Crow Wing County to revise water resource planning with public input | | Brainerd, Minnesota

Crow Wing County to revise water resource planning with public input

Posted: January 24, 2013 - 10:40pm

Crow Wing County Land Services Department is revising the 2008 local
comprehensive water management plan, which is used in identifying what
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 groundwater
resources of the county. Under each priority concern were actions steps
that specifically laid out tasks to accomplish the goal. The 2008
priorities included: maintaining a water quality database, addressing
stormwater and wastewater, protecting ground water, minimizing the
effects of development on water quality and developing educational
programs to promote water quality protection.

“For the 2013
update to the water plan, we wanted to see what the citizens of Crow
Wing County identified as their top concerns,” said Mitch Brinks, water
protection specialist, in a news release. In May 2012, a letter was
sent to all riparian landowners in county’s zoning authority. In
addition to land use information, the letter asked respondents to
participate in an online survey. The survey was available at the county
website from May through October of 2012. About 300 people responded to
the survey. In addition, a request was sent to Crow Wing County
stakeholder groups, including local, state and federal agencies
involved in water management as well as builders, developers,
consultants, educators and landscaping and septic contractors. About
200 people participated in this survey. Finally, about 100 people
filled out the survey at the Crow Wing County Fair in the summer of

Based on all of the public input received, the county board
approved the following priority concerns in the fall of 2012. These
priority concerns will provide the framework for re-writing the water
plan 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/data

• 3. Ground water (includes: septic system
maintenance and inspection, testing for nitrates and other
contaminants, wellhead and drinking water source protection, well
sealing of unused/abandoned wells and solid and hazardous waste

The State Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR)
also recently approved the county’s priority concerns. In his letter
recommending approval of the county’s priority concerns, BWSR Board
Chair Brian Napstad commended the county “for the outstanding process
used to select the concerns.”

The full priority concerns scoping
document, which includes the citizen survey results can be found at The 2013 water plan
document will be drafted this winter. An additional public comment
period, including a public hearing, will take place in May of 2013.