresses twelve lakes that have aquatic recreation impairments as identified by eutrophication indicators and 53 impairments on 45 stream reaches in the Minnesota River Mankato and Watonwan River watersheds. The project will develop Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) addressing impaired lakes and streams in the Minnesota River–Mankato and Watonwan River watersheds. A TMDL establishes the maximum amount of a pollutant allowed in a waterbody and serves as the starting point or planning tool for restoring water quality.
The Greater Blue Earth River Basin Alliance (GBERBA) along with Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Counties, landowners, and drainage authorities in the ten member counties will install conservation drainage practices to improve water quality. 103E drainage systems with documented sediment or water quality issues are the focus with the goal of installing 52 practices such as improved side inlets (grade stabilization structures), alternative tile inlets, denitrifying bioreactors, saturated buffers, storage wetlands and others.
Minnesota Erosion Control Association (MECA) will offer three one-day training session intended to educate permittees on the requirements of the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit. The focus of these workshops will be on conducting inspections and various hot topics.
The goal of this project is to refine the nutrient and algae simulation in the Minnesota River basin using all relevant available sources of information. The outcome of this work order is a revised Hydrological Simulation Program – FORTRAN (HSPF) watershed model application for the Minnesota River basin that correctly represents nutrient sources and algae.
Golden Lake does not meet state water quality standards due to high phosphorus levels. The proposed iron enhanced sand filter basin was identified in the Golden Lake Subwatershed Stormwater Retrofit Analysis to be one of the most cost effective remaining practices for reducing external phosphorus loads to Golden Lake. This project, paired with two previously installed upstream Best Management Practices, will achieve on average, 84% of the phosphorus reduction goal for the watershed.
This project will provide an important framework for civic and citizen engagement and communication in the International Rainy River-Lake of the Woods Watershed, which will contribute to long-term public participation in surface water protection and restoration activities.
The University of Minnesota will develop effective interview questions for community watershed assessments in the Rainy River basin and provide assistance in understanding the data collected through community interviews.
The goal of this project is to conduct water chemistry monitoring at four subwatershed sites and two basin sites in 2016 and 2017; and six subwatershed sites and three basin sites in 2018-2019 based on flow conditions, targeting runoff events using protocols defined in the Watershed Pollutant Load Monitoring Network (WPLMN) Standard Operating Procedures and Guidance. The data collected will be submitted to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) and used in the FLUX32 model for calculating pollutant loads.
The Rapid River Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) project will result in the development of the restoration and protection strategies for the watershed and engage the local stakeholders in the practices of watershed management. This project will also develop Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) for impaired waters.
The Metropolitan Council, in conjunction with the University of Minnesota, is evaluating outdoor water use in the Twin Cities metro region - a subject which has come under the spotlight recently due to concerns related to water quality and quantity issues. In the Twin Cities, 20% of all treated drinking water is used outdoors, with a majority of this being used on lawns and landscapes. The goal of this proposal is to reduce water use in the home landscape by conducting assessments, research, and demonstration around the smart use of irrigation.
Approximately 70 percent of all Minnesotans rely on groundwater as their primary source of drinking water. Wells used for drinking water must be properly sealed when removed from service to protect both public health and Minnesota’s invaluable groundwater resources. The Minnesota Department of Health protects both public health and groundwater by assuring the proper sealing of unused wells.
Clean Water funds are being provided to well owners as a 50% cost-share assistance for sealing unused public water-supply wells.