Nearly all of Minnesota’s 80 major watersheds are benefitting from projects supported by the Clean Water Fund, as established by the Legacy Amendment in 2008, according to a recent report. The majority of that funding – 84% – is going toward implementation activities. And local partners play an important role as 43% of appropriations were awarded to non-state agencies.
State agencies that receive Clean Water Fund dollars released their second collaborative report this past week. The report clarifies connections between the Clean Water dollars invested, actions taken and outcomes achieved. Money in the Clean Water Fund comes from the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment that Minnesotans passed in 2008. Until 2034, approximately $85 million each year will be invested in various water management activities.
The 24 measures in the report provide a snapshot of how Clean Water Fund dollars are being spent and the progress that’s been made. The measures are organized into four categories: investment, surface water quality, drinking water protection, and new this year, external drivers and social measures.
External drivers provide context for changes in water resources over time; social measures are being created to track how Clean Water Fund investments affect people and communities, specifically their ability to support and participate in local water projects. These measures are part of a larger set that will be used to consistently track and report clean water outcomes over the life of the amendment.
The 2014 report includes six new measures this year. Each measure has a status ranking and trend information.
- Watersheds monitored by local partners
- Source water protection grants
- County geologic atlases
- Long-term monitoring network wells
- Unused groundwater wells sealed
- Groundwater levels
Of the 24 measures, status and trends vary:
- 11 measures showed improving trends
- 4 showed no trend or were too early to assess
- 2 showed a declining trend
The report does not include trend information for investment measures.
"We understand that people want to see immediate results from Clean Water Fund investments," said Rebecca Flood, Assistant Commissioner at the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. "However managing Minnesota’s water resources is a long-term endeavor that will take the efforts of many — from state agencies to local governments to citizens."
View the 2014 Clean Water Performance Report on Minnesota Legacy’s website.