This past November, the Clearwater River Watershed District (CRWD) submitted five grant applications for Clean Water Partnership (CWP) funding, to the Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR). We believe the projects submitted will help the CRWD achieve water quality goals set under our recently prepared and now approved Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for 11 lake and two stream impairments. The District is deeply committed to reaching our TMDL and water quality goals, and to implementing these projects. We believe we have laid the groundwork for these projects for the past several years by setting water quality goals through the TMDL process, building relationships with local partners, buying land, setting aside matching project dollars and funds for grant applications and preparing designs in advance.
The applications are listed in order of the District's internal priorities.
Reducing Phosphorus Loads to Lakes through Targeted Agricultural Fertilizer Application: This program, already underway in the CRWD on a small scale, reduces phosphorus runoff from agricultural land use (the dominant land use in the watershed) while assisting farmers gain a fertilizer cost savings. The project may be self- sustaining and forge and area of common ground for agriculture and water resource protection. The requested grant funding will expand the program to realize a 600 lb/year phosphorus load reduction.
Reducing Phosphorus Loads to Lake Betsy by protecting Willow Creek: CRWD is working with the City of Kimball, Stearns County and other local partners to manage storm water runoff to a Willow Creek. In addition to protecting this trout stream, the project reduces nutrient loads to impaired Lake Betsy and three other downstream impaired lakes. Runoff from the city is proposed to be routed into small retention ponds and then infiltrated in sandy soils using spray irrigation.
Lake Betsy Hypolimnetic Withdrawal and Irrigation Project: Several nutrient impaired lakes within the CRWD show evidence of internal cycling of phosphorus. Lake and watershed modeling indicate that management of these internal loads will be a critical element of reaching water-quality goals. This project tackles internal loading in Lake Betsy (and subsequently reduces loads in the downstream lakes) while providing nutrient-rich irrigation water for the riparian land owner. By implementing this project the District would be on its way to achieving its goal of reducing the phosphorus load in Lake Betsy by 87 percent.
Watkins Storm Water Impoundment: This project will construct an impoundment with a limestone filter to treat storm water runoff from the City of Watkins prior to discharge into the Clearwater River and Lake Betsy, helping to meet TMDL load-reduction goals.
Clear Lake V-Notch Weir for Phosphorus Reduction: This project will construct an impoundment to treat agricultural runoff prior to discharge into Clear Lake, helping to meet TMDL load reduction goals.
BWSR received more than 175 applications for CSP funding. We were successful with the Lake Betsy/Willow Creek application and will receive $70,900 toward this endeavor.
We are resubmitting the Watkins Stormwater Impoundment grant application and are confident we will be successful with this as well.
For more information, go to: crwd.org.