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Benefits of the watershed approach

MPCA adopted the watershed approach in 2008, as recommended by the  2008 Biennial Report to the Legislature and directed by the Minnesota Legislature. A significant share of the funding for water quality management is provided by the Minnesota Clean Water Fund.

The improved system allows efficient and effective use of public resources in addressing water quality challenges across the state. Concentrating efforts at the major watershed scale ensures:

  • an ongoing, predictable cycle for water quality management and evaluation
  • a more efficient approach to addressing impairments
  • a common framework for monitoring, TMDL studies,  assessments, setting required pollutant reductions, and implementation strategies
  • improved collaboration and innovation
  • increased stakeholder interest and local support
  • a reduction in the cost of improving the quality of waters

The water quality management cycles for the 80 major watersheds are staggered, with 8 to 10 watersheds beginning a new cycle each year. By 2017, all watersheds will have at least begun their first cycle, and those that began in 2008 will enter their next cycle.