In 2013, Pope Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) received a grant through the Board of Water and Soil Resources to priortize projects and target implementation efforts using a GIS-based water quality analysis. The SWCD retained Houston Engineering, Inc (HEI) to perform the terrain analysis for the larger project. Initial work was completed by Peter Meade of Becker SWCD and Pope SWCD staff.
The project identified areas contributing relatively high amounts of sediment and nutrients downstream to Lake Minnewaska, Lake Malmedahl, Lake Pelican, and Lake Strandness which are all impaired waters and part of a study recently completed. The study identified these lakes as not meeting the state’s water quality standards. The project identified locations for potential projects based on the landscape, land use, and pollution loading data. This information has informed the Pope SWCD, NRCS, and other partners as to the areas with the highest priority for implementing projects that will have the highest economic benefit for the funding received in the grant.
The Pope SWCD and NRCS staff began to build relationships with producers in these sub watershed areas to complete projects in a treatment chain for the most impact to the downstream impaired water. Projects have been identified and are being designed for installation in 2014 and 2015.