4.1.1 Hydrologic Hydraulic and Pollutant Loading Study

In 2003 the District completed a two year effort to compile existing and new information on the water resources in the District, to identify existing water management issues, define the impact of future land changes, and recommend how the District could address those changes.  The most ambitious watershed study ever undertaken by a watershed district in Minnesota, the Hydrologic/Hydraulic and Pollutant Loading Study, or HHPLS, was initiated to:

  • Document the nature of the physical and biological characteristics of the watershed;
  • Quantify the amount of water moving through the watershed, and the quantity of that water as it moved an as it gathered in various receiving waters;
  • Gather public input to assist in problem identification and solution definition;
  • Formalize management programs on a subwatershed basis; and
  • Provide the study results to implementation partners in an easily understood manner.

The overarching goal of the HHPLS was to improve and maintain the surface water, groundwater, and associated natural resources of the District.   The study included detailed modeling of the current and 2020 hydraulic and hydrologic conditions in the subwatershed as well as the current and projected future water quality expected to result from those conditions and future land use change. 

The extensive public input process used nearly 100 public meetings across the watershed to share these results, identify problems and gain input on appropriate approaches to addressing problems.  Most significantly, these public input sessions resulted in the development of new or refinement of existing water quality goals for 62 lakes or bays within the District.  

The findings of the HHPLS serve as the basis for this Management Plan.  Some of the results have been refined or further developed; for example, the 2020 modeling has been extrapolated to hypothetical Ultimate Development conditions.  The Implementation Plan in this Plan extends from the problem identification and public input gained through the HHPLS development.