Water Supply Planning

2014 Fiscal Year Funding Amount:
$1,375,000
2013 Fiscal Year Funding Amount:
$1,500,000
2012 Fiscal Year Funding Amount:
$1,500,000
2011 Fiscal Year Funding Amount:
$525,000
2010 Fiscal Year Funding Amount:
$600,000
Source: 
Clean Water Fund
Status: 
In Progress
Start Date: 
July 2009
Activity Type: 
Inventory, Modeling, Education/Outreach/Engagement, Monitoring, Analysis/Interpretation, Demonstration/Pilot Project, Assessment/Evaluation, Planning
Counties Affected: 
Statewide
Project Details:
2014 Fiscal Year
Legal Citation / Subdivision: 
M.L. 2013, Ch. 137, Art. 2, Sec. 6(e)
Appropriation Language 
$1,375,000 the first year and $1,375,000 the second year are for water supply planning, aquifer protection, and monitoring activities.
Fiscal Year Funding Amount: 
$1,375,000
Number of full time equivalents funded: 
17.0
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s) 


In FY14, DNR will continue to enhance its groundwater monitoring network and data management system. The DNR will begin development of Standard Evaluation Procedures which will be used for the establishment of groundwater sustainability thresholds.
- Observation Well Network Enhancement. DNR will install approximately 65 new observation wells in the State. These new wells will be placed in both new locations as well as in existing areas to service under represented areas and to replace damaged or poorly performing wells. Some of the wells are designated as “sentinel monitoring wells” because they provide signals of when groundwater pumping is adversely affecting surface water bodies.
- Observation Well Network Management. DNR will maintain or seal the current wells in the observation well network which are not currently being used due to poor performance.
- Hydrology Data Domain Project. Scoping and initial development will be completed for the Hydrology Data Domain Project. This project will integrate and provide easy access to hydrologic data used in well appropriation decisions and permitting decision-making. Monitoring information will include groundwater elevation data, groundwater contamination data, surface water data (lakes, streams, wetlands), climatology data as well as other hydrologic data. Data will include monitoring information from DNR, MPCA, MDA, Met Council, and MDH.
- Ground Water Data Website. Development will initiated for a map-based Ground Water Data Website which will be designed to provide easy and direct access to groundwater elevation information for all DNR Observation Wells.
Measurable Outcome(s) 


Project Details:
2013 Fiscal Year
Legal Citation / Subdivision: 
M.L. 2011, First Special Session, Ch. 6, Art. 2, Sec. 6(e)
Appropriation Language 
$1,500,000 the first year and $1,500,000 the second year are for water supply planning, aquifer protection, and monitoring activities.
Fiscal Year Funding Amount: 
$1,500,000
Direct expenses: 
$854,617
Administration costs: 
$140,787
Number of full time equivalents funded: 
10.0
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s) 


In FY13, DNR will increase data collection in potential Groundwater Management Areas (GWMAs):
* Complete geophysical surveys in two potential GWMAs to increase understanding of aquifer characteristics.
* DNR, with support of other organizations, will complete synoptic measurements of groundwater levels in three potential GWMAs.
* Work on aquifer models will be initiated for two areas of concern.
* DNR will finalize reporting for statewide DNR observation well assessment.

Public Communications on Resource Management & Sustainability
* DNR will lead or participate in meetings with stakeholders and interagency staff for areas of concern where long-term sustainability of groundwater use is being evaluated.
* DNR will assess the feasibility of bringing water supply planning assistance to communities (populations of less than 1000) not previously encouraged nor required to prepare water supply plans.
* DNR will move toward designation of two or more groundwater management areas.
Measurable Outcome(s) 


In FY13, DNR enhanced its groundwater monitoring network and data collection network by installing 65 new groundwater level monitoring wells equipped with devises which record water levels every 15 minutes. This information is used to evaluate the effect of groundwater pumping on water levels. The statewide observation well assessment project was also completed in FY13. DNR also led multi-Agency efforts to conduct “synoptic surveys,” in which water levels in hundreds of domestic water supply wells, monitoring wells, and lakes are measured in one day. Synoptic surveys were completed for the North and East Metro Groundwater Management Area and for the Bonanza Valley Groundwater Management Area. Finally, DNR completed groundwater models in the Straight River and Bonanza Valley Groundwater Management Areas. The models evaluated options for perimeter boundaries for the Straight River and Bonanza Valley areas. Geological cross sections needed for three-dimensional mapping was also done for portions of the Straight River and Bonanza Valley areas. DNR also participated on the technical advisory committee for the development of the Metro Model 3, a groundwater-flow model of the greater Twin Cities Metropolitan Area.
Project Details:
2012 Fiscal Year
Legal Citation / Subdivision: 
M.L. 2011, First Special Session, Ch. 6, Art. 2, Sec. 6(e)
Appropriation Language 
$1,500,000 the first year and $1,500,000 the second year are for water supply planning, aquifer protection, and monitoring activities.
Fiscal Year Funding Amount: 
$1,500,000
Direct expenses: 
$715,316
Administration costs: 
$239,944
Number of full time equivalents funded: 
7.0
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s) 


Measurable Outcome(s) 


Project Details:
2011 Fiscal Year
Legal Citation / Subdivision: 
M.L. 2009, Ch. 172, Art. 2, Sec. 5(b)
Appropriation Language 
$600,000 the first year and $525,000 the second year are for drinking water planning and protection activities.
Fiscal Year Funding Amount: 
$525,000
Direct expenses: 
$687,305
Administration costs: 
$32,400
Number of full time equivalents funded: 
5.0
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s) 


Measurable Outcome(s) 


Project Details:
2010 Fiscal Year
Legal Citation / Subdivision: 
M.L. 2009, Ch. 172, Art. 2, Sec. 5(b)
Appropriation Language 
$600,000 the first year and $525,000 the second year are for drinking water planning and protection activities.
Fiscal Year Funding Amount: 
$600,000
Direct expenses: 
$228,781
Administration costs: 
$13,785
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s) 
In FY10, DNR will complete a statewide assessment to identify areas with existing and potential water supply issues. Staff will also define the scope of work for studies and monitoring for 20 communities with existing or potential water supply issues, and work with stakeholder groups on the development of aquifer management plans in two pilot areas.



Measurable Outcome(s) 
In FY10, DNR worked with agency partners to assess and rank areas with potential water supply issues. The team chose 20 areas (8 non-metro and 12 metro) for trial evaluation of level of effort needed to establish a groundwater management area and collect adequate data to develop aquifer management plans, and completed scoping process for the 8 non-metro areas. Staff conducted significant monitoring and held stakeholder meetings to lay the groundwork for aquifer management plans in two pilot areas: Moorhead and Bonanza Valley (Brooten-Belgrade area).



Project Overview

DNR is working with local communities and an interagency team to define, prioritize, and establish groundwater management areas in Minnesota. Groundwater management areas will have increased data collection and monitoring that allow the state and local communities to understand water supplies, uses, limitations, and threats to natural resources that depend on groundwater. This information will support detailed aquifer protection plans that ensure equitable and sustainable groundwater and drinking water use for the future.

About the Issue

In Minnesota, growth in demand for water resources is outstripping population growth. As water use increases, planning for adequate water supply is crucial to preventing water shortages and protecting lakes, streams, and wetlands - especially sensitive groundwater dependent trout streams and fens.

Project Manager

Stephen
Thompson
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
500 Lafayette Road
Saint Paul
55155
651-259-5733