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Watershed-based implementation funding is an alternative to the traditional project-by-project competitive process often used to fund water quality improvement projects.

This funding allows collaborating local governments to pursue timely solutions based on a watershed's highest priority needs.

The approach depends on comprehensive watershed management plans developed under One Watershed, One Plan program or the Metropolitan Surface or Ground Water Management framework to provide assurance that actions are prioritized, targeted and measurable.

The Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) is moving toward watershed-based implementation funding to accelerate water management outcomes, enhance accountability and improve consistency and efficiency across the state. This approach allows more clean water projects to be implemented and helps local governments spend limited resources where they are most needed.

Program Updates

On September 25, the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) approved the Watershed-based Implementation Funding (WBIF) watershed allocations and program policy making $24 million from Minnesota's Clean Water Fund available to implement local clean water priorities. Four assurance measures have been created for this program to provide a framework for summarizing and systematically evaluating how non-competitive watershed-based funding is being used to achieve clean water goals as articulated in watershed plans. Assurance measures can be found in the linked policy below.

Twin Cities 7- County Metro Area



BWSR rolled out a pilot program in FY18-19 and is now working with our local government partners to develop a long-term program.

Development Timeline (pdf)

Watershed-based Implementation Funding Fact Sheet (pdf)

Metro Stakeholder Feedback (pdf)

Statewide Stakeholder Feedback  (pdf)

Allocation Formula White Paper (pdf)(updated 9/12/2019)





Marcey Westrick
Clean Water & Grants Coordinator