Water Management Plan

Local Water Management Plan

In 1977 Minnesota was stricken by drought conditions that nearly rivaled the infamous drought of the 1930s. The Legislature responded by passing the Comprehensive Local Water Management Act (Minnesota Statutes Sections 103B.301 to 103B.355) in 1985. The act encourages counties outside of the metropolitan area to develop and implement comprehensive water plans. While the plans are voluntary, counties that participate in the program are awarded base grants from the State based on the tax capacity of the county.

The Mille Lacs County Local Water Management Plan outlines a plan for the utilization of sound hydrologic management principles to address water resource concerns on a watershed unit and groundwater system context throughout Mille Lacs County. These water plans are based on a ten year planning period. The current water plan was approved on November 20, 2018, for the planning period from November 2018 to October, 2027.

One Watershed, One Plan

Water planning in the State of Minnesota has historically been completed based on municipal boundaries. One Watershed, One Plan (1W1P) aims to align local water planning on watershed boundaries to create prioritized, targeted, and measurable implementation plans.

The Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) has divided Minnesota into 63 suggested planning boundaries, which are based on major watersheds. The legislature set a participation goal in 2015 of all planning boundaries by the year 2025. 

The Rum River 1W1P planning effort was initiated in 2018 and adopted on 8/2/22. This watershed plan covers roughly 80% of the county. The remaining 20% of the county will continue to be covered under the Local Watershed Management Plan. 

Mille Lacs County is also currently involved in planning efforts for the Snake River 1W1P. The Snake River 1W1P planning effort was initiated in 2019 and is in the late stages of the plan development. Information on the plans and planning efforts are located on the Mille Lacs SWCD website: