Plans created through BWSR's One Watershed, One Plan program are called comprehensive watershed management plans and are described in Minnesota Statutes §103B.801 .

Participating Watersheds

Program Policies - Operating Procedures, Plan Content Requirements, Boundary Framework, Guiding Principles

Program Resources - Guidance and Templates

Comprehensive Watershed Management Plan Requirements

According to Minnesota Statutes §103B.801, comprehensive watershed management plans must address: 

  • Surface water and ground water quality protection, restoration, and improvement, including prevention of erosion and soil transport into surface water systems
  • Restoration, protection, and preservation of natural surface water and groundwater storage and retention systems
  • Promotion of groundwater recharge
  • Minimization of public capital expenditures needed to correct flooding and water quality problems
  • Wetland enhancement, restoration, and establishment
  • Identification of priority areas for riparian zone management and buffers
  • Protection and enhancement of fish and wildlife habitat and water recreational facilities
Program Purpose

The purpose of the One Watershed, One Plan program is to develop comprehensive watershed management plans that:

  • align local water planning purposes and procedures under this chapter and chapters 103C and 103D on watershed boundaries to create a systematic, watershed-wide, science-based approach to watershed management;
  • acknowledge and build off existing local government structure, water plan services, and local capacity;
  • incorporate and make use of data and information, including watershed restoration and protection strategies under section 114D.26;
  • solicit input and engage experts from agencies, citizens, and stakeholder groups; focus on implementation of prioritized and targeted actions capable of achieving measurable progress; and
  • serve as a substitute for a comprehensive plan, local water management plan, or watershed management plan developed or amended, approved, and adopted, according to chapter 103B, 103C or 103D. 
History - Local Government Water Roundtable 

One Watershed, One Plan is rooted in work initiated by the Local Government Water Roundtable (Association of Minnesota Counties, Minnesota Association of Watershed Districts, and Minnesota Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts). In 2013, the Roundtable recommended (pdf) that the local governments organize to develop focused implementation plans based on watershed boundaries. In 2016, the Roundtable developed policy recommendations (pdf) for funding plan implementation.

Transition Plan

The transition plan (pdf) outlines expectations and identifies incentives for local governments to participate in development and implementation of comprehensive watershed management plans statewide by 2025.

Planning Grants and Mid-Point Grants

2024 Planning Grant RFP Open

BWSR is accepting proposals from partnerships of eligible governments for grants to support development of comprehensive watershed management plan through the One Watershed, One Plan program. These grants provide partial support for plan development; a significant amount of time and effort, which is not covered by the grant, will be required by local government staff and officials to complete the plan. Partnerships pursuing a planning grant must demonstrate readiness and a commitment to work together and an understanding of the scope of work required for a successful planning effort. Applicants are strongly encouraged to work with their BWSR board conservationist as they consider participation in One Watershed, One Plan. 

How to Apply: Proposals must be submitted to

Application Deadline: June 13, 2024 at 4:30 pm

2024 One Watershed, One Plan Planning Grant Request for Proposals

Mid-Point Grants

BWSR offers Mid-Point Grants for evaluating and amending approved comprehensive watershed management plans developed under the One Watershed, One Plan program. Please see the Mid-Point Grant Fact Sheet (pdf) or the Mid-Point Grant profile for more information.

Allowable Costs for Planning Grants

One Watershed, One Plan planning grants support groups of local governments in developing watershed-based plans that are prioritized, targeted, and capable of achieving measurable results. The following are examples of allowable activities specific to One Watershed, One Plan planning grants. This list applies only to One Watershed, One Plan Planning grants.

Meeting Coordination and Facilitation and Grant Administration

  • Prepare policy/advisory committee or public meeting agendas and notices
  • Plan for and coordinate logistics of policy/advisory committee meetings or public meetings
  • Meeting Facilitation (local governments are encouraged to facilitate meetings, but may hire outside facilitation services when deemed necessary)
  • Take meeting minutes (note-takers being paid under the grant may not also participate in meetings as the sole representative of their organization)
  • Grant reporting and administration, including fiscal administration

The intent of One Watershed, One Plan planning grants is to support LGU staff who are taking a leadership role actively developing agendas, preparing for meetings, facilitating discussions during meetings, or administering grants.  The grant is not intended to cover the time of each planning work group member who participates in discussions related to meeting preparation.

Plan Development

Members of local government partnerships may use grant dollars for development of plan materials or products as identified in the approved work plan. However, partnerships typically hire plan writing or other consultants to do the “heavy lifting” of putting the plan together.

  • Compile and consolidate data and information from multiple sources across the watershed
  • Modeling work required to prioritize, target, and measure in a planning context*
  • Prepare responses to public comments
  • Conduct public outreach, focus groups, or other public involvement in plan development

*Developing new studies, models, or other research, including increasing the level of detail in models beyond what’s needed for planning is not an allowable cost.

Meeting Locations and Materials

  • Facility rental for public or committee meetings
  • Materials and supplies for facilitating meetings
  • Reasonable food costs for meetings where the primary purpose is to discuss plan development; such as a policy/advisory committee or public meeting
  • Publishing meeting notices

Non-allowable LGU activities (considered in-kind time and activities)

  • Staff time to participate in committee meetings on behalf of your organization
  • Gathering and contributing information specific to your organization for inclusion in the plan (e.g., preparing a summary of local ordinances that will then be compiled with information from other organizations)
  • Plan review on behalf of your organization
  • Staff time for an individual, regularly scheduled, board meeting or county water plan task force meeting where One Watershed, One Plan will be discussed as part of the meeting
  • Expenses and per diems of advisory and policy committee members
Program Evaluation Report

Executive Summary (pdf)

Full Report (pdf)

The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) contracted with Management Analysis and Development (MAD) to evaluate the administration of BWSR’s One Watershed, One Plan (1W1P) program to date. The results of the process and evaluation were provided by MAD to BWSR via an evaluation report in May, 2022. 

MAD’s evaluation explored four primary questions:

  • How well is the One Watershed, One Plan program achieving the vision of the Local Government Water Roundtable recommendations?
  • What value do planning participants derive from the One Watershed, One Plan program?
  • What are BWSR’s contributions to the successes of the One Watershed, One Plan program?
  • How can BWSR improve its support for the One Watershed, One Plan program?

Data for the evaluation was collected during fall of 2021 via a survey of 1W1P participants; in addition, MAD conducted  interviews and focus groups with a wide range of stakeholders including LGU staff and officials, BWSR staff and leadership, state agency staff, LGU association leadership, non-LGU staff who served on Advisory Committees, and consultants who have worked on One Watershed, One Plan planning projects. Overall, the evaluation process collected data and input from more than 350 participants. 

Findings included in the evaluation report indicate that participants generally have positive perceptions of the 1W1P program and feel it is achieving the Local Government Water Roundtable’s vision. LGU stakeholders reported that they’ve been able to maintain control over their comprehensive watershed management plans and feel these plans are driving the actions of their organizations. A full summary of findings can be found in the report’s executive summary.

Integrating Habitat and Water Quality ("RIM 1W1P")

This program targets RIM projects in priority areas that contribute toward goals in Board approved and locally adopted Comprehensive Watershed Management Plans developed through the One Watershed, One Plan program. In the Twin Cities Metro Area, lands identified in a locally adopted watershed management plan, a county groundwater plan, or a soil and water conservation district comprehensive plan are also eligible. 

For more information see: Integrating Habitat and Water Quality ("RIM 1W1P") program web page

RIM 1W1P fact sheet

Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment Logo side by side with One Watershed, One Plan Logo


Julie Westerlund
One Watershed, One Plan Coordinator