Multipurpose Drainage Management Background
From a Single Primary Purpose…
Much of Minnesota’s farmland was originally too wet to farm. Surface ditches and subsurface tile have been installed since the time of statehood to drain agricultural lands; remove stagnant water, insects and disease; and to facilitate transportation and commerce. Minnesota has approximately 19,150 miles of drainage ditches and extensive untallied miles of subsurface tile installed and maintained under what currently is Minn. Stat. Chapter 103E Drainage law. Much of this drainage occurred during the late 1800’s, early and middle 1900’s. These systems are owned by the benefited property owners and administered by a county, joint county or watershed district drainage authority. Private drainage ditches and patterned tile are also extensive in the primary agricultural lands of Minnesota.
…To Multiple Purposes
Drainage remains very important for agricultural production on much of Minnesota’s cropland. However, drainage impacts hydrology, stream stability, water quality and aquatic habitat. Because so much of Minnesota’s agricultural land includes drainage systems, multipurpose drainage management is critical for addressing altered hydrology, erosion and sedimentation, water quality, and habitat. Multipurpose Drainage Management of fields and drainage infrastructure can provide adequate drainage capacity, while reducing downstream peak flows and flooding, reducing erosion and sedimentation, improving water quality and improving aquatic habitat. These are important considerations for drainage projects in Section of 103E.015 of Minnesota drainage law. A number of resources are available to help identify, design and implement best management practices for Multipurpose Drainage Management.
Available Funding for MDM Projects:
(As of 11/01/2023)
Received Application Funding (Pending From Recent Batching Period):
If the total cost of your project exceeds the available funding listed above, fill out the survey below:
NEW STARTING 11/1/2023: Quarterly Applications for Funding
Other Resources related to MDM
BMP User Guides
- USDA - NRCS Field Office Technical Guide
- Ag BMP Handbook
- Minnesota Public Drainage Manual (MPDM), Chapter 5 Drainage System Best Management Practices