The Cost of Fast Water
Funding Provided By: The University of Minnesota Regional Sustainability Partnership
Project Duration: January 2013-October 2013
Summary: The purpose of this project was to collect Olmsted County city and county financial data to evaluate the local government (taxpayer) costs of our current "fast water" drainage system in southeastern Minnesota. Those cost include, but are not limited to costs for erosion, sedimentation, blown-out road culverts, road damage, and flood damage. The goal is to quantify the costs of "doing nothing" to reduce the speed and volume of water flows in the Zumbro Watershed. Once collected, ZWP would use the data to demonstrate the benefits of investing in "Slow the Flow" practices to slow the flow of water in Olmsted County.
In the end, these data proved difficult to quantify, given how cities and counties account for expenditures. But interviews with Olmsted County and City of Rochester staff allowed researcher Megan Hoye insight into what the Rochester and Olmsted County are already doing to "Slow the Flow" and what future projects could help address issues in the county.
Read the Final Report here.
Nitrogen and Bacteria Monitoring of the Zumbro River Watershed
Funding Provided By: Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
Project Duration: April 2009 - June 2011
Summary: The purpose of this project was to monitor Nitrate-N and E. coli in 12 stream reaches of the Zumbro River for which little information was known. ZWP worked with staff from the Wabasha SWCD to collect water samples from May-October in 2009 and 2010. Data has been uploaded to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency database for use in listing impaired waters for the Zumbro River.
Read the Final Grant Report.
Zumbro River Riparian Landowner Outreach and Forum
Funding Provided By: Minnesota Waters
Project Duraction: March 2010 - September 2010
Summary: A recent survey of 600 riparian landowners in Southeastern Minnesota showed that only 43% are aware of state shoreland requirements designed to protect water quality and only 56% know about opportunities for conservation programs on their land. Soil and water resource agencies in the watershed were constrained in requesting shoreland protection grant funding in 2009 because there were too few shovel-ready projects in the watershed. This project: (1) created a database of rural shoreland owners within the Watershed; (2) provided an informational mailing, which included an invitation to attend a landowners forum; (3) five landowner forums across the watershed, which provided a “one-stop” connection to staff from resource agencies and conservation organizations; and (4) development of a list of property owners that were interested in having resource agency and conservation organization staff follow-up to assist them in enrolling riparian lands in conservation programs.
Read the Final Grant Report.
Working Lands for Wildlife and Water Quality: Leveraging Conservation Dollars in the Zumbro River Watershed
Funding Provided By: Conservation Partnership Initiative Grant from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
Project Duration: 2005-2007
Summary: With a $200,000 cash grant and $200,000 of in-kind support from local partners, ZWP was set to launch planning activities and foster partnership agreements to carry out water quality and wildlife habitat work in the watershed of the Zumbro River Watershed. The purpose of the project was to accelerate the adoption of conservation practices on agricultural working lands and perennial cover practices on highly sensitive areas in the Zumbro River Watershed and to improve freshwater aquatic habitat. Specific objectives of the project included: (1) development of a 5-year watershed management plan, (2) data collection and technical advisory, (3) sub-watershed demonstration projects, (4) watershed outreach and education, and (5) agreements and evaluation.
Read the Final Grant Report