The MDA is primarily responsible for regulating agricultural activities that affect water resources
With its focus on regional issues, the Council offers a unique perspective on water resource management issues. The Council looks across municipal and county lines, providing a focus on how regional issues of land use, growth patterns, and regional services affect Twin Cities water resources.
The Council reviews and comments on the watershed plans prepared by watershed management organizations as well as water management plans prepared by local units of government as a component of their comprehensive plans.
SWCDs are local units of government that manage and direct natural resource management programs at the local level. Districts work in both urban and rural settings, with landowners and with other units of government, to carry out a program for the conservation, use and development of soil, water and related resources. One crucial niche, districts fill, is that of providing soil and water conservation services to owners of private lands. Privately owned lands make up to 78% of the land surface in Minnesota. Managing these private lands, whether agriculture, forest, lakes or urban, is key to Minnesota's quality of life.
Watershed districts are local, special-purpose units of government that work to solve and prevent water-related problems. The boundaries of each district follow those of a natural watershed and consist of land in which all water flows to one outlet. The districts are usually named after that watershed.
Metro Area Watershed Districts
Model ordinances are created for municipal officials who want direction in regulating stormwater runoff. The ordinances provide a valuable tool for communities developing stormwater ordinances. With careful adaptation of these models and diligent enforcement, growing cities should be able to prevent serious stormwater runoff issues.
University of Minnesota Extension uses a watershed approach that integrates the natural and social sciences (economics, evaluation, engagement, etc.) to help Minnesotans make informed decisions on water quality. Working on issues like agriculture water quality, aquaculture, biodiversity, supply, habitat, and recreation, University of Minnesota researchers and Extension educators discover scientific answers to questions about protecting and improving water resources – helping homeowners, farmers, local decision-makers, construction managers, and landscape professionals address the challenges they face.