In order to address the provisions of Minnesota Statutes, sections 103B.155, 103G.261, 103G.265, and 103G.271, subdivision 2, the commissioner, in cooperation with other state and federal agencies, regional commissions and authorities, local governments and citizens, establishes the following process for the preparation and implementation of the elements of any state, regional, and local plan relating to water appropriation and use.
Since the availability, distribution, and utilization of waters of the state and the character and use of related land resources vary considerably throughout the state, a comprehensive water appropriation management planning process must be based on these considerations and according to the following principles and procedures:
Water appropriation management plans should be prepared for specific definable areas of the state on consideration of:
The hydrologic and physical characteristics of the water and related land resources for which a management plan is necessary. The area must be of sufficient size and areal extent so that the interrelationship of geohydrologic and climatic factors can be adequately defined and managed.
The determination by the commissioner of the need for establishment of a water appropriation management plan for the waters of the state within a specific definable area based on:
areas where development of the waters of the state is, or is likely to, increase considerably within the next five to ten years;
areas where severe water availability problems exist or are soon likely to exist;
areas where there are adequate facts and available geohydrologic data relating to the availability, distribution, and use of the waters of the state and where there is local interest in establishing water appropriation management plans.
Upon establishment of the need for a water appropriation management plan pursuant to item A, the commissioner shall establish a management planning process including procedures, a public participation process, and development of a planning team consisting of representatives of the department, permittees, any other interested, concerned, and involved government or citizen group listed in subpart 1 to review and cooperate in preparation of the plan.
Every water appropriation plan should, at a minimum, include:
An evaluation of the amount and dependability of information on the hydrologic systems of the area and the adequacy of the information to provide necessary facts on the amounts of water which can be reasonably withdrawn from the waters of the state in the area without creating major environmental problems or diminishing the long-term seasonal supply of water for various purposes. This will provide essential background information for establishing protected flows and protection elevations, part 6115.0670, subpart 3, item B, subitem (6).
An evaluation of data on stream quality and flows, lake water quality and levels, groundwater quality and levels, and climatic factors. This will provide essential data useful to the applicant and the commissioner in permit application considerations, parts 6115.0660 to 6115.0720.
An evaluation of present and anticipated future use of waters and lands and the amounts and distribution of use within the area. This will facilitate the determinations necessary under part 6115.0670, subpart 2, item A, subitem (2).
An evaluation of the problems and concerns relating to use of the waters within the area.
Water conservation alternatives and methods and procedures for dealing with water shortages or excesses during periods of deficient or excess water. See parts 6115.0660, subpart 3, item F; 6115.0690, subpart 1, item G; and subpart 2 of this part.
Considerations of the relationship of the water appropriation and use management plan to other water resources programs of the state, such as floodplain management, shoreland management, water surface use management, water quality management, soil and water conservation management, and agricultural land management.
June 11, 2008