Public Comment on Strategic Plan: Clean Water Council Update

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Minnesota Clean Water Council

Clean Water Council Seeks Your Input


Strategic Plan Input Sought

The Clean Water Council has assembled a second draft of its Strategic Plan for 2024-2028, and we would like your opinion! The plan will be the basis for future Clean Water Fund recommendations in the next few budget cycles. The Council will start reviewing ideas for the Clean Water Fund for FY26-27 this spring.

Click on the link below to pull up the draft plan. Feedback would be welcome by January 16th. Please e-mail Council Administrator Paul Gardner with any comments or questions.

Additional $18 Million Available in Clean Water Fund for FY24-25

The November state budget forecast shows an additional $18,056,000 in the Clean Water Fund during the FY24-25 biennium that ends June 30, 2025. After a discussion at the Council on December 18, the Council's Budget and Outcomes Committee (BOC) will meet on January 5th to make supplemental budget recommendations to the full Council for its January 22 meeting.

Read Draft Strategic Plan

Meeting Updates & Project Updates

Minnesota Clean Water Council

Upcoming Meetings

NOTE: Seven positions on the Clean Water Council are up for appointment early next year by the Governor. See more information at the Secretary of State's office web site.

Full Council: The next meeting is Monday, January 22nd (Topics: supplemental budget request for the Clean Water Fund). The packet from the December 18th meeting (topics: strategic planning; petition to EPA on nitrates in private wells) has been posted at our web site.

Policy Committee: The next meeting is Friday, January 26th. (Topics: Update on Nutrient Reduction Strategy, private wells.) The packet from the November 17th meeting (topics: Updated drainage policy statement) has been posted at our web site. The December 22nd meeting was cancelled.

Budget & Outcomes Committee: The next meeting is Friday, January 5th (topic: Restoration evaluations and recommendations for supplemental Clean Water Fund requests). The packet from the December 1st meeting has been posted.

Update on Project Supported by the Clean Water Fund

Fish species signal potential for delisting Sand Hill River stretch | by Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources | Dec, 2023 | Medium: "The return of redhorse species to a stretch of the Sand Hill River in Polk County reflects improving trends that could lead to removal from the state’s impaired waters list as early as 2026."

News release: BWSR Awards $10 million in Clean Water Fund Grants: The Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) made its competitive grant awards for "projects and practices" and drinking water protection.

Trout Brook Project (Washington County) Receives Award: The Clean Water Council recently visited the Trout Brook restoration in Afton. The project was just named 2023 Watershed Project of the Year by Minnesota Watersheds.

Odds for spring 2024 weather will be in northern Plains farmers' favor - Agweek: A meteorologist and director of the North Dakota Agricultural Weather Network (NDAWN) mentions the importance of additional Minnesota weather stations supported by the Clean Water Fund. "The agricultural network has the largest amount of soil data in the world, he said."

Listen: River stories from the ‘We Are Water’ podcast – St. Croix 360: Multi-media from the We Are Water exhibit that just wrapped up in Stillwater.

Minnesota agency awards $10 million in Clean Water Fund grants – St. Croix 360: Details of Clean Water Fund competitive grant awards from BWSR in Washington and Chisago Counties.

Mississippi River-Brainerd Comprehensive Watershed Management Plan Approved. At its December 14th meeting, the Board of Water and Soil Resources approved the plan under the One Watershed One Plan program. "The Mississippi River – Brainerd Watershed (MRBW) is in central Minnesota and spans 1,687 square miles which contains 2,100 miles of river and over 300 lakes. This watershed is rich with natural resources from the Mississippi River and the land cover transitions from forests to agriculture over four counties: Aitkin, Crow Wing, Morrison, and Todd."

WHAF Updates: Check out what's new! The DNR's Watershed Health Assessment Framework has some new features.

Water-quality goals drive city, McLeod SWCD collaboration | Continuing coverage of multi-purpose drainage management to improve water quality in Lake Winsted, including a constructed wetland. 

State grant to help seal private wells in Oronoco | A recent competitive grant from BWSR will seal 75 wells in the City of Oronoco's Drinking Water Supply Management Area (DWSMA) as the homes are connected to city water.

‘Forever Chemicals’ Found in Crystal Lake Fish ( A Hennepin County lake is impaired for a PFAS compound but it should not be permanent.

More action needed to protect water resources from salt | The Washington Conservation District highlights the Smart Salting program.

Water: The essence of life | Coverage of the Source Water Protction Collaborative based out of Little Falls. The Collaborative "started in 2019 as the Environmental Initiative and the Citizens League studied land use needs and opportunities, as well as decisions to protect drinking water supplies."

New federal funding moves St. Louis River cleanup closer to completion ( "The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced more than $22 million to remove contaminated sediment in the river's Thomson Reservoir in Carlton, Minn. The money makes up a large portion of the $36 million project, with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and PotlatchDeltic, a forest products company that once operated a paper mill in Cloquet, paying the remainder." [The Clean Water Fund supports the team that administers this project.]

Other Relevant Water News

Framework for developing and evaluating site-specific sulfate standards for the protection of wild rice - December 2023: The MPCA has completed the framework that will: 1) Describe what constitutes protection of the wild rice beneficial use; 2) Establish expectations for applicants requesting a Site-Specific Standard (SSS) and for agency staff reviewing those applications; and 3) Identify informational needs that should be satisfied before advancing a SSS and encourage data collection consistent with meeting those needs.

Tap or bottled? Advocates, dentists combat distrust of tap water ( "Public health officials and dental experts say many immigrants and communities of color [in Minnesota] distrust tap water because the water in their native countries was unsafe, or because old pipes in their homes affect color and flavor."

How much trash does the Mississippi River funnel from the heartland to the ocean? | MinnPost: A recent multi-city survey of trash along the Mississippi River down to the gulf is complete. St. Paul was a survey site. (Note: The results are very similar to roadside litter surveys.)

Road Hazard: Evidence Mounts on Toxic Pollution from Tires - Yale E360: "Researchers are only beginning to uncover the toxic cocktail of chemicals, microplastics, and heavy metals hidden in car and truck tires. But experts say these tire emissions are a significant source of air and water pollution and may be affecting humans as well as wildlife."