The MPCA 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.
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 (Minn. Stat. 103B.201 to 255), which requires local units of government in the 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/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.
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
- Impaired Waters - Total Maximum Daily Loads and Minnesota's waterways
- Minnesota Watershed Project Funding System — information about Clean Water Legacy Act funds and other watershed project funding sources.
- Watershed Approach
- Stormwater programs and impaired waters
- WaterFront Bulletin
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.
Information on county and metro local water management planning. (Board of Soil and Water Resources)