ST. PAUL — The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) today approved $13.9 million in Clean Water Fund grants to improve water quality in streams, lakes and groundwater across the state.

The majority of the grant funding is allocated for voluntary conservation projects across Minnesota, including $2.1 million for projects that specifically focus on improving and protecting drinking water. Multipurpose drainage management projects will receive $734,441.

The $13.9 million will fund separate grants, 37 of which are dedicated to specific projects and practices. Five grants will support multi-purpose drainage management, and 10 grants will focus on projects that specifically address drinking water issues.

Projects in this area receiving funding include:

  • Pipestone Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), $299,520, to be leveraged to target highly vulnerable acres within Drinking Water Supply Management Areas. Pipestone SWCD will work with local landowners who own property within one mile of a public water supply to implement practices that promote clean water, such as cover crops. The goal: plant more than 2,000 acres with cover crops or perennial crops to enhance water quality and protect drinking water.

  • Heron Lake Watershed District, $43,000, to reduce phosphorus entering South Heron Lake. The HLWD and Jackson SWCD are partnering with landowners to implement projects to reduce phosphorus in the South Heron Lake watershed. Efforts are focused on County Ditch 3 and Judicial Ditches 14 and 3. Projects include 15 alternative side inlets and a 4.2 acre wetland on JD3, providing an annual phosphorus load reduction of 2,258 pounds.