Groundwater Restoration and Protection Strategies (GRAPS)

Clean Water Fund

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is responsible for protecting sources of drinking water – which is groundwater for 75 percent of Minnesotans.

Supported by the Clean Water Fund, MDH is developing the GRAPS process to 1) translate ongoing groundwater and drinking water programs and data to the watershed scale and 2) work with other agencies to develop watershed scale groundwater and drinking water management strategies to integrate into local water management plans.

GRAPS Reports

MDH is working on developing one more GRAPS report in 2017:

  • Missouri River Basin Watershed

MDH commissioned the Freshwater Society to conduct a study to inform GRAPS and local implementation efforts. The Freshwater Society asked Minnesota’s local water resource professionals what barriers they face in protecting drinking water sources and for potential solutions. Study results and Freshwater Society recommendations are included in the 2016 report Protecting groundwater-sourced drinking water: An assessment of the needs and barriers faced by local water management professionals.

Watershed Approach

During a 10-year cycle, state agencies will work in the 81 major watersheds to evaluate water conditions, establish priorities and goals for improvement, and take actions designed to restore or protect water.

The One Watershed One Plan (1W1P) program led by the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources will provide local governments with a single management plan for groundwater and surface water. A number of Minnesota state agencies have ongoing programs that will feed into the 1W1P program:

Why the Watershed

A watershed is an area of land that captures all surface water running across it. In contrast, aquifers underground hold groundwater. Historically surface and groundwater have been managed separately due to their unique nature. There is a shift to manage both using the same geographic boundaries to maximize resources and improve efficiency. The watershed was chosen because humans live on and understand the surface. Watersheds cross city, county, and state boundaries.

Updated Thursday, September 28, 2017 at 01:03PM