Watershed project funding system

The MPCA has access to state and federal funding sources to assist with a variety of watershed projects. These funds are awarded through either competitive watershed funding (such as federal Clean Water Act Section 319 and state Clean Water Partnership grants and loans) or non-competitive processes (Clean Water Fund).

Funding sources

Section 319 grants. Each year, MPCA applies U.S. EPA for Clean Water Act, Section 319(h) grant funds. The funds are awarded to local government units and other groups for work on projects that address nonpoint-source water pollution. Fund availability varies each year.

Clean Water Partnership loan program. Provided by the Clean Water State Revolving Fund, the funds are loaned to local government units for work on projects that address non-point source water pollution. Fund availability varies each year.

Clean Water Fund dollars come from the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment that Minnesotans passed in 2008. Funds are appropriated each two-year state funding cycle to help protect, restore and preserve the quality of Minnesota’s surface waters. Fund availability varies each year. Appropriations through the Clean Water Legacy Act are used to fund existing water quality programs, including the development of TMDL and WRAPS projects.

  • TMDL surface water assessment grants (SWAG) are available to groups interested in monitoring the water quality of lakes and streams and for groups interested in providing statewide water quality training opportunities.
  • Watershed Pollutant Load Monitoring Network sampling grants are provided to local partners to assist with intensive water quality monitoring and data analysis at approximately 130 long-term stream monitoring sites in Minnesota. Major watershed outlets and basin sites are sampled during the year with a goal of 35 samples collected. Subwatershed sites are sampled from ice-out to October 31 with a goal of 25 samples per site. Water samples are collected over a range of flow conditions and the data is used to calculate pollutant loads using the FLUX32 model. Local partners are chosen based on their proximity to monitoring locations and their ability to perform delegated tasks. MPCA staff will initiate conversations with qualifying organizations should any monitoring locations become available. Contact staff listed on the program page if interested in partnering.
  • TMDL development funds are awarded to local government units or other groups for the purpose of developing TMDL reports that address water quality impairments.  
  • Minnesota Clean Water Fund grants are available to groups interested in implementing MPCA and U.S. EPA-approved TMDL implementation plans. The competitive funding process is administered by the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR).

Related links and data sources

  • EQuIS (Environmental Quality Information System) is the system MPCA uses to store water quality data from more than 17,000 sampling locations across the state, with information from Minnesota streams and lakes dating back to 1926. EQuIS replaces STORET, an older system that was in use until September 2009.
  • HTML icon eLINK

    With eLINK, BWSR, local government partners, and stakeholders in conservation can track conservation projects and grants, indicators and pollution reduction benefits, cumulative grant funding over a period of years, and map locations of projects on a statewide, or on a county, watershed, or individual-project basis.

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