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Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources

Battling Floodwaters and Erosion in Nicollet County

Heavy rains over the past few years have taken their toll on Nicollet County’s local roadways. A typical June for the county involves less than five inches of total rainfall. This June the county was deluged, with rainfall totals measuring from 8 to over 14 inches across the county, most of which fell over a six day period in the middle of the month. A partnership between MnDOT, BWSR and the Nicollet SWCD is working ease the impact of these heavy rains. Read the story here.

Taking Stock: BWSR’s Grants Verification Process

Among the “core values” of the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources are empowerment and accountability. These values are central to our agency, but they’re also integral to the relationships we have with our local government partners. Our agency empowers local governments by disbursing approximately $41 million in grants each fiscal year. To enhance the accountability of those grant funds, we adopted a verification policy. Read about that process here.

When Natural Disasters Strike

Over the last 15 years, Minnesota had 12 emergency events rise to the level of federal disaster declaration. These events require a tremendous amount of coordination on the part of federal, state, and local agencies. Unfortunately, disasters are virtually impossible to predict, so government response must be both effective and nimble. In order to meet both those requirements, the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources created a standard operating procedure for its disaster response. Read about the Disaster Response Assistance Program here.

Drainage Law Update: Water Management Considerations

Since 2006, the Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) has facilitated the stakeholder Drainage Work Group, which involves more than 20 stakeholder entities representing agricultural, environmental, government and university sectors. Last year, the group’s work included water management considerations in drainage law. Read the story here.

Featured Plant of the month: Maximillian Sunflower

‘Discovered’ and named by Prince (and botanist) Maximilian of Wied-Neuwied Germany, Maximilian Sunflower is an important food source for pollinators, birds, and mammals. This native perennial can grow to be quite tall, up to ten feet in height, and provides a striking focal point in contrast to smaller native prairie grasses and forbs. Read more here.

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September 17, 2014

Minnesota Public Drainage Manual Update

For the first time since it was published in 1991, the Board of Water and Soil Resources has begun work on updating the Minnesota Public Drainage Manual (MPDM). Read the announcement.

September 2, 2014

FY15 Targeted Watershed Demonstration Program Response

From July 14, 2014 through August 29, 2014, BWSR held the second Request for Interest for the Targeted Watershed Demonstration Program. To read a summary of the responses to this phase of the application process, please click here.

September 2, 2014

2014 BWSR Academy — Registration Open!

Please visit our Academy page for sessions schedule, descriptions, registration, and lodging information.

August 26, 2014

BWSR Board to tour north Twin Cities metro on annual tour

St. Paul, Minn.— Minnesota’s local governments - counties, cities, watershed districts, conservation districts, and more - work every day on behalf of our state’s natural resources. On Wednesday, August 27, Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) board members will take part in an annual tour that showcases how those efforts are making a difference in local communities. Read the release here.

August 25, 2014

BWSR Train Tracks

Training news and updates, including BWSR training, partners' training, and news.

August 18, 2014

FY15 Clean Water Fund Competitive Grant RFP Now Available

The Board of Water and Soil Resources is pleased to announce that local governments can now apply for funds to protect and improve water quality in their communities.  The application period for the FY15 Clean Water Fund Competitive Grants is open through September 26, 2014. These funds are available as a result of the Clean Water, Land & Legacy amendment passed by Minnesota voters in 2008.  Complete Request Proposals can be found at

August 12, 2014

Wild Rice Shoreland Protection Program Outreach Materials available

Learn more about how Wild Rice Shoreland Protection Program is protecting rare and fragile wild rice waters from development thanks to support from the Outdoor Heritage Fund. BWSR’s Dan Steward and DNR's Gary Drotts tackle the subject here. More outreach materials are available for LGUs interested in the program here.

July 14, 2014

BWSR seeks nominations for Targeted Watershed Demonstration Program

The Board of Water and Soil Resources is seeking nominations for three to six watersheds for the Targeted Watershed Demonstration Program. The nomination period will be open through August 29. The complete Request for Interest can be found at

June 26, 2014

BWSR Launches Statewide Water Initiative

St. Paul, Minn. —The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) launched the One Watershed, One Plan pilot program today, allocating up to $900,000 in Clean Water Fund grants to fund five pilot projects to address water quality on a watershed basis. BWSR’s vision with this program is to align planning on major watershed boundaries with prioritized, targeted, and measurable watershed plans that will be developed and implemented locally. Read the news release.

June 6, 2014

BWSR 2014 Legislative Summary

The Minnesota Legislature officially adjourned its 2013-2014 Session on Friday, May 16. A lot of work was packed into a short amount of time. Click here for a summary of the key items affecting BWSR.

June 2, 2014

Reinvest in Minnesota Reserve Buffer Easement Program sign-up now available

St. Paul, Minn. — Partnering with local Soil and Water Conservation Districts, the Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) announced the 2014 Reinvest in Minnesota (RIM) Reserve Riparian Buffer Easement Program sign-up is now open. Read the news release.

May 1, 2014

BWSR recognizes 59th Soil and Water Stewardship Week

St. Paul, Minn. - The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) honors and celebrates the work of Soil and Water Conservation Districts as part of Soil and Water Stewardship Week, April 27 – May 4. Read the news release.

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.

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