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Drainage Work Group

Overview

The Drainage Work Group was first established as a stakeholder group to advise the preparation the Public Drainage Ditch Buffer Study, which was published by BWSR in February 2006. This Study Work Group discussed a range of topics regarding buffer strips and drainage and developed a number of consensus recommendations, which are presented in Section 6 of the study report. In 2006, the Study Work Group agreed to continue to meet as the stakeholder Drainage Work Group (DWG), with continued facilitation provided by the BWSR.

The Drainage Work Group has the following purposes:

  • Foster science-based mutual understanding about drainage topics and issues;
  • Develop consensus recommendations for drainage system management and related water management, including recommendations for updating Minnesota Statutes Chapter 103E Drainage and related provisions.

Links to More Information

Reports to the Legislature

Topic: 2017 Legislative Directive Regarding Accelerating Public Drainage System Acquisition of Buffer Strips and Alternative Practices

  • Applicable statute provisions and financial assistance information: Drainage System Acquisition of Buffer Strips & Alternative Practices
  • In 2017, the state legislature directed BWSR to coordinate the stakeholder Drainage Work Group to evaluate and develop recommendations to help Minnesota Chapter 103E drainage authorities accelerate the acquisition and establishment of buffer strips and alternative practices adjacent to public drainage ditches. The impetus for this action is the 2015 Buffer Law (Minnesota Statutes Section 103F.48), which requires landowners to establish buffer strips, or alternative practices, along all public drainage ditches by November 1, 2018. These buffer strips and the associated landowner compensation must be consistent with the provisions of Minnesota Drainage Law (M.S. Chapter 103E).
    The Drainage Work Group formed a 16-member Project Advisory Committee with BWSR staff support to evaluate the issue and develop recommendations for Drainage Work Group consideration. During three meetings in the fall of 2017, the Advisory Committee evaluated the impediments to drainage system acquisition and establishment of buffer strips and then formulated actions for statutory, funding, and administrative policy changes, and outreach, to address the impediments. The Drainage Work Group used the products from their Advisory Committee to develop the recommendations in the report. (see Report here) The BWSR Board, on January 24, 2018, accepted the report of the Drainage Work Group for transmittal to the agriculture and environment Legislative Policy Committees.

  • Recommendations for Accelerating Public Drainage System Acquisition and Establishment of Buffer Strips and Alternative Practices: A Report to the Legislature, (February 1, 2018)

Topic: 2009 Legislative Directive to the DWG and BWSR:

  • Study of Riparian Buffer Areas, February 2010-Report to the Legislature

Topic: 2005 Legislative Directive to BWSR to Evaluate the status of Public Drainage Buffer Strips:

Associated Documents

Resources for Topic Discussions

This section is intended to support DWG member engagement with topics presently before the Work Group. All resources are placed temporarily and will be removed once discussion on a topic is completed.

Topic: DWG reponse to letter from Clean Water Council Policy Committee

Dr. Karen Gran, University of Minnesota

  • Collaboration for Sediment Source Reduction (CSSR) In the Greater Blue Earth River Basin: Summary of Findings
  • Collaboration for Sediment Source Reduction (CSSR) In the Greater Blue Earth River Basin: Final Report
  • Collaboration for Sediment Source Reduction (CSSR) In the Greater Blue Earth River Basin: Summary of Findings - Presentation at June 2017 DWG Meeting

Dr. Mark Duetschman, PE, Houston Engineering, Inc.

Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources

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