In 1987, the Legislature directed watershed districts and water management organizations in the seven county metro area to develop watershed management plans to protect water resources. Metro cities are also required to develop and implement local water management plans. In 1992, BWSR developed rules for plan content, which were amended in 2015. The rules describe plan content requirements, as well as, the process to amend plans.

Plan Requirements

Metro watershed management plans:

  • protect, preserve, and use natural surface and groundwater storage and retention systems;
  • minimize public capital expenditures needed to correct flooding and water quality problems;
  • identify and plan for means to effectively protect and improve surface and groundwater quality;
  • establish more uniform local policies and official controls for surface and groundwater management;
  • prevent erosion of soil into surface water systems;
  • promote groundwater recharge;
  • protect and enhance fish and wildlife habitat and water recreational facilities; and
  • secure the other benefits associated with the proper management of surface and groundwater.