Bernd: Several counties and agencies work together to make it happen

    The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) has approved the Red Lake River Comprehensive Watershed Management Plan.

    The plan was completed through BWSR’s One Watershed, One Plan Pilot program. The initiative brought together a partnership of the counties of Polk, Pennington, and Red Lake; the West Polk, Red Lake County, and Pennington Soil and Water Conservation Districts; and the Red Lake River Watershed District to create a shared-action plan for water management.

    The roots of the program were conceived by a consortium of local governments seeking to streamline water planning requirements in Minnesota.

    The Red Lake River Comprehensive Watershed Management Plan addresses surface water quality and flood damage reduction, as well as drinking water, groundwater, and habitat issues. The plan builds on existing efforts, current local water plans, local knowledge, and best available science. The planning advisory committee involved staff from partner local governments, state agencies, and citizens.

    Collaboration and cooperation between the local government units, the community, and other stakeholders has accelerated from this effort.  The plan identifies areas where the local government units can increase efficiency and effectiveness by sharing resources and working together to implement water management activities.

    The Red Lake River Comprehensive Watershed Management Plan is a unique, locally driven plan that will be the “One Plan” to guide water management in the Red Lake River watershed for the next 10 years, said Nicole Bernd, West Polk SWCD manager.