Location: Statewide Minnesota
Client: Minnesota Department of Agriculture
As of 2012, the list of impaired waters from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) showed more than 2,100 waterbodies with concerning water quality. Plans to address these issues relied heavily on the use of best management practices (BMPs), specifically placed in agricultural areas.
The vision of this project was to bring information on agricultural BMPs to Minnesota’s water resource professionals. The project included four main components:
- A comprehensive database of information related to agricultural BMPs and their application toward cleaner waters in Minnesota.
- A web-based BMP assessment tool that can be used to design BMP scenarios and their anticipated impact.
- A web-based BMP tracking tool for tracking the implementation of BMPs and storing information relating to their use.
- A website devoted to agricultural BMPs in Minnesota that provides a publicly accessible platform to access each of the tools’ components.
The BMP database is updated with new data entries on both BMP effectiveness and implementation. Reports can be created with information housed within the database. Overall this project provides improved information to select and design agricultural BMPs, resulting in cost savings for participants and more effective installations on the field. It also improves the ability to communicate the role of these BMPs in the larger goal of clean Minnesota waters, encouraging stakeholders to participate in voluntary programs.