September 23, 2021

MOWER COUNTY, Minn. – The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) joined local government partners today in Mower County to celebrate Climate Week by highlighting the important role water storage can play in addressing the effects of climate change.

The state is experiencing more frequent and intense rainfall events, resulting in negative impacts to agriculture and infrastructure, significant erosion along riverbanks, and declining water quality. The state Legislature passed bipartisan legislation this year allocating $2 million to BWSR to develop a water storage program that will provide assistance to local governments to control water rates, protect infrastructure, improve water quality, and mitigate climate change impacts.

“Water storage projects like this site in Mower County can help address these problems by slowing down and temporarily holding back water from re-entering a stream or river after a significant rainfall,” BWSR Executive Director John Jaschke said.

The Mower County site features a dam that functions along a 2,000-foot-long embankment. A low flow pipe reduces the frequent 2–5-inch rains by 80-95%, allowing significant water quality improvements by reconnecting the floodplain via the embankment and pipe. Project benefits include water quality improvements and flood reduction on 1,240 acres of drainage area.

Governor Tim Walz issued a proclamation declaring September 20-26 as Climate Week in Minnesota. BWSR’s water storage program is part of a statewide effort to take action on climate change. Gov. Walz directed state agencies to engage Minnesota residents to find solutions that reduce greenhouse emissions, build community resilience, and create jobs. Share your ideas by visiting


BWSR is the state soil and water conservation agency, and it administers programs that prevent sediment and nutrients from entering our lakes, rivers, and streams; enhance fish and wildlife habitat; and protect wetlands. The 20-member board consists of representatives of local and state government agencies and citizens. BWSR's mission is to improve and protect Minnesota's water and soil resources by working in partnership with local organizations and private landowners