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Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources

Safeguarding drinking water: the Verdi Well Field Project

The Verdi Well Field is one of four well fields operated by Lincoln Pipestone Rural Water in Southwest Minnesota. It supplies drinking water to ten community water suppliers, serving about 4,509 people and 1,161 rural hookups. It is the main public water supply source for Lincoln County and functions as a backup water source in four neighboring counties. However, nitrate levels in the wells in 2011 indicated the presence of nitrate-nitrogen in all of the wells. State agencies, local governments, and landowners are working together to address the issue. Read the story here.

Protecting Lake Minnewaska

The majority of Pope County is located within the 1.3 million acre Chippewa River Watershed, which includes Minnesota’s 13th largest lake - Lake Minnewaska. This 8,050 acre lake is an economic driver in the region. The lake’s water quality is important to the community. Read the story here.

Yellow Medicine Watershed One Watershed, One Plan

Yellow Medicine Watershed: Planning for a new era in water management Text: Since submitting a nomination to be a part of One Watershed, One Plan in early 2014, Lyon, Lincoln, Yellow Medicine, and Lac qui Parle Counties and their Soil and Water Conservation Districts have been deeply engaged in making progress on the Yellow Medicine Watershed Plan. Read the story here.

Featured Plant of the month: Black Chokeberry

The fruit from Black Cherry and Chokecherry trees is a favorite and has many uses in jams, jellies, and flavoring. Along with their fruit, these cherry trees are used for mine reclamation, wood production and as a wildlife food source. They grow in a variety of environments including prairies and forests. Pollinators are attracted to the white pungent flowers for the nectar and pollen. Learn more about the featured plant here.

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May 31, 2016

Board of Water and Soil Resources expands options to help farmers meet Buffer Law requirements

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Minnesota farmers will have an additional way of meeting the state’s new Buffer Law requirements as the result of recent action taken by the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR). Under the Buffer Law, farmers may use alternative water quality protection practices that are comparable to buffer protection. The BWSR Board recently passed a resolution affirming that certification in the Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program qualifies as an approved alternative water quality protection practice. This means that farmers who become certified through the program will also be compliant with the state buffer law. Read the news release here.

May 25, 2016

BWSR awards nearly $8.2 million in Targeted Watershed Program grants

St. Paul, Minn. – Water quality has been making a lot of headlines recently, both in Minnesota and around the country.  Today the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources announced a third round of Clean Water Fund grants that will help six local governments from around the state accelerate their conservation work while taking a targeted approach to addressing water quality issues.  Read the release here.

May 17, 2016

Draft Nonpoint Funding Plan Update open for comment

St. Paul, Minn. – The Draft Nonpoint Priority Funding Plan update is now available on BWSR’s website here. We are currently accepting feedback on the plan; comments should be sent to Denise Wilson. The deadline for comments is Monday June 6 and the final plan will be posted on BWSR’s website on July 1, 2016.

May 9, 2016

BWSR issues $3 million in flood relief grants

St. Paul, Minn. – While the high waters from the heavy 2014 rains have receded, counties continue to recover from the damage left in their wake. Today the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) announced $3 million in grants as part of a third phase of flood relief funding. Fifteen counties will use the funds to implement conservation practices where human safety and health is a concern and to address erosion and water quality problems associated with imminent threats to private or public improvements. Read the press release here. To see the list of counties and allocations, click here.

April 25, 2016

BWSR recognizes 61st Soil and Water Stewardship Week

St. Paul, Minn. – Minnesota’s abundant natural resources are more than just a source of pride for our citizens.  They are recreational and economic drivers for our state. Their conservation and protection forms the foundation of the work of Minnesota’s eighty-nine Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs).  For over 70 years, SWCDs have worked hard for our soil, water and wildlife, managing programs that work toward the conservation and healthy use and development of our natural resources.  Read the release here.

March 29, 2016

One Watershed, One Plan launches statewide

St. Paul, Minn. — Wrapping up a successful, almost two-year pilot period, the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources’ (BWSR) One Watershed, One Plan program begins the next phase of roll-out this week. The program aligns major watershed boundaries with prioritized, targeted, and measurable watershed plans that are developed and implemented locally. Read the news release here.

March 1, 2016

FY2018-19 Biennial Budget Request eLINK Module now available

ST.PAUL, MN — The eLINK module for submitting the Biennial Budget Request (BBR) is now available for data entry. The deadline for local governments to submit a BBR is April 15, 2016. For information on the new module, please click here. For more information on the BBR, please visit the BBR page.

January 25, 2016

FY2018-19 Biennial Budget Request (BBR) update

ST.PAUL, MN — In anticipation of data gathering for the third Biennial Budget Request (BBR) this March, BWSR has prepared a BBR update that outlines process changes that include using eLINK for data entry, the connection to local water management plans, and what information LGUs should provide in their response.  Read the release here.

Announcements Archive

To view previous announcements, visit the archive

Legacy Amendment

Legacy Amendment logoInformation For Citizens: How These Dollars Are Being Spent and How You Can Participate

BWSR receives appropriations from the Clean Water, Land & Legacy Amendment to pay for on-the-ground conservation projects that provide multiple benefits for water quality and wildlife habitat.

Buffer Program

Enacted 2015 legislation requires a new approach to buffers for designated waters in Minnesota. For more information on the Buffer Initiative, please visit

Minnesota CREP

On December 15, 2015 Governor Dayton submitted a $795 million proposal to the United States Department of Agriculture for a Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) for Minnesota. This federal, state and local partnership would work with farmers and other landowners across Minnesota to implement conservation practices on up to 100,000 acres of land to restore and protect water quality.

Click here to learn more about the program.

One Watershed, One Plan

One Watershed, One Plan (1W1P) is an important planning initiative, conceived by local governments, passed by the legislature, and being developed by BWSR.

Click here to learn more about the program and opportunities.

Nonpoint Priority Funding Plan

The Nonpoint Priority Funding Plan (NPFP) is a criteria-based, systematic process to prioritize Clean Water Fund (CWF) nonpoint implementation investments.

Click here to learn more about the program and opportunities.

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About BWSR

BWSR Mission: Improve and protect Minnesota's water and soil resources by working in partnership with local organizations and private landowners

BWSR is the state soil and water conservation agency, and it administers programs that prevent sediment and nutrients from entering our lakes, rivers, and streams; enhance fish and wildlife habitat; and protect wetlands. The 20-member board consists of representatives of local and state government agencies and citizens.

About BWSR


BWSR works in partnership with local government units, state and federal government agencies, and other organizations.

Local Government Units and Partner Agencies -- Overview of BWSR's conservation partners, includes directories, maps, guidance documents and publications.

Performance data for local government units -- Through the Performance Review and Assistance Program (PRAP), BWSR staff evaluate water management entities, and, where necessary, provide assistance.


The BWSR Training page has dates and locations of training sessions conducted by BWSR staff as well as other training-related information.


The BWSR Map Portal contains maps that BWSR staff and partner agencies use to administer conservation programs.


Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources

520 Lafayette Road North, St. Paul, MN 55155 | (651) 296-3767 | Fax (651) 297-5615 | TTY (800) 627-3529

An Equal Opportunity Employer