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Missouri River Basin Project

2011 was the kick off year for the Missouri River Basin Restoration and Protection Project. The Missouri River basin contains four major watersheds that flow into Iowa and South Dakota. The watersheds include: Upper Big Sioux, Lower Big Sioux, Rock and Little Sioux River. These headwater watersheds cover parts of six counties and eventually drain to the Missouri River.


Step 1. Monitor and Gather Data


Biological, water chemistry, and quantity data will be collected throughout the Missouri River Basin during 2011 and 2012. This includes monitoring of streams and lakes within the watershed to determine overall health. Data from past and current local water monitoring efforts will be included in the process. Land use, topography, soils and pollution source information is also gathered in this step.

Step 2. Assess the Data


Local partners along with the Minnesota Pollution Control (PCA), will conduct a process to determine if streams and lakes are meeting water quality standards. Water that is not meeting water quality standards will be listed as impaired waters.





Step 3. Establish Implementation Strategies


A framework which details strategies and methods for meeting water quality standards will be developed with input from interested parties. Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL) will address impaired waters. Existing local water plans and water body studies are incorporated into the planning process.

Step 4. Implement Strategies


Included in this step are all traditional permitting activities, in addition to programs and actions directed at nonpoint sources. Partnerships with state agencies, various local government units, and watershed residents and landowners will be necessary to implement activites.

Benefits of the 10-Year Approach


An ongoing, predictable cycle for water quality management and evaluation

Integrating watershed protection and restoration needs into a single management plan

A more efficient approach to addressing impairments

A common framework for monitoring Total Maximum Daily Load studies and implement strategies

Increased stakeholder interest and local support

Improved collaboration and innovation

A reduction in the cost of improving the quality of waters


This publication was paid for through the Clean Water Fund on behalf of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. 

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