Groundwater Restoration and Protection Strategies (GRAPS)
Clean Water Fund
The Minnesota Department of Health is piloting the process to develop Groundwater Restoration and Protection Strategies (GRAPS) reports for watersheds in Minnesota. The GRAPS process involves 1) translating ongoing groundwater and drinking water programs and data to the watershed scale and 2) working with other agencies to develop watershed scale groundwater and drinking water management strategies to integrate into local water management plans.
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 will provide local governments with a single management plan for groundwater and surface water. A number of Minnesota state agency programs will feed into the 1W1P program, including GRAPS (for groundwater and drinking water) and Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) (primarily for surface water).
GRAPS Reports and Corresponding Planning Efforts by Watershed
|Watershed(s)||GRAPS report (groundwater and drinking water)||WRAPS webpage (surface water)||1W1P webpage (comprehensive information)|
|Pine River||Pine River Wastershed||Pine River||Coming Soon|
|North Fork Crow River||North Fork Crow River Watershed||North Fork Crow River||North Fork Crow River 1W1P|
|Cannon River||Draft Cannon River Watershed||Cannon River||Cannon River 1W1P|
|Missouri River Basin (Upper Big Souix River, Lower Big Sioux River, Rock River, Little Souix River)||early 2018||Missouri River Basin (Upper Big Souix River, Lower Big Sioux River, Rock River, Little Souix River)||Missouri River Basin 1W1P|
|Buffalo Red River||early 2018||Buffalo River||Coming Soon|
|Mustinka River and Bois de Sioux River||early 2018||Mustinka River and Bois de Souix River||Coming Soon|
|Sauk River||early 2018||Sauk River||Coming Soon|
|Lower St. Croix River||early 2018||Lower St. Croix River||Coming Soon|
|Watonwan River||early 2018||Watonwan River||Coming Soon|
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 (PDF).
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.