Crow Wing County to revise water resource planning with public input
works best to protect and enhance the county’s water resources.
update and revision process includes an identification of local
priority water resource concerns which will lay the framework for a new
comprehensive water plan document on how to best protect these
resources. The first water plan for Crow Wing County was adopted in
1990. During the years it was revised several times. The current water
plan was adopted in 2008. In that document, six priority concerns were
identified with the goal to protect the surface and groundwaterresources of the county. Under each priority concern were actions stepsthat specifically laid out tasks to accomplish the goal. The 2008priorities included: maintaining a water quality database, addressingstormwater and wastewater, protecting ground water, minimizing theeffects of development on water quality and developing educationalprograms to promote water quality protection.
“For the 2013update to the water plan, we wanted to see what the citizens of CrowWing County identified as their top concerns,” said Mitch Brinks, waterprotection specialist, in a news release. In May 2012, a letter wassent to all riparian landowners in county’s zoning authority. Inaddition to land use information, the letter asked respondents toparticipate in an online survey. The survey was available at the countywebsite from May through October of 2012. About 300 people responded tothe survey. In addition, a request was sent to Crow Wing Countystakeholder groups, including local, state and federal agenciesinvolved in water management as well as builders, developers,consultants, educators and landscaping and septic contractors. About200 people participated in this survey. Finally, about 100 peoplefilled out the survey at the Crow Wing County Fair in the summer of2012.
Based on all of the public input received, the county boardapproved the following priority concerns in the fall of 2012. Thesepriority concerns will provide the framework for re-writing the waterplan in 2013. The top three priority concerns are:
• 1. Aquatic invasive species (includes: lake association/improvement district coordination and water access monitoring).
•2. Surface water (includes: stormwater management, shoreline buffers,wetland protection, land use and development, water sampling/datagathering).
• 3. Ground water (includes: septic systemmaintenance and inspection, testing for nitrates and othercontaminants, wellhead and drinking water source protection, wellsealing of unused/abandoned wells and solid and hazardous wastedisposal).
The State Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR)also recently approved the county’s priority concerns. In his letterrecommending approval of the county’s priority concerns, BWSR BoardChair Brian Napstad commended the county “for the outstanding processused to select the concerns.”
The full priority concerns scopingdocument, which includes the citizen survey results can be found at
www.co.crow-wing.mn.us/DocumentCenter/View/4097. The 2013 water plandocument will be drafted this winter. An additional public commentperiod, including a public hearing, will take place in May of 2013.