Rice County Buffer

In 2007, Section 103E.067 Ditch Buffer Strip; Annual Reporting was added to Chapter 103E Drainage law. This provision requires county, joint county and watershed district drainage authorities to annually submit a report to BWSR providing information about public drainage ditch buffer strip establishment, inspection and enforcement during the previous calendar year.

Because the Chapter 103E ditch buffer strip requirement is triggered by the appointment of viewers to determine benefits and damages, every “drainage project”, petitioned repair and other proceeding that appoints viewers requires the reporting of required ditch buffer strip miles, when the buffer strips are established. This includes a total of eight types of Chapter 103E proceedings. Drainage system inspections, including of ditch buffer strips, are required by Section 103E.705 Repair Procedure. Chapter 103E also includes several buffer strip enforcement requirements.


Reporting Forms

2018 Ditch Buffer Strip Annual Reporting Form Excel spreadsheet (xlsx)

2018 Report Request Letter (pdf)


Reporting Process, Information, and Annual Summaries

Each year, typically in mid-December, BWSR notifies Chapter 103E drainage authorities of the Ditch Buffer Strip Annual Reporting requirement in Section 103E.067 and provides a form to submit the requested information for the applicable calendar year. This notification is sent via email using a Drainage Authority “Point-of-Contact” list that is updated during annual reporting. The following ditch buffer strip reporting information is requested.

  1. For the applicable calendar year, the number of actions for which viewers were appointed for each of the following types of Chapter 103E proceedings, and the number of miles of ditch buffer strip established in accordance with Section 103E.021 for each of the proceedings:

         a.)  Section 103E.212 New Drainage System Projects
         b.)  Section 103E.215 Improving Drainage Systems
         c.)  Section 103E.221 Improving Outlets
         d.)  Section 103E.225 Laterals
         e.)  Section 103E.351 Redetermining Benefits and Damages
         f.)  Section 103E.715 Repair by Petition, Subd. 6. Repair by resloping ditches, leveling waste banks, installing erosion control, and removing trees.
         g.)  Section 103E.741 Property not Assessed Benefits; Hearing
         h.)  Section 103E.021 Planting Ditches with Perennial Vegetation, Subd. 6 Incremental implementation; vegetated buffer strips and side inlet controls.

     2.  The number of drainage system inspections conducted.

     3.  The number of violations of Section 103E.021 identified.

     4.  For each of the violations, the enforcement action(s) taken. (Sec. 103E.705, Subd. 1. and 2.;  Sec. 103E.021, Subd. 4. and 5.;  Sec. 103E.728, Subd. 2.)

Summaries

2017

Drainage authorities were notified and provided forms to document the information for Calendar Year 2017 on December 15, 2017 

BWSR received the following responses:

Counties:
Report provided: 75 of 75 that administer Chapter 103E drainage ditches (100%)
No response: 0 of 75

Watershed Districts:
Report provided: 21 of 21 that administer Chapter 103E drainage ditches (100%)
No response: 0 of 21

Reported Results:

Total Miles of 103E.021 buffer strips established: 717.7

Total number of drainage system inspections: 1453

Total number of 103E.021 violations identified: 134
    Landowner Violations in a County Drainage Authority: 51
    Landowner Violations in a Watershed District Drainage Authority: 83

Reported Number of Actions Requiring 103E.021 Buffer Strips
Drainage System Action County WD Total Actions Requiring Buffers
a) Ditch Establishment via 103E.212 2 0 2
b) Ditch Improvement via 103E.215 11 0 11
c) Improvement of Outlet via 103E.221 1 0 1
d) Redetermination of Benefits via 103E.351 48 0 48
e) Repair by Petition via 103E.715, Subd. 6 4 12 16
f) Inc. Buffer Strips 103E.021, Subd. 6 5 1 6
Totals 71 13 84

 

Reported Miles of Ditch Buffers Established
Drainage System Action County WD Total Miles of Buffers Established
a) Ditch Establishment via 103E.212 0.1 0 0.1
b) Ditch Improvement via 103E.215 10.3 0 10.3
c) Improvement of Outlet via 103E.221 0 0 0
d) Redetermination of Benefits via 103E.351 605.0 9.0 614.0
e) Repair by Petition via 103E.715, Subd. 6 36.4 33.7 70.1
f) Inc. Buffer Strips 103E.021, Subd. 6 24.8 5.6 30.4
Totals 676.6 48.3 724.9

 

2016

Drainage authorities were notified and provided forms to document the information for Calendar Year 2016 on December 15, 2016 

BWSR received the following responses:

Counties
Report provided: 75 of 75 that administer Chapter 103E drainage ditches (100%)
No response: 0 of 75

Watershed Districts
Report provided: 21 of 21 that administer Chapter 103E drainage ditches (100%)
No response: 0 of 21

Reported Results:

Total Miles of 103E.021 buffer strips established: 230.8

Total number of drainage system inspections: 1344

Total number of 103E.021 violations identified: 160
    Landowner Violations in a County Drainage Authority: 67
    Landowner Violations in a Watershed District Drainage Authority: 93

Reported Number of Actions Requiring 103E.021 Buffer Strips
Drainage System Action County WD Total Actions Requiring Buffers
a) Ditch Establishment via 103E.212 1 1 2
b) Ditch Improvement via 103E.215 3 0 3
c) Improvement of Outlet via 103E.221 3 0 3
d) Redetermination of Benefits via 103E.351 16 1 17
e) Repair by Petition via 103E.715, Subd. 6 5 1 6
f) Inc. Buffer Strips 103E.021, Subd. 6 3 2 5
Totals 31 5 36

 

Reported Miles of Ditch Buffers Established
Drainage System Action County WD Total Miles of Buffers Established
a) Ditch Establishment via 103E.212 3.0 13.4 16.40
b) Ditch Improvement via 103E.215 0.9 0 0.86
c) Improvement of Outlet via 103E.221 2.0 0 2.04
d) Redetermination of Benefits via 103E.351 91.8 66.0 157.82
e) Repair by Petition via 103E.715, Subd. 6 24.7 16.2 40.94
f) Inc. Buffer Strips 103E.021, Subd. 6 3.4 9.3 12.70
Totals 125.9 104.9 230.8
2015

Drainage authorities were notified and provided forms to document the information for Calendar Year 2015 on December 21, 2015

BWSR received the following responses:

Counties
Report provided: 75 of 75 that administer Chapter 103E drainage ditches (100%)
No response: 0 of 75

Watershed Districts
Report provided: 21 of 21 that administer Chapter 103E drainage ditches (100%)
No response: 0 of 21

Reported Results:

Total Miles of 103E.021 buffer strips established: 289.3

Total number of drainage system inspections: 1480

Total number of 103E.021 violations identified: 108
    Landowner Violations in a County Drainage Authority: 77
    Landowner Violations in a Watershed District Drainage Authority: 31

Reported Number of Actions Requiring 103E.021 Buffer Strips
Drainage System Action County WD Total Actions Requiring Buffers
a) Ditch Establishment via 103E.212 0 0 0
b) Ditch Improvement via 103E.215 9 2 11
c) Improvement of Outlet via 103E.221 0 1 1
d) Redetermination of Benefits via 103E.351 46 2 48
e) Repair by Petition via 103E.715, Subd. 6 6 1 7
f) Inc. Buffer Strips 103E.021, Subd. 6 4 11 15
Totals 65 17 82

 

Reported Miles of Ditch Buffers Established
Drainage System Action County WD Total Miles of Buffers Established
a) Ditch Establishment via 103E.212 0 0 0.0
b) Ditch Improvement via 103E.215 9.2 8.7 17.9
c) Improvement of Outlet via 103E.221 0 0 0
d) Redetermination of Benefits via 103E.351 176.9 36.6 213.5
e) Repair by Petition via 103E.715, Subd. 6 16.1 14.4 30.5
f) Inc. Buffer Strips 103E.021, Subd. 6 14.4 12.9 27.3
Totals 216.7 72.6 289.3
2014

Drainage authorities were notified and provided forms to document the information for Calendar Year 2014 on December 18, 2014 

BWSR received the following responses:

Counties
Report provided: 74 of 74 that administer Chapter 103E drainage ditches (100%)
No response: 0 of 75

Watershed Districts
Report provided: 21 of 21 that administer Chapter 103E drainage ditches (100%)
No response: 0 of 21

Reported Results:

Total Miles of 103E.021 buffer strips established: 190.2

Total number of drainage system inspections: 1594

Total number of 103E.021 violations identified: 124
    Landowner Violations in a County Drainage Authority: 98
    Landowner Violations in a Watershed District Drainage Authority: 26

Reported Number of Actions Requiring 103E.021 Buffer Strips
Drainage System Action County WD Total Actions Requiring Buffers
a) Ditch Establishment via 103E.212 1 1 2
b) Ditch Improvement via 103E.215 4 0 4
c) Improvement of Outlet via 103E.221 0 0 0
d) Redetermination of Benefits via 103E.351 19 2 21
e) Repair by Petition via 103E.715, Subd. 6 6 1 7
f) Inc. Buffer Strips 103E.021, Subd. 6 0 0 0
Totals 30 4 34

 

Reported Miles of Ditch Buffers Established
Drainage System Action County WD Total Miles of Buffers Established
a) Ditch Establishment via 103E.212 10.0 24.1 34.1
b) Ditch Improvement via 103E.215 10.0 0 10.0
c) Improvement of Outlet via 103E.221 0 0 0
d) Redetermination of Benefits via 103E.351 126.3 15.0 141.3
e) Repair by Petition via 103E.715, Subd. 6 0 4.8 4.8
f) Inc. Buffer Strips 103E.021, Subd. 6 0 0 0
Totals 146.3 43.9 190.2
2013

Drainage authorities were notified and provided forms to document the information for Calendar Year 2013 on December 16, 2013 

BWSR received the following responses:

Counties
Report provided: 75 of 75 that administer Chapter 103E drainage ditches (100%)
No response: 0 of 75

Watershed Districts
Report provided: 21 of 21 that administer Chapter 103E drainage ditches (100%)
No response: 0 of 21

Reported Results:

Total Miles of 103E.021 buffer strips established: 237.8

Total number of drainage system inspections: 1715

Total number of 103E.021 violations identified: 161
    Landowner Violations in a County Drainage Authority: 116
    Landowner Violations in a Watershed District Drainage Authority: 45

Reported Number of Actions Requiring 103E.021 Buffer Strips
Drainage System Action County WD Total Actions Requiring Buffers
a) Ditch Establishment via 103E.212 0 0 0
b) Ditch Improvement via 103E.215 11 3 14
c) Improvement of Outlet via 103E.221 0 0 0
d) Redetermination of Benefits via 103E.351 28 1 29
e) Repair by Petition via 103E.715, Subd. 6 16 0 16
f) Inc. Buffer Strips 103E.021, Subd. 6 3 17 20
Totals 58 21 79

 

Reported Miles of Ditch Buffers Established
Drainage System Action County WD Total Miles of Buffers Established
a) Ditch Establishment via 103E.212 0 0 0
b) Ditch Improvement via 103E.215 15.7 1.6 17.3
c) Improvement of Outlet via 103E.221 0 0 0
d) Redetermination of Benefits via 103E.351 187.4 5.0 192.4
e) Repair by Petition via 103E.715, Subd. 6 0.3 0 0.3
f) Inc. Buffer Strips 103E.021, Subd. 6 9.8 18.0 27.8
Totals 213.2 24.6 237.8
2012

Drainage authorities were notified and provided forms to document the information for Calendar Year 2012 on December 15, 2012 

BWSR received the following responses:

Counties
Report provided: 74 of 74 that administer Chapter 103E drainage ditches (100%)
Not Applicable: 12
No response: 0 of 75

Watershed Districts
Report provided: 21 of 21 that administer Chapter 103E drainage ditches (100%)
Not Applicable: 25
No response: 0 of 21

Reported Results:

Total Miles of 103E.021 buffer strips established: 285.4

Total number of drainage system inspections: 1632

Total number of 103E.021 violations identified: 105
    Landowner Violations in a County Drainage Authority: 87
    Landowner Violations in a Watershed District Drainage Authority: 18

Reported Number of Actions Requiring 103E.021 Buffer Strips
Drainage System Action County WD Total Actions Requiring Buffers
a) Ditch Establishment via 103E.212 0 0 0
b) Ditch Improvement via 103E.215 5 3 8
c) Improvement of Outlet via 103E.221 0 0 0
d) Redetermination of Benefits via 103E.351 31 5 36
e) Repair by Petition via 103E.715, Subd. 6 20 2 22
f) Inc. Buffer Strips 103E.021, Subd. 6 5 0 5
Totals 61 10 71

 

Reported Miles of Ditch Buffers Established
Drainage System Action County WD Total Miles of Buffers Established
a) Ditch Establishment via 103E.212 0 0 0
b) Ditch Improvement via 103E.215 0 53.1 53.1
c) Improvement of Outlet via 103E.221 0 0 0
d) Redetermination of Benefits via 103E.351 174.4 21.7 196.1
e) Repair by Petition via 103E.715, Subd. 6 31.6 0.5 32.1
f) Inc. Buffer Strips 103E.021, Subd. 6 4.1 0 4.1
Totals 210.1 75.3 285.4
2011

Drainage authorities were notified and provided forms to document the information for Calendar Year 2011 on December 15, 2011

BWSR received the following responses:

Counties
Report provided: 74 of 74 that administer Chapter 103E drainage ditches (100%)
Not Applicable: 13
No response: 0 of 75

Watershed Districts
Report provided: 20 of 20 that administer Chapter 103E drainage ditches (100%)
Not Applicable: 26
No response: 0 of 20

Reported Results:

Total Miles of 103E.021 buffer strips established: 157.6

Total number of drainage system inspections: 1917

Total number of 103E.021 violations identified: 100
    Landowner Violations in a County Drainage Authority: 69
    Landowner Violations in a Watershed District Drainage Authority: 31

Reported Number of Actions Requiring 103E.021 Buffer Strips
Drainage System Action County WD Total Actions Requiring Buffers
a) Ditch Establishment via 103E.212 0 1 1
b) Ditch Improvement via 103E.215 8 1 9
c) Improvement of Outlet via 103E.221 0 0 0
d) Redetermination of Benefits via 103E.351 20 7 27
e) Repair by Petition via 103E.715, Subd. 6 10 0 10
Totals 38 9 47

 

Reported Miles of Ditch Buffers Established
Drainage System Action County WD Total Miles of Buffers Established
a) Ditch Establishment via 103E.212 0 2.1 2.1
b) Ditch Improvement via 103E.215 26.7 0 26.7
c) Improvement of Outlet via 103E.221 0 0 0
d) Redetermination of Benefits via 103E.351 72.6 25.7 98.2
e) Repair by Petition via 103E.715, Subd. 6 30.6 0 30.6
Totals 129.9 27.8 157.6
2010

Drainage authorities were notified and provided forms to document the information for Calendar Year 2010 on April 1, 2011

BWSR received the following responses:

Counties
Report provided: 76 of 87 (87%)
Not Applicable: 11 of 87 (13%)
No response: 0 of 87

Watershed Districts
Report provided: 20 of 46 (44%)
Not Applicable: 26 of 46 (56%)
No response: 0 of 46

Reported Results:

Total Miles of 103E.021 buffer strips established: 169.8

Total number of drainage system inspections: 1406

Total number of 103E.021 violations identified: 51
    Landowner Violations in a County Drainage Authority: 38
    Landowner Violations in a Watershed District Drainage Authority: 13

Reported Number of Actions Requiring 103E.021 Buffer Strips
Drainage System Action County WD Total Actions Requiring Buffers
a) Ditch Establishment via 103E.212 1 0 1
b) Ditch Improvement via 103E.215 6 0 6
c) Improvement of Outlet via 103E.221 0 0 0
d) Redetermination of Benefits via 103E.351 25 1 26
e) Repair by Petition via 103E.715, Subd. 6 10 0 10
Totals 38 9 47

 

Reported Miles of Ditch Buffers Established
Drainage System Action County WD Total Miles of Buffers Established
a) Ditch Establishment via 103E.212 5.0 0 5.0
b) Ditch Improvement via 103E.215 23.8 0 23.8
c) Improvement of Outlet via 103E.221 0 0 0
d) Redetermination of Benefits via 103E.351 107.5 24.5 132.0
e) Repair by Petition via 103E.715, Subd. 6 9.0 0 9.0
Totals 145.3 24.5 169.8
2009

Drainage authorities were notified and provided forms to document the information for Calendar Year 2009 on February 5, 2010 to be provided by March 1, 2010

BWSR received the following responses as of June 30, 2010:

Counties
Responses 69/87 (79%), Not Applicable 11/87 (13%), No response 7/87(8%)
In the 2006 Public Drainage Ditch Buffer Study, there were 7 counties identified as not having public drainage systems and 6 did not respond to the questionnaire. Two of the 6 have indicated they do not have public drainage systems (Clay and Olmsted). Becker County, identified in the 2006 study as having public drainage systems, indicates that it has turned over its public drainage systems to watershed districts, though it has 3 inactive systems. The County Engineer for Winona County has indicated that the county has no drainage systems subject to annual buffer strip reporting requirements.

Counties that have not responded:
Faribault
Murray
Pope
Ramsey
St. Louis
Steele
Waseca

Watershed Districts
Responses 20/46 (44%), Not Applicable 24/46 (52%), No response 2/46(4%).
The 2006 Public Drainage Ditch Buffer Study identifies 25 watershed districts as not having public ditch systems.

Reported Results:

Total Miles of 103E.021 buffer strips established: 610.5

Total number of drainage system inspections: 1382

Total number of 103E.021 violations identified: 164
    Landowner Violations in a County Drainage Authority: 140
    Landowner Violations in a Watershed District Drainage Authority: 20

Reported Number of Actions Requiring 103E.021 Buffer Strips
Drainage System Action County WD Total Actions Requiring Buffers
a) Ditch Establishment via 103E.212 0 1 1
b) Ditch Improvement via 103E.215 12 3 15
c) Improvement of Outlet via 103E.221 0 1 1
d) Redetermination of Benefits via 103E.351 41 4 45
e) Repair by Petition via 103E.715, Subd. 6 0 0 0
Totals 53 9 62

 

Reported Miles of Ditch Buffers Established
Drainage System Action County WD Total Miles of Buffers Established
a) Ditch Establishment via 103E.212 0 0 0
b) Ditch Improvement via 103E.215 13.0 18.4 31.4
c) Improvement of Outlet via 103E.221 0 13.6 13.6
d) Redetermination of Benefits via 103E.351 479.7 67.1 546.8
e) Repair by Petition via 103E.715, Subd. 6 18.8 0 18.8
Totals 511.4 99.1 610.5
2008

 

Drainage authorities were notified and provided forms to document the information for Calendar Year 2008 on April 2, 2009 to be provided by May 15, 2009

BWSR received the following responses as of June 30, 2009:

Counties
Responses 74/87 (85%), Not Applicable 11/87 (13%), No response 2/87(2%)
In the 2006 Public Drainage Ditch Buffer Study, there were 7 counties identified as not having public drainage systems and 6 did not respond to the questionnaire. Two of the 6 have indicated they do not have public drainage systems (Clay and Olmsted). Becker County, identified in the 2006 study as having public drainage systems, indicates that it has turned over its public drainage systems to watershed districts. The County Engineer for Winona County has indicated that the county has no drainage systems subject to annual buffer strip reporting requirements.

Counties that have not responded:
Murray
Grant

Watershed Districts
Responses 22/48 (48%), Not Applicable 24/46 (52%), No response 0. The 2006 Public Drainage Ditch Buffer Study identifies 25 watershed districts as not having public ditch systems.

Reported Results:

Total Miles of 103E.021 buffer strips established: 111.7

Total number of drainage system inspections: 1386

Total number of 103E.021 violations identified: 144
    Landowner Violations in a County Drainage Authority: 121
    Landowner Violations in a Watershed District Drainage Authority: 23

Reported Number of Actions Requiring 103E.021 Buffer Strips
Drainage System Action County WD Total Actions Requiring Buffers
a) Ditch Establishment via 103E.212 1 0 1
b) Ditch Improvement via 103E.215 12 2 14
c) Improvement of Outlet via 103E.221 0 0 0
d) Redetermination of Benefits via 103E.351 23 1 24
e) Repair by Petition via 103E.715, Subd. 6 15 1 16
Totals 51 4 55

 

Reported Miles of Ditch Buffers Established
Drainage System Action County WD Total Miles of Buffers Established
a) Ditch Establishment via 103E.212 0 0 0
b) Ditch Improvement via 103E.215 22.8 8.5 31.3
c) Improvement of Outlet via 103E.221 0 0 0
d) Redetermination of Benefits via 103E.351 78.4 0 78.4
e) Repair by Petition via 103E.715, Subd. 6 0 2.0 2.0
Totals 101.2 10.5 111.7
2007

Drainage authorities were notified and provided forms to document the information for Calendar Year 2008 on September 12, 2008 to be provided by November 14, 2008

On November 14, 2008 BWSR sent a reminder and second request.

BWSR received the following responses as of February 2, 2009:

Counties
Responses 55/87 (63%), Not Applicable 10/87 (12%), No response 22/87(25%)
In the 2006 Public Drainage Ditch Buffer Study, there were 7 counties identified as not having public drainage systems and 6 did not respond to the questionnaire. Two of the 6 have indicated they do not have public drainage systems (Clay and Olmsted). Becker County, identified in the 2006 study as having public drainage systems, indicates that it has turned over its public drainage systems to watershed districts.

Counties that have not responded:
Benton
Brown
Cass
Dakota
Faribault
Freeborn
Grant
Isanti
Koochiching
Lake
Le Sueur
Lyon
Mille Lacs
Murray
Ramsey
Red Lake
Rice
St. Louis
Stearns
Steele
Wadena
Winona

Watershed Districts
Responses 16/46 (35%), Not Applicable 25/46 (54%), No response 5/46 (11%)
The 2006 Public Drainage Ditch Buffer Study identifies 25 watershed districts as not having public ditch systems.

Watershed Districts (WDs) that have not responded:
High Island
Lac Qui Parle-Yellow Bank
Sand Hill River
Sauk River
Wild Rice

Reported Results:

Total Miles of 103E.021 buffer strips established: 71.7

Total number of drainage system inspections: 1205

Total number of 103E.021 violations identified: 101
    Landowner Violations in a County Drainage Authority: 96
    Landowner Violations in a Watershed District Drainage Authority: 5

Reported Number of Actions Requiring 103E.021 Buffer Strips
Drainage System Action County WD Total Actions Requiring Buffers
a) Ditch Establishment via 103E.212 0 0 0
b) Ditch Improvement via 103E.215 7 4 11
c) Improvement of Outlet via 103E.221 0 0 0
d) Redetermination of Benefits via 103E.351 17 2 19
e) Repair by Petition via 103E.715, Subd. 6 4 1 5
Totals 28 7 35
Reported Miles of Ditch Buffers Established
Drainage System Action County WD Total Miles of Buffers Established
a) Ditch Establishment via 103E.212 0 0 0
b) Ditch Improvement via 103E.215 0.9 10.0 10.9
c) Improvement of Outlet via 103E.221 0 0 0
d) Redetermination of Benefits via 103E.351 54.8 0 54.8
e) Repair by Petition via 103E.715, Subd. 6 0 6.0 6.0
Totals 55.7 16.0 71.7

 

Contact

Tom Gile
Resource Conservation Section Manager
Dave Weirens
Assistant Director for Programs & Policy