Watershed Decision Support for Land and Water Managers

2014 Fiscal Year Funding Amount:
$475,000
2013 Fiscal Year Funding Amount:
$565,000
2012 Fiscal Year Funding Amount:
$565,000
2011 Fiscal Year Funding Amount:
$403,000
2010 Fiscal Year Funding Amount:
$375,500
Source: 
Clean Water Fund
Status: 
In Progress
Start Date: 
July 2009
End Date: 
June 2011
Activity Type: 
Modeling, Education/Outreach/Engagement, Restoration/Enhancement, Monitoring, Analysis/Interpretation, Digitization/Online Information Access, Assessment/Evaluation, Technical Assistance, Planning, Research, Mapping
Counties Affected: 
Statewide
Project Details:
2014 Fiscal Year
Legal Citation / Subdivision: 
M.L. 2013, Ch. 137, Art. 2, Sec. 6(g)
Appropriation Language 
$675,000 the first year and $675,000 the second year are for applied research and tools, including watershed hydrologic modeling; maintaining and updating spatial data for watershed boundaries, streams, and water bodies and integrating high-resolution digital elevation data; assessing effectiveness of forestry best management practices for water quality; and developing an ecological monitoring database.
Fiscal Year Funding Amount: 
$475,000
Number of full time equivalents funded: 
7.0
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s) 
See project descriptions for Watershed Assessment Tool, Watershed Delineation, and Watershed Modeling for proposed outcomes.
Project Details:
2013 Fiscal Year
Legal Citation / Subdivision: 
M.L. 2011, First Special Session, Ch. 6, Art. 2, Sec. 6(g)
Appropriation Language 
$1,725,000 the first year and $1,725,000 the second year are for shoreland stewardship, TMDL implementation coordination, providing technical assistance to the Drainage Work Group and Drainage Management Team, and maintaining and updating data. Of this amount, $235,000 each year is for maintaining and updating watershed boundaries and integrating high-resolution digital elevation data with watershed modeling and $40,000 each year is for a biomonitoring database. TMDL implementation coordination efforts shall be focused on major watersheds with TMDL implementation plans, including forested watersheds.
Fiscal Year Funding Amount: 
$565,000
Direct expenses: 
$509,909
Administration costs: 
$62,878
Number of full time equivalents funded: 
4.0
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s) 
See project descriptions for Watershed Assessment Tool, Watershed Delineation, and Watershed Modeling for proposed outcomes.
Measurable Outcome(s) 
See project descriptions for Watershed Assessment Tool, Watershed Delineation, and Watershed Modeling for proposed outcomes.
Project Details:
2012 Fiscal Year
Legal Citation / Subdivision: 
M.L. 2011, First Special Session, Ch. 6, Art. 2, Sec. 6(g)
Appropriation Language 
$1,725,000 the first year and $1,725,000 the second year are for shoreland stewardship, TMDL implementation coordination, providing technical assistance to the Drainage Work Group and Drainage Management Team, and maintaining and updating data. Of this amount, $235,000 each year is for maintaining and updating watershed boundaries and integrating high-resolution digital elevation data with watershed modeling and $40,000 each year is for a biomonitoring database. TMDL implementation coordination efforts shall be focused on major watersheds with TMDL implementation plans, including forested watersheds.
Fiscal Year Funding Amount: 
$565,000
Direct expenses: 
$254,417
Administration costs: 
$103,192
Number of full time equivalents funded: 
3.0
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s) 
See project descriptions for Watershed Assessment Tool, Watershed Delineation, and Watershed Modeling for proposed outcomes.
Measurable Outcome(s) 
See project descriptions for Watershed Assessment Tool, Watershed Delineation, and Watershed Modeling for proposed outcomes.
Project Details:
2011 Fiscal Year
Legal Citation / Subdivision: 
M.L. 2009, Ch. 172, Art. 2, Sec. 5(a)
Appropriation Language 
$1,240,000 the first year and $2,460,000 the second year are for assisting in water quality assessments in supporting the identification of impaired waters.
Fiscal Year Funding Amount: 
$403,000
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s) 
See project descriptions for Watershed Assessment Tool, Watershed Delineation, and Watershed Modeling for proposed outcomes.
Measurable Outcome(s) 
See project descriptions for Watershed Assessment Tool, Watershed Delineation, and Watershed Modeling for proposed outcomes.
Project Details:
2010 Fiscal Year
Legal Citation / Subdivision: 
M.L. 2009, Ch. 172, Art. 2, Sec. 5(a)
Appropriation Language 
$1,240,000 the first year and $2,460,000 the second year are for assisting in water quality assessments in supporting the identification of impaired waters.
Fiscal Year Funding Amount: 
$375,500
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s) 
See project descriptions for Watershed Assessment Tool, Watershed Delineation, and Watershed Modeling for proposed outcomes.
Measurable Outcome(s) 
See project descriptions for Watershed Assessment Tool, Watershed Delineation, and Watershed Modeling for proposed outcomes.

Project Overview

With Legacy Amendment funding, DNR is able to provide a number of tools that improve understanding of watershed systems. This project involves mapping the drainage areas of lakes, streams, and rivers in Minnesota and providing assessment of overall watershed health with an online tool that gives a framework for evaluating stress factors that affect watershed systems at a large (major watershed) scale. The project also uses complex computer models on smaller scale watersheds that look at cumulative impacts of drainage practices and predict the effectiveness of various management strategies.

These tools give land and water managers information that will help prioritize investment in restoration and protection strategies to meet Minnesota's overall clean water goals.

About the Issue

The health of a waterbody is closely tied to the characteristics of the land that drains to it. Together, the land and water - the watershed - are a system that can respond to changes in complex ways, and many watersheds are stressed, resulting in polluted waters. The combination of stressed ecosystems and limited clean water funding increase the urgency around having good data and information on which to base watershed management decisions.

While existing watershed data, studies, and plans identify conservation issues and potential strategies, local land and water managers often need more detail to target individual strategies for maximum clean water benefit. By the same token, a large scale assessment of the overall health of the state's watersheds (watershed health assessment tool) helps resource managers see which areas of the state have the most potential for protection, need for restoration, or where additional resources or study is required.

Project Manager

Julie
Westerlund
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
500 Lafayette Road
St. Paul
55155
651-259-5147