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Drainage Work Group

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 the Board of Water and Soil Resources (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 stakeholder Drainage Work Group has been meeting since 2006 for the following purposes:

Following are the entities represented on the Drainage Work Group.

Drainage Work Group Membership
Drainage Authorities AMC - Association of Minnesota Counties
MAWD - Minnesota Association of Watershed Districts
Farm Groups MFB - Minnesota Farm Bureau
MFU - Minnesota Farmers Union
Lobbyist for several other Ag groups
Environmental Groups MCEA - Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy
FWLA - Fish and Wildlife Legislative Alliance
MCF - Minnesota Conservation Federation
Other Associations MASWCD - Minnesota Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts
MVA - Minnesota Viewers Association
MACO - Minnesota Association of County Officers
MADI - Minnesota Association of Drainage Inspectors
RRWMB - Red River Watershed Management Board

MAT - Minnesota Association of Townships
MAWRC - Minnesota Agricultural Water Resources Coalition
ADMC - Agricultural Drainage Management Coalition
State Agencies BWSR, DNR, MDA, MPCA
Legislature Legislators and/or House and Senate committee staff

Why drainage is an important topic

2006 - 2007 Recommendations and Outcomes

Drainage Work Group Activities and Accomplishments to Date

The Drainage Work Group (DWG), which is facilitated by the Board of Water and Soil Resources, has provided a forum for discussing drainage management issues, sharing applicable current science and developing consensus recommendations for enhanced drainage management.

In 2006, the DWG developed consensus recommendations to:

clarify and enhance Chapter 103E drainage law regarding buffer strips and side inlet controls along public drainage ditches (Section 103E.021);

clarify protection of conservation practices along drainage ditches;

clarify ditch inspection frequency;

develop drainage records preservation and modernization guidelines and promote state cost-share for drainage records modernization;

support an update of the Minnesota Public Drainage Manual; and

support establishment of an interagency drainage management team to provide coordination and assistance to promote multipurpose drainage management.

These consensus recommendations were substantially adopted by the Legislature in 2007.

In 2007, 2008 and 2009, the DWG developed consensus recommendations to further update Chapter 103E drainage law, including:

Bills carrying these consensus recommendations were introduced but stalled during the 2009 legislative session. These bills are being further discussed by the 2010 Legislature, minus any appropriations.

Other Topics of Discussion to Date

Drainage Work Group 2008 Consensus Recommendations

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Drainage Work Group Meeting Notes