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Posted on December 10, 2019 at 9:47 AM by Ryan Hiniker
Drainage update 12/10/2019
Upcoming Drainage Hearings or Meetings:
2019 MAWD Conference:
Last week was the 2019 Annual Meeting and Trade Show for MAWD (Minnesota Association of Watershed Districts). Typically, this annual meeting is centered around Watershed Districts from across the state of Minnesota. Watershed Districts are similar to County Drainage Authorities, but we both have slightly different statues that govern us.
Watershed Districts can encompass larger areas, but the closer they get to the metro area the smaller they become. This doesn’t mean that watersheds necessarily have more public drainage systems that they manage, but they may govern a larger geographic area. The Blue Earth County Drainage Authority oversees 109 publicly managed drainage systems, but we are somewhat small in terms of geographic area compared to some watersheds in Minnesota.
Watershed districts are kind of a combination of drainage authority, conservation district and NRCS all packaged into one. Watershed districts spend more time with water quality as a whole, which would include lakes and streams. Drainage authorities only manage public drainage systems. Watershed district staff will test and monitor ground water levels, conduct water quality surveys of lakes and streams and manage areas for wildlife and recreation protection.
The Blue Earth County Drainage Department was asked to speak at this annual MAWD event this year. Craig Austinson and myself both gave speeches about, “Drainage Inspector’s Perspective on Landowner Interaction.” Both Watershed districts and drainage authorities have drainage inspectors. Although, both share some similarities in their roles, there are some differences including how the county handles repairs, maintenance and inspections from a procedural stand-point. The speech went very well and we had many compliments from other attendees at the conference. I did get quite a few questions about our maintenance program, mostly regarding the mowing and spraying of our buffers and ditch areas. MAWD does a very good job with their conferences and I learned a lot. I hope to be invited back again next year.
If you are further interested in MAWD or what watershed districts in Minnesota do, click the link for more information. https://www.mnwatershed.org/
Recent Drainage Inspections – week of December 2 – December 6:
We require that all repairs to a county drainage system (tile or open ditch) be authorized by one us in the drainage office, either Craig or myself, before any repairs are made.
Drainage Management Specialist