Since 2008, BWSR’s Performance Review and Assistance Program (PRAP) has assessed the performance of local units of government responsible for the conservation of water and related land resources. The program goal is to assist these local government partners to be the best they can be in their management of Minnesota’s land and water resources.

Guiding Principles

The program was designed to be:

  • Pre-emptive - so that problems are identified and diagnosed early
  • Systematic - thorough, consistent and expected so that local governments can be prepared
  • Constructive - recognizes uniqueness, charts a path for those needing help to improve and showcases successes
  • Transparent - allowing for greater public awareness and participation

In addition, the PRAP should:

  • Include consequences - that are proportional to the uncorrected deficiencies
  • Provide recognition - for high performance
  • Retain local ownership and autonomy - even when the State does not fully agree with decisions
  • Maintain proportionate expectations - comparisons are inevitable but need to acknowledge wide diversity of capacity and budget
  • Preserve the state/local partnership - the State provides review, training and resources as a partnership package
  • Result in effective on-the-ground conservation - must add value to conservation and clean water outcomes, not become an outcome unto itself

    PRAP Review Process

    BWSR’s PRAP uses four levels of review to assess performance ranging from statewide oversight in Level I, to a focus on individual Local Government Unit (LGU) performance in Levels II and III, and to remediation in Level IV.

    • Level I is an annual tabulation of required plans and reports for all LGUs.
    • Level II is a routine, interactive review of an LGU with the goal of covering all LGUs at least once every 10 years. A Level II review evaluates progress on plan implementation, operational effectiveness, and partner relationships. This review includes assessing compliance with Level II performance standards.
    • Level III is an in-depth assessment of an LGU’s performance problems and issues. A Level III review is initiated by BWSR or the LGU and usually involves targeted assistance to address specific performance needs.
    • Level IV is for those LGUs that have significant performance deficiencies, and includes BWSR Board action to assign penalties as authorized by statute. Levels I through III are designed to avoid the need for Level IV.



    Brett Arne
    PRAP Coordinator