Overview of water management duties, related statutes, guidance documents, directories, and more info for LGUs:
- Local Contacts
- WMO Directory
- Chapter 103B.201
- WMO Map
Overview of Duties
WDs and WMOS have many similarities, including the requirement to conduct their activities according to an approved watershed management plan. In addition to plan requirements in statute, metro area watershed districts and watershed management organizations must also abide by Minnesota Rules Chapter 8410, which spells out detailed plan requirements. Watershed management organizations differ from watershed districts in a number of ways:
- WMOs are mandatory, not voluntary;
- WMOs deal only with surface water, whereas watershed districts manage surface water and groundwater (metro area counties handle groundwater planning);
- WMOs do not have individual taxing authority, unless their joint powers agreement specifically grants this authority, and most are funded by the municipalities that make up their membership; and
- WMOs are governed by a board appointed by the member municipalities and townships.
In 1982, the Minnesota Legislature approved the Metropolitan Area Surface Water Management Act (Minnesota Statutes 103B.201 to 255), which requires local units of government in the seven-county Metro Area to prepare and implement comprehensive surface water management plans through membership in a WMO. WMOs are based on watershed boundaries, and can be organized in three ways:
- As a joint powers agreement between the cities and townships within the watershed;
- As a watershed district -- a special unit of local government operating under Minnesota Statues Chapter 103B, and concurrently operating under Minnesota Statues Chapter 103D;
- As a function of county government, usually administered by the county planning department.