Jan 17, 2019

Minnesota Counties Release Missouri River Watershed Plan

Six Minnesota counties collaborated on the plan which includes storm water runoff and erosion control guidelines

Minnesota counties collaborate on watershed and storm water runoff improvements
Minnesota counties collaborate on watershed and storm water runoff improvements

Six southwest Minnesota counties released a draft of the Missouri River One Watershed, One Plan (1W1P) for a 60-day review and comment period. The plan addresses water quality in the Missouri River and aims to reduce storm water pollution and curb riverbank erosion.

The plan includes Rock, Nobles, Jackson, Murray, Pipestone and Lincoln counties in southwest Minnesota and seeks to guide water quality improvements in the 1.1 million-acre planning area for the next 10 years. The counties hope to have the plan approved by early summer, reported the Daily Globe.

“We’re trying to correct water quality and even water quantity problems,” said Doug Bos, assistant director of the Rock County Land Management office in Luverne. “Water doesn’t stop at the county line. This gives us an opportunity to work together as a watershed group — allows us greater access to prioritization and also additional funding for improving water quality.”

The plan began through public informational sessions in the summer of 2016 and then was segmented into priority issues. Additionally, an advisory committee composed of local agronomists, hunters, crop and livestock producers, and city and township officials reviewed the plan.

The final list of prioritized goals covers a wide range of watershed topics and includes subplans for subwatersheds within the extensive system. It also prioritizes reducing phosphorus and nitrates, which often enter waterways through agricultural storm water runoff.

The plan also serves as a pilot for potential future efforts to group regional watershed plans together in the state. The public can view and comment on the plan here through Feb. 25.