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Posted on September 17, 2018 at 5:15 PM by Ryan Hiniker
Drainage update 9/17/2018
Upcoming Drainage Hearings or Meetings:
With the first round of mandatory riparian buffers from last November behind us, it’s almost time for round number two. The second round of mandatory riparian buffers is coming this November 1, 2018, and applies to all public ditches. As many understand, riparian buffers were made mandatory for protecting the future of Minnesota’s water quality. The hope is that these vegetative buffer areas will help reduce the amounts of sediment and nutrients making their way into our waterways. Many of us know that these buffers aren’t necessarily the “silver bullet” to fixing our nutrient loading problems, but any reduction is a win for all of us.
Landowners have multiple options for the buffers; it’s not a one size fits all situation. Landowners had options for the public waters buffer areas with the choice of alternative practices and clean water certification. Landowners affected by the public ditch buffer deadline also have those same options available to them. The state has given some flexibility to both the landowners and to the local government entities that are overseeing the riparian buffers.
Currently our state's compliance for public waters riparian buffer is hovering around 98% to 99% compliant since the November 1, 2017 deadline. With 87 counties in Minnesota, I’d say that’s pretty impressive. Almost three quarters of those 87 counties are 90 percent compliant or higher. Public ditches statewide compliance levels are a bit lower at around 75% to 76%. The November 1, 2018, deadline for public ditches riparian buffer is approaching fast. Landowners can choose to either install these 16.5-foot buffers or alternative practices on their own or ask for the local SWCD’s (Soil and Water Conservation District) assistance. Your local SWCD will need to know of this compliance plan, as they are the ones checking for future compliance. Don’t be afraid to ask for guidance or further assistance from your local SWCD, as November 1 is just right around the corner.
Recent Drainage Inspections – week of September 10 – September 14:
We require that all repairs to a county drainage system (tile or open ditch) be authorized by one us in the drainage office, either Craig or myself, before any repairs are made.
Drainage Management Specialist