St. Paul, Minn. – The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) is awarding $843,851 in grant funding to three local governments for water storage grants to improve water quality and to help make landscapes more resilient to severe weather events due to climate change. Recipients include Lyon and Le Sueur soil and water conservation districts (SWCDs) and Area II Minnesota River Basin Projects, Inc. Grant-funded work is slated to include wetland modifications to increase water storage capacity, a wetland restoration and a grade stabilization structure.
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 last year allocating $2 million to BWSR to develop a water storage program to address these challenges. A second round of grants is planned within the next year.
“These grants mark an important step toward protecting infrastructure and controlling water rates to mitigate flooding and water quality impacts in areas of the state vulnerable to intense rainfall,” BWSR Executive Director John Jaschke said. “Implementing water storage projects benefits communities and farmers alike.”