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Twin Cities Metropolitan Area (TCMA) Watersheds

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) Metro and St. Croix Unit of the Watershed Section, Regional Division is responsible for working with partners to monitor water quality and to plan and implement projects to protect and restore water quality in the TCMA and St. Croix Basin. This work utilizes the Watershed Approach to water quality advanced by the MPCA and other state and local partners, and is supported by the Clean Water Legacy funds provided by the State of Minnesota.

Find your watershed district / watershed management organization, and other conservation LGUs here!

Local Government Units and Partner Agencies

There are 883 lakes in the seven county TCMA which includes the counties of Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott, and Washington. The TCMA Watersheds also contain the area covered by the Metropolitan Area Surface Water Management Act (Minnesota Statutes 103B.201 to 255), which requires local units of government in the seven county TCMA to prepare and implement comprehensive surface water management plans through membership in a watershed management organization (WMO). WMOs can be organized in three ways:

  • as a joint powers agreement between the cities and townships within the watershed;
  • as a watershed district; or
  • as a function of county government.

Most WMOs boundaries are hydrologically defined, and are at the 10 or 12-digit hydrologic unit code (HUC) sub-watershed level. Some WMO boundaries are politically determined rather than hydrologically determined.

Projects may involve small portions of local or watershed plans such as neighborhood stormwater projects, be city or watershed-wide projects to deal with identified impairments, or be Regional or basin-wide projects dealing with problems such as chloride runoff in the TCMA Watersheds from highway road salt or basin-wide runoff of nutrients affecting Lake St. Croix.

Maps of the TCMA

TCMA projects

Twin Cities Metropolitan Area Chloride Project. Chloride in road salt enters our surface waters, groundwater and soils after a snowmelt. This link contains information on the MPCA’s activities, efforts, status, and impacts of chloride in our waters.

Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Project: Upper Mississippi River - Bacteria. A large number of Minnesotans rely on the Mississippi River for recreational activities and drinking water. The MPCA has identified several Mississippi River reaches from St. Cloud to St. Paul as impaired for bacteria. This link contains information on the process for conducting the TMDL study which consists of evaluating the water quality problem, determining the sources of the pollutant, allocating pollutant loads to sources and areas, and developing a plan for implementing activities to restore water quality.

TCMA TMDL links

  1. Searchable report for statewide TMDL projects. Click on the TCMA bookmark to see TCMA specific projects.
  2. IWAV map to find specific impaired waters.

Related information

MPCA Contacts for the TCMA Watersheds

Water Management Planning Resources and Publications

MPCA and the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) are pursuing ways to better coordinate local water management planning and TMDL (Total Maximum Daily Load) plans.

BWSR - Resource Management and Planning has information on county and metro local water management planning.

List of WDs and WMOs in the Metro Area:

Organization

MPCA Primary Contacts

Bassett Creek WMO

Rachel Olmanson

Black Dog WMO

Brooke Asleson

Browns Creek WD

Chris Klucas

Capital Region WD

Brooke Asleson

Carnelian-Marine-St. Croix WD

Chris Klucas

Carver County WMO

Chris Zadak

Comfort Lake-Forest Lake WD

Chris Klucas

Coon Creek WD

Rachel Olmanson

Eagan-Inver Grove Heights WMO

Chris Zadak

Elm Creek WMC

Brooke Asleson

Lower Minnesota River WD

Chris Zadak

Lower Mississippi River WMO

Rachel Olmanson

Lower Rum River WMO

Bonnie Finnerty (Brainerd Office)

Middle St. Croix River WMO

Chris Klucas

Minnehaha Creek WD

Chris Zadak

Mississippi WMO

Rachel Olmanson

Nine Mile Creek WD

Chris Zadak

North Cannon River WMO

Justin Watkins (Rochester Office)

Pioneer-Sarah Creek WMC

Rachel Olmanson

Prior Lake-Spring Lake WD

Chris Zadak

Ramsey-Washington Metro WD

Brooke Asleson

Rice Creek WD

Chris Zadak

Richfield-Bloomington WMO

Chris Zadak

Riley-Purgatory-Bluff Creek WD

Chris Zadak

Scott County WMO

Chris Zadak

Shingle Creek WMC

Rachel Olmanson

South Washington WD

Chris Zadak

Sunrise River WMO

Chris Klucas

Upper Rum River WMO

Bonnie Finnerty (Brainerd Office)

Vadnais Lake Area WMO

Rachel Olmanson

Valley Branch WD

Chris Klucas

Vermillion River Watershed JPO

Brooke Asleson

West Mississippi WMC

Rachel Olmanson

Last modified on March 20, 2014 11:47