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.
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 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.
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.
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 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.
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 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 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 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.
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has designed a Township Testing Program to determine current nitrate-nitrogen concentrations in private wells on a township scale. The MDA has identified townships throughout the state that are vulnerable to groundwater contamination (because of local geology or shallow groundwater) and have significant row crop production. These are the counties that will be prioritized for Township Testing.
State law charges the Metropolitan Council (Council) with developing and maintaining a base of technical information needed for sound water supply decisions (Minnesota Statutes 473.1565). The Council’s primary tool to provide this information is the Metro Model 2, a regional groundwater model capable of predicting the impacts of planned water demand on aquifers and connected lakes and streams. The Metro Model 2 is a modern and comprehensive groundwater model of the Twin Cities area, but it is currently out-of-date.
The purpose of this project is to gather data specific to developing a site-specific standard for phosphorus for Upper and Lower Red Lakes. These are large shallow lakes that are located in an area where no shallow lake standard exists. Because of these lakes' unique characteristics, it is believed that a site-specific standard is more appropriate than the deep lake standards that currently exist. This project will include additional chemistry and flow monitoring of tributaries to the lakes, as well as outflow of Lower Red Lake to the Red Lake River.
This project will collect water samples at seventeen monitoring locations ranging in size from 23,173 acres (7 Mile Creek) to over 9 million acres (Minnesota River at St. Peter) as a part of the Watershed Pollutant Load Monitoring Network (WPLMN). The Minnesota State University - Water Resources Center (WRC) has been directly involved with the program and is familiar with the streams and hydrology of the region. In addition to monitoring, the WRC will review, manage and submit the data in formats provided by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA).