In 2012, the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) is celebrating its 25th anniversary. BWSR was created in 1987, when the Legislature combined the Soil and Water Conservation Board with two other organizations with local government and natural resource ties: the Water Resources Board and the Southern Minnesota Rivers Basin Council.
Legislation establishing the Board of Water and Soil Resources (reflected in Minnesota Statutes 103B.101) outlined its responsibilities to a variety of local governments. Upon inception, its membership included 17 members: three representing soil and water conservation districts; three representing watershed management organizations or watershed districts; three representing counties; three citizen members; and five agency members representing the University of Minnesota Extension Service, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, the Minnesota Department of Health, and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. The board expanded in 2009 to include two representatives of cities (one in the Twin Cities Metro Area and one in Greater Minnesota) and one township representative.