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Water Planning Committee Meeting Summary July 15, 2019 Webinar

  1. Call to Order—Chair Jennifer Hoggatt-Missouri DNR called to order at 10:04 a.m. Central.
  2. Introductions of Participants on the call: Jennifer Hoggatt, MO DNR, Chair; Sue Lowry, ICWP Executive Director; Jodee Pring, Wyoming WDO; Brian Atkins Alabama OWR; Julie Westerlund, MN BWSR; Mark Matlock, PADEQ; Tim Feather, CDM-Smith; Matt Unruh, KWO; Ryan Chatman, NE DEE; and Jennifer Schellpeper and Carol Flaute, NE DNR.
  3.  Summary of June 10, 2019 webinar-Jennifer recapped that she and Pooja Kanwar had presented on the last committee webinar and there were many questions on Minnesota’s One Watershed One Plan program and that led to asking Julie to present today.
  4.  State Water Planning Presentation:

Julie Westerlund, MN Board of Water and Soil Resources

 –One Watershed/One Plan Implementation

The passage of the Clean Water Fund which provides around $100M per year to address water issues and the various agencies that deliver water support programs wanted to make sure the dollars were being directed to the areas of most need. There are several agencies at the state level that have a water mission in MN, but implementation mostly happens at the county level.  There are Soil and Water Conservation Districts located in each of Minnesota’s 84 counties.  In 2002 a Legislative Auditor’s report said that MN wasn’t doing a very good job of implementing the CWA (identifying impaired waters and developing plans to address). The Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment was passed in 2008 establishing funding.  Watershed plans developed by the local soil and water districts were then accepted by the state agency.  “Develop prioritized, targeted and measurable local implementation plans aligned with state strategies on major watershed boundaries”—mission statement of One Watershed/One Plan. 61 watersheds identified statewide.  Planning grants are about $225k per watershed. 

Watershed based Funding Pilot Programs:  Want to be able to fund these into the future, so will need increasing dollars from the legislature as more programs are in place. 

Q & A: Watershed Districts are created upon a petition.  Watershed managers have ability to levee tax, but are not elected officials. Differences across the state in how the district interacts with county officials. Julie noted that there is coordination between CWA Sec. 319 funding and EQIP dollars available through NRCS/FSA in the direction of those funds to basins with completed plans. 

Julie’s presentation will be posted to the ICWP website. 

  • Topics and speakers for future water planning learning opportunities

Nebraska and Wyoming will present in August.  Matt Unruh from KWO has volunteered to present later this fall. 

  • Planning related topics for Mobile Annual Meeting, Oct. 8-10, 2019

Sue reviewed the speakers that will be presenting on the Planning Panel.  The draft agenda will be updated often on the icwp.org website.

  • Relevant activities from other ICWP committees:

ICWP Legislation and Policy Committee is leading efforts on an issues priorities survey to ICWP members and prospects—If any of the Planning Committee members have suggestions for planning related issues to add, please get those to Sue in the next couple of weeks. 

  • Next call or webinar—Next webinar will be Monday, August 26 at 10 a.m. Central time. Nebraska and Wyoming will compare and contrast their planning programs.