Purpose and Process
The Drainage Work Group's purpose revolves around two overarching points: 1) to foster science-based mutual understanding about drainage topics and issues and 2) to develop consensus recommendations for drainage system management and related water management, including recommendations for updating Minnesota Statutes Chapter 103E Drainage and related provisions.
The stakeholder Drainage Work Group (DWG) was established from an advisory group to BWSR for preparation of the “Public Drainage Ditch Buffer Study, February 2006”. The study advisory group subsequently became the DWG in 2006 to discuss Chapter 103E ditch buffer strip requirements, drainage records modernization, and a range of other drainage related topics. BWSR provides coordination and facilitation for the DWG, in accordance with Section 103B.101, Subd. 13. The DWG has developed several sets of consensus recommendations to update Chapter 103E Drainage law and related provisions, as well as reports to the Legislature and responses to other requests for drainage topic evaluation and recommendations.
The DWG adopted the “DWG Process Summary” at its October 11, 2018 meeting which articulates the definition of consensus as well as the decision making process for DWG recommendations.
- MEETING NOTES (2020, 2021, 2022 & 2023)
Drainage Work Group Meeting Notes (2020,2021 & 2022) 2023 2022 2021 2020File
- ARCHIVED MEETING NOTES 2006 - 2019
2006 - 2019 Archived Meeting Notes
Drainage Work Group Meeting Notes 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 JUL 11 JAN 11 JAN 12 JAN 14 JAN 8 JAN 9 APR 5 JAN 9 JAN 6 JAN 21 JAN 8 JAN 28 JUN 25 AUG 17 AUG 8 OCT 10 DEC 12 DEC 13
Drainage Work Group Meeting Notes
- REPORTS TO THE LEGISLATURE
In 2017, the state legislature directed BWSR to coordinate the stakeholder Drainage Work Group to evaluate and develop recommendations to help Minnesota Chapter 103E drainage authorities accelerate the acquisition and establishment of buffer strips and alternative practices adjacent to public drainage ditches. The impetus for this action is the 2015 Buffer Law (Minnesota Statutes Section 103F.48), which requires landowners to establish buffer strips, or alternative practices, along all public drainage ditches by November 1, 2018. These buffer strips and the associated landowner compensation must be consistent with the provisions of Minnesota Drainage Law (M.S. Chapter 103E).
The Drainage Work Group formed a 16-member Project Advisory Committee with BWSR staff support to evaluate the issue and develop recommendations for Drainage Work Group consideration. During three meetings in the fall of 2017, the Advisory Committee evaluated the impediments to drainage system acquisition and establishment of buffer strips and then formulated actions for statutory, funding, and administrative policy changes, and outreach, to address the impediments. The Drainage Work Group used the products from their Advisory Committee to develop the recommendations in the report. The BWSR Board, on January 24, 2018, accepted the report of the Drainage Work Group for transmittal to the agriculture and environment Legislative Policy Committees.
- PLANNING WORK GROUP RESEARCH AND REVIEW MATERIALS
This section is intended to support DWG member engagement with topics presently before the Work Group. All resources are placed temporarily and will be removed once discussion on a topic is completed.
Dr. Karen Gran, University of Minnesota.
- Collaboration for Sediment Source Reduction (CSSR) In the Greater Blue Earth River Basin: Summary of Findings (pdf)
- Collaboration for Sediment Source Reduction (CSSR) In the Greater Blue Earth River Basin: Final Report (pdf)
- Collaboration for Sediment Source Reduction (CSSR) In the Greater Blue Earth River Basin: Summary of Findings - Presentation at June 2017 DWG Meeting (pdf)
Dr. Mark Duetschman, PE, Houston Engineering, Inc.
- RECOMMENDATIONS AND REPORTS
Chapter 103E revisions and other recommendations adopted in 2007: Consensus Document (pdf)
- Revise Chapter 103E provisions regarding buffer strips, side inlet controls and other conservation practices along public drainage ditches;
- Revise Chapter 103E regarding ditch inspection frequency, including for buffer strip violations;
- Support for drainage records modernization, including guidelines and state cost-share;
- Support for updating of the Minnesota Public Drainage Manual; and
- Support for establishment of an interagency drainage management team.
Chapter 103E revisions and other recommendations adopted in 2010: Consensus Document (pdf)
- Update Chapter 103E to better enable wetland restorations (impoundments) involving public drainage systems, including rerouting, partial abandonment and public-private funding partnerships;
- Require all Chapter 103E drainage authorities to have a drainage inspector;
- Update various dollar limits and thresholds in Chapter 103E, primarily for inflation; and
- Provide authority in Section 103B.101 for drainage stakeholder coordination by BWSR.
Chapter 103E revisions adopted in 2013: Consensus Document (pdf)
- Update several key definitions;
- Enable reestablishment of drainage system records that are lost, destroyed or incomplete;
- Enable official copies of drainage system records for transfer of part of a drainage system between a county and watershed district;
- Clarify authority for wetland and water quality improvement components of projects; and
- Enable a 2-stage ditch cross-section for petitioned repairs.
Chapter 103E revisions adopted in 2014: Consensus Document (pdf)
- Update environmental, land use and multipurpose water management considerations for drainage projects; and
- Require investigation of external sources of funding for public-private partnering on drainage projects and petitioned repairs for multipurpose water management.
Chapter 103E and Section 103F.48 revisions adopted in 2016: Consensus Document (pdf)
- Revise the state buffer law (Section 103F.48) and Chapter 103E drainage law to better enable retroactive acquisition and maintenance of public drainage ditch buffer strips by Chapter 103E drainage systems.
- Summary of Discussions and Conclusions (2017) (pdf) Regarding HF-2011/SF-2029, HF-2365/SF-2380 and SF-2451/HF-3956