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Presentation on theme: "Minnesota Drainage Policy Overview International Legislators Forum ROBERT L. SIP ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY SPECIALIST MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE FRIDAY,"— Presentation transcript:


2 Discussion Topics Brief Overview of Drainage Authorities Drainage Rules Old Systems vs. New Systems Drainage Partners in Minnesota Reasons for Tiling Activity Farmer Risks and Tools What is Minnesota Doing? Neighboring States

3 Organized Watershed Districts in Minnesota

4 Source – Red River Basin Commission Inventory Team Report on Drainage, 2000. Streams and Ditches in Minnesota. Source – BWSR Public Drainage Ditch Buffer Study, 2006. Despite Being “Well Plumbed” There are Many Drainage Opportunities and Challenges in Minnesota

5 AgencyLocal Regs.State Regs.Federal Regs. Local Government: TownshipsOrdinancesMS 160.20 CountiesOrdinancesMS 103E, MS 160.20 Watershed DistrictsWD RulesMS 103E, 103D.335 State Agencies: BWSRWCA (MN Rules 8420, MS 103G) DNRPublic Waters (MN Rules 6115, MS 103G) MN DOT (State Hwy ROWs)MS 160.20, MS 161.28 MPCADitches – Stormwater NPDES/SDS Construction Stormwater General Permit Federal Agencies: Army Corps of Engineers/EPAClean Water Act USDA (FSA, NRCS)Food Security Act Drainage Regulations

6 Field Level 1 Rod Buffer (MS 103E) or 50 Foot Shoreland Buffer MN Rules 6120 DNR Public Waters or ACOE Jurisdiction Wetland WCA, Swampbuster and/or ACOE Jurusdiction Road ROW: Township, County or State Jurisdictional Example

7 Wild Rice Watershed District Website Tile Pump Status: ON

8 Example Permit Conditions: Wild Rice Watershed District Permit #x-x-xx-x in August 2013 to install subsurface drain tile with the following recommendations and conditions: 1. Recommendation that the applicant contact and coordinate with the NRCS/SWCD/FSA offices to ensure approval/clearance regarding any potential wetland issues (and with the USFWS for installation of tile on any parcel that is under easement from the USFWS). 2. Recommendation that the applicant obtain approval from the necessary road authorities (Township, county, state,…) for any work in the road R/W and the drainage authorities (county) for outlets into legal ditches not under the WRWD jurisdiction. 3. Approved with the condition that the applicant is responsible for adequate erosion control measures at the outlet of the tile system. This should include the installation of riprap or other protection measures at pump outlets. It will remain the responsibility of the applicant to maintain this protection as long as the tile is in place and operating. 4. Approved with the condition that all gravity outlets be installed above (however not more than 2-feet above) the elevation of the original design gradeline of the receiving ditch or channel. 5. Pumped Outlets Only – Approved with the condition that the pump (s) not be operated during freezing conditions and during times of downstream flooding and that pumps and associated pipes will not be installed above ground and will not block vehicle traffic on the ROW of ditch systems. Also all disturbed areas in the ditch ROW’s will be restored and reseeded to preexisting conditions. 6. Pump stations or other tile control structures, shall not be placed within the R/W of existing legal ditch systems or within a distance determined as follows (6 times the depth of the ditch (measured from top of spoilbank elevation to bottom of ditch from the field side bottom of the ditch), whichever is greater, unless otherwise approved in writing by the WRWD. For example, if the vertical depth measured from top of spoilbank elevation to bottom of ditch is 8-ft, the pump station shall not be located within 48-ft from the field side bottom of the ditch, or within the existing R/W, whichever is greater.

9 Regional Groups Working on Drainage Issues Red River Watershed Management Board ◦Organized in 1976. ◦Technical Advisory Committee (RRV Tiling Guidance) ◦Technical and Scientific Advisory Committee (15 technical papers since 1998). Red River Retention Authority ◦Officially organized in 2010 - MOU with all partners in 2012. ◦Created a Basin Technical and Scientific Advisory Committee (BTSAC) to Study Drainage Issues.

10 Advances in Ditch System Management Current Era: ◦Mapping Technology (GIS, LIDAR, GPS, Advanced Survey Equipment, etc.) ◦Digital Cameras, tile line cameras, Iphones, web-based systems, etc. ◦Modern equipment and contractors. ◦Consultants, engineers and hydrologists. ◦Specialized staff at the local level. ◦More financial resources available (LSOHC, CWF, RIM, WRP, etc.) The Past: –Past Practice (SCS/SWCD Would Assist Landowners in Designing Surface Ditches in NW MN).

11 Advancements in Tiling Older Systems: Installed by hand labor. Concrete or clay construction. Maintenance issues difficult to address. Limited or no design guidance or training available. Few drainage BMPs utilized.

12 New Pattern Tile Systems Installed with modern equipment with GPS. Plastic construction and utilize socks. Design guidelines exist through the University of Minnesota. Training and informational meetings on tile system design are now available and offered to farmers and tile contractors/ installers. Technical assistance and incentive payments are available via BWSR and NRCS. Control structures, pumps, bioreactors, saturated buffers and other BMPs can now be components of modern systems. Research efforts. Photograph Courtesy of Chris Hay, SDSU

13 Drainage Partners in MN Drainage Work Group and Interagency Drainage Management Team MN Viewers Association CCAs and Technical Service Providers (USDA – NRCS) Farmers and Landowners MN Land Improvement Contractors Association Permitting Entities (Local, State and Federal Agencies) The Private Sector ◦Tile Manufacturing Companies ◦Drainage System Designers/Installers

14 Drainage Maintenance Both Public and Private Systems ◦Surface Ditches ◦Tile Photograph Courtesy of Dan Wilkens Sand Hill River Watershed District Surface Ditch Clean-out on a Public Ditch System in NW Mn

15 Pressure to Produce More

16 Why Do Farmers Tile? Maintain Soil Health – Reduce Soil Compaction, Promote Deep Root Development. Earlier spring tillage and planting/seeding dates (when conditions allow). Management of excessive soil water during the growing season. Timely fall harvest and fall tillage operations (when un-tiled fields are too wet to harvest or to till). Soil salinity issues. Increased yields = increased profits.

17 Farmer Risks Climate Change and Weather ◦Hail ◦Excess Rain ◦Drought ◦Frost ◦Wind Erosion Invasive Species ◦Plants and Weeds ◦Insects and Other Organisms

18 Tools for Managing for Water Quality and Reducing Risks Federal Crop Insurance Development and Implementation of Conservation Plans (State and Federal Assistance) Implementing Best Management Practices (Buffer Strips, Crop Residue, Cover Crops, Etc.) GMOs, Precision Ag, Technology, Science, Etc. MN Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program MDA Ag BMP Loan Program Ecosystem Services Trading (The Future or a Future Component?) Drainage Water Management Irrigation and Sub-irrigation (Subject to Permits)

19 What is MN Doing? NRCS Incentive Payments and Technical Assistance BWSR - State of MN Incentive Payments and Technical Assistance MDA Ag BMP Loan Program Redetermination of Benefits Study and Research CWF Drainage Projects


21 Two Stage Ditch



24 Why Don’t We Have More DWM Plans and Practices in MN? Practices are still new: ◦Need more information. ◦Let’s see the neighbor’s bioreactor or control structure first. Need more long-term data: ◦Maintenance issues. ◦Operational issues. Another thing to maintain or drive around in the field. Lengthy government process to obtain funding and technical assistance. Not enough outreach?

25 CWF Drainage Projects LCC Website MDA Projects ◦Clay County Site ◦Martin County Bioreactor ◦Hwy 90 Demonstration Site ◦Discovery Farms

26 Clay County Site The Clay County site is designed to evaluate the environmental impact of both surface and subsurface drainage from agricultural fields. This site includes six subsurface plots and one surface runoff plot, each approximately 24 acres in size. Water Samples are tested for: Total suspended solids, total phosphorous, dissolved phosphorous, nitrate and nitrite-nitrogen.

27 MN Legislative Bills – 2014 Session HF 2571 – SF 2221 (DWG Consensus Recs) ◦Signed by Governor on April 11, 2014  Session Law Chapter 164 HF 2322 – SF 2838 (Tile Exemption) HF 2311 – SF 2185 (Co Comm as Drainage Inspectors and Debris Removal) ◦Signed by Governor on May 21, 2014  Session Law Chapter 289, Sections 50 and 54

28 Neighboring States North Dakota Drainage Rules ◦Requires permits for tiling and drainage projects over 80 acres (Article 89-02-01). ◦If an application does not involve drainage of statewide significance, approval by the Water Resource District Board constitutes a permit to drain. ◦If an application does involve drainage of statewide significance, approval by both the Water Resource District Board and the State Engineer must be given to constitute a permit to drain.

29 South Dakota Drainage Rules Currently, SD is in the midst of determining how to address drainage in primarily Eastern SD. The South Dakota Watershed Advisory Task Force was created in 2012 to address drainage regulatory issues. Currently working on the following legislative concepts as of July 2013: ◦Mandatory mediation of disputes. ◦Standardized disclosure of new projects. ◦Identification of water management assets. ◦Funding of best practices research. ◦Water management districts.

30 Iowa Drainage Rules Iowa drainage rules have been in existence since about 1890 (Drainage Statute, Chapter 468). Iowa Drainage Manual – 2005. Iowa Drainage District Association Formed in 1990.

31 Wisconsin Drainage Rules Drainage laws date back to 1891. Chapter 88, Wisconsin Statutes. Approximately 10 percent of the drains are organized under Chapter 88 as drainage districts that are governed by county drainage boards. Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection regulates the drainage district program. County drainage board handbook (updated 2007). There are 176 active drainage districts in WI. Of the 72 counties in WI, 31 of them contain one or more drainage districts.

32 Strategies and Key Concepts Work With Agricultural and Drainage Stakeholders Agricultural Water Management at any Level is Complex There are no Silver Bullets to Address all Drainage Issues A Multi-purpose Approach is Needed to Address Agricultural Water Management Issues ◦Local Drainage Management Plans and Policies

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